In 1897, the cadastral survey project was launched by the Gwangmu government, aiming at modernizing the landownership system. In order to apply Western surveying methods, U.S. surveyors were hired. After the survey, a property title “Jigye”, showing the exact dimension of the land, were supposed to be issued by the authorities concerned. That reform was closely involved to the reform of land tax system, which was conducted under the leadership of Yi Yong-ik, who also carried out the monetary reforms in Korea. The project was interrupted due to the Russo-Japanese war of 1904 and 1905, after having finished about two-thirds of the whole land.
Despite the age of cadastre, the notion of cadastral documentation emerged late in the English language, as the institution of cadastre developed outside English-speaking countries. In a Danish textbook, one out of fifteen chapters regards the Form and content of documents concerning subdivision, etc. Early textbooks of international scope focused on recordings in terms of land registration and technical aspects of cadastral survey, yet note that 'cadastral surveying has been carried out within a tight framework of legislation' (p. 28). With the view of assessing transaction costs, a European project: Modelling real property transactions (2001–2005) charted procedures for the transfer of ownership and other rights in land and buildings. Cadastral documentation is described, e.g. for Finland as follows '8. Surveyor draws up cadastral map and cadastral documents .. 10. Surveyor sends cadastral documents to cadastral authority.' In Australia, similar activities are referred to as 'lodgement of plans of subdivision at land titles offices'