When a suspension bridge is being built, the engineers start by flying a steel thread, known as the ‘pilot cable’ across the valley. Everything is built off of that thread.
As Paul Chambers said in this blog post, the Alpha team are starting the journey of building a new digital land registry, and the Alpha is about the ‘how we do it?’ – solving the hard problems, converting ‘unknowns’ into ‘knowns’, and building the core of our digital services. We have been referring to this as the ‘steel thread’.
The steel thread is about drawing on everything HM Land Registry knows from over 150 years of experience, and applying the tools and techniques of iterative web development and design.
So what does that ‘steel thread’ look like?
- Integrity of the register: using cryptographic hashing (a technical blog will follow for those interested) so we can pragmatically prove the integrity of the data
- Migration: knowing that we can migrate the register from legacy systems and formats with confidence
- Searching the register: the ability to find titles on the register, including searching by location
- The title: what the register title will look like and what format the information will be presented in
- Change, authorisation and identity: based on our user needs, developing a service where proprietors, conveyancers and lenders can transfer ownership of properties online, maintaining the integrity of the register, with a service so good they all prefer to use it
Those who followed the proof-of-concept will know that we have already explored many of these areas. The Alpha, the steel thread, is about starting to do it for real – building fully tested services designed on feedback from HM Land Registry customers and stakeholders.