Pekka Halme, Chair of Local Organising Committee

On behalf of the local organising committee and the Finnish surveyors’ associations MIL and MAKLI I feel honoured to invite and welcome you to the FIG Working Week 2017 in Helsinki, Finland.

During your stay you will also experience some of the festivities around the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence, for which the Finns feel very strongly and of which the Working Week will be a part.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a modern city with 600,000 residents. It is the centre of Finland’s administrative, educational and cultural life and also the finance and business centre of the country. Together with the neighbouring cities Helsinki forms the metropolitan area with more than one million inhabitants.

Helsinki is quite unique among Northern European cities. The lifestyle in this second-most northern capital city in the world is full of contrasts. Actually, the identity of the city has been formed by cultural influences from both the East and West.

Over 450 years of history, several architectural layers and the impact of different periods can clearly be seen in Helsinki. The beauty of the surrounding nature blends seamlessly together with high-tech achievements, while old traditions mix with the latest contemporary trends. This pocket-sized metropolis is even in its own right an ideal destination for visitors.

The venue for the Working Week is Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Congress Centre. It is one of the leading congress centres in Northern Europe and only 4 km or 5 minutes by local train from the city centre.

The theme of the Working Week “Surveying the world of tomorrow - From digitalisation to augmented reality” reflects the continuous development around us. Tomorrow is only a short step away or maybe here already today. It is not so much a question of making things digital any more but rather using technology as a tool to add new dimensions to what we see around us. We hope and believe that the Working Week is an excellent place to get a glimpse of the future developments but also to study the ideas and solutions of today.

The quite abstract logo of the Working Week was designed to illustrate the theme. The colours blue, green, orange, and white symbolise the Finnish nature, its lakes, forests, midnight sun, and snow. The different elements are drawn with brush strokes which together with the colours and shapes create an association with the Finnish landscape paintings dating back to early 1900’s. The sun and the forest form a binary one and zero, symbols of digitalisation. This digitalisation is however so advanced that it is no more rectangular and mathematical but describes our analogue world in a way that is more subtle, adaptive, and precise and, thus, offers the people better services.

So, dear colleagues, apart from putting every effort to offer you an event to remember we also encourage you to take a look at our country beyond the capital area and see the archipelago, the lakes, or even the far north of Lapland.


We look forward to welcoming you in 2017 to Helsinki Finland.

Pekka Halme
Chair, Local Organising Committee

Dear Colleagues,

It is a privilege to invite to you to the FIG Working Week 2017 that will take place in Helsinki, Finland, 29 May – 2 June 2017.
The Working Week is jointly organized by FIG and the two Finnish member associations in FIG, the Finnish Association of Geodetic and Land Surveyors (MIL) and the Finnish Association of Surveyors (MAKLI). The FIG Working Week is also supported by the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS).

In 2017, Finland will celebrate its 100th year of independence. This is a remarkable year for the Finns, and it is an honor that the Finnish Associations MIL and MAKLI as well as the National Land Survey of Finland have decided that they would like to celebrate this special occasion with FIG and with their colleagues from all over the world.

Faithful to our FIG motto “Ensuring the Rapid Response to change- Ensuring the Surveyor of tomorrow”, and our collectively identified goals and targets,  the overall theme of this year’s Working Week, “Surveying the world of tomorrow - From digitalization to augmented reality”, is chosen to highlight that FIG aims to prepare the surveyor of tomorrow, to be capable to understand and satisfy the demanding surveying needs of the world of tomorrow, and capable to develop the appropriate tools, methods and mentality to do so. Among other important aspects, it was highly emphasized during our first FIG Working Week of this term, in 2015, that through the rapid advancement of technology, new application areas constantly open up, and surveyors should identify those at an early stage and ensure the involvement of our profession. In this respect, surveyors should facilitate excellence in research and development and the proper use of appropriate technologies; they should identify continuously the new challenges, develop a clear scientific vision and identify new fields of applications, while FIG should ensure the wide international circulation of the results of this activity and update continuously the profile of the surveyor.

The 2017 FIG Working Week theme has a clear technical focus that aims to motivate surveyors of tomorrow to improve their technical skills and qualifications as well as their knowledge and education to deal with challenging and rapidly changing technical aspects. It radically differs from the previous Working Week themes and leads surveyors to think of future technological possibilities within the wider field of surveying. The theme brings to FIG experience from the Northern European Countries and what the European surveyors  have been investigating and developing during the recent years, such as how to use technology in a useful and practical way assuring that data can and will be used reliably, how to make data available, and how to work with “big data.” This can be useful in many ways: in the development of sustainable and inclusive urban areas and smart cities; in the management of rural areas by improving security of food and water for all; in the property valuation process; and in the improvement of interconnectivity and of global safety to mention a few.

I am looking forward to taking this new step into the future of FIG and the surveying profession together with you, our colleagues from around the world.

The conference logo triggers this emphasis on technology and also the great variety of Finland: the Finnish culture, the Finnish day- and night-light, the Finnish innovative approaches. 800-900 participants are expected to this Working Week which will consist of three plenary sessions, and a number of technical sessions within all the fields of the FIG Commissions as well as in all other FIG activities, of which many will include the overall theme of this Working Week.

I hope to share this special event with you which will be the third Working Week in the term of this Council.

Chryssy Potsiou
FIG President