The International Federation of Surveyors is an
international, non-government organisation whose purpose is to support
international collaboration for the progress of surveying in all fields
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.htm-file updated 10 May 2005.
Who are surveyors?
A surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and
technical expertise to conduct one, or more, of the following activities;
- to determine, measure and represent land, three-dimensional objects,
point-fields and trajectories;
- to assemble and interpret land and geographically related information,
- to use that information for the planning and efficient administration of
the land, the sea and any structures thereon; and,
- to conduct research into the above practices and to develop them.
What is FIG?
FIG was founded in 1878 in Paris. It is a federation of national associations
and is the only international body that represents all surveying disciplines. It
is a UN-recognised non-government organisation (NGO) and its aim is to ensure
that the disciplines of surveying and all who practise them meet the needs of
the markets and communities that they serve. It realises its aim by promoting
the practice of the profession and encouraging the development of professional
FIG’s activities are governed by a plan of work which is regularly reviewed
against a longer-term strategic plan. The current plan of work focuses on the
surveyor’s response to social, economic, technological and environmental change
and the particular needs of countries in economic transition. FIG also
recognises that markets for surveyors’ services are constantly changing. The
plan accordingly lays emphasis on strengthening professional institutions;
promoting professional development; and encouraging surveyors to acquire new
skills and techniques so that they may be properly equipped to meet the needs of
society and the environment.
Who are the members of FIG?
More than 100 countries are represented in FIG by
member associations – national associations
representing one or more of the disciplines of surveying;
affiliates – groups of surveyors or surveying
organisations undertaking professional activities but not fulfilling the
criteria for member associations;
corporate members – organisations, institutions
or agencies which provide commercial services related to the profession of
academic members – organisations, institutions
or agencies which promote education or research in one or more of the
disciplines of surveying.
An individual may be appointed as a correspondent in a
country where no association or group of surveyors exist that is eligble to join
FIG as a member association or affiliate.
How does FIG operate?
FIG’s technical work is led by ten commissions with the following terms of reference:
Commission 1 – Professional Practice
Chair: Mr. Klaus Rürup (Germany)
Chair Elect: Mr. Yaacoub Saade (Lebanon)
Ethical principles and codes of professional conduct; guidelines relating
to the provision of services; standards of business practice and total quality
management; changes affecting the operation of surveying practices, their
management and their professional structures; international legislation
affecting the profession including the liberalisation of trade in services;
the role of surveyors in the public service.
Commission 2 – Professional Education
Chair: Professor Pedro Cavero (Spain)
Chair Elect: Professor Bela Markus (Hungary)
Education and teaching methods; continuing professional
development and training; the interaction between education, research and
practice; encouragement of the exchange of students and personnel between
Commission 3 – Spatial Information Management
Chair: Mr. Gerhard Muggenhuber (Austria)
Chair Elect: Dr. Chryssy Potsiou (Greece)
Management of land, property and hydrographic information
and the related processes, procedures and resources; spatial data
infrastructure– data models, standards, availability and legal aspects,
management of spatial knowledge; the impacts on organisational structures,
business models, professional practice and administration; management of
spatial information supporting sustainable development.
Commission 4 – Hydrography
Chair: Mr. Adam Greenland (United Kingdom)
Chair Elect: Mr. Andrew Leyzack (Canada)
The marine environment; hydrographic surveying; data
processing and management; nautical charts and bathymetric maps – analogue,
digital and electronic; other associated tasks.
Commission 5 – Positioning and Measurement
Chair: Mr. Matthew B. Higgins (Australia)
Chair Elect: Professor Rudolf Staiger (Germany)
The science of measurement; the acquisition of accurate,
precise and reliable survey data related to the position, size and shape of
natural and artificial features of the earth and its environment.
Commission 6 – Engineering Surveys
Chair: Mr. Svend Kold Johansen (Denmark)
Chair Elect: Professor Alojz Kopacik (Slovakia)
Acquisition, processing and management of topographic and
related information throughout the life cycle of a project; setting out
methods in engineering projects; validation and quality control for civil
construction and manufacturing; deformation monitoring, analysis and
interpretation; prediction of deformation in engineering projects, mines and
areas of geological hazard.
Commission 7 – Cadastre and Land Management
Chair: Professor Paul van der Molen (The
Chair Elect: Mr. András Osskó (Hungary)
Land management and administration; cadastral reform and
multi-purpose cadastres; parcel-based land information systems and
computerisation of cadastral records; cadastral surveying and mapping; land
titling, land tenure, land law and land registration; urban and rural land
consolidation; national and international boundaries; land and marine resource
Commission 8 – Spatial Planning and Development
Chair: Dr. Diane Dumashie (United Kingdom)
Chair Elect: Mr. Simon Adcock (Australia)
Regional and local structure planning; urban and rural
land use planning; planning policies and environmental improvement; urban
development and implementation; public-private partnerships; informal
settlements and urbanisation in developing countries; environmental impact
Commission 9 – Valuation and the Management of Real Estate
Chair: Mr. Stephen Yip (Hong Kong SAR, China)
Chair Elect: Professor Kauko Viitanen (Finland)
Valuation – the estimating of value of real estate by
valuers and appraisers for various purposes including market value, property
taxation, eminent domain, claims of damage or impact on value by some cause or
event, and acquisitions for public use or public policy; investment market
value and investment planning; development finance, land use feasibility
planning; management of property, as a single asset or by management
companies; management of property systems to ensure efficient use of public
and private resources; management of public sector property.
Commission 10 – Construction Economics and Management
Chair: Mr. Philip Shearer (United Kingdom)
Chair Elect: Mr. Andrew Morley (United Kingdom)
Construction technology and information technology;
construction economics and measurement; construction management and
environmental management; construction law and contract administration.
The commissions prepare and conduct the programme for FIG’s international
congresses, held every four years, and annual working weeks, held in the
intervening years. The last congress was held in Washington, DC (USA) in 2002;
and the next congress will be in Munich (Germany) October 8-13, 2006 (
Congresses attract several thousand participants from all over the world and
are the most important events in the FIG calendar. The technical programme,
which marks the culmination of each commission’s four-year programme of work, is
complemented by a major international exhibition.
Working weeks combine meetings of FIG’s administrative bodies with technical
conferences organised by the commissions and the host member associations and as
such provide the opportunity for commissions to implement and develop their work
programmes and for FIG to network at a more regional level. The next working
weeks will be in Hong Kong SAR, China
(12-17 May 2007), Stockholm, Sweden (14-19 June 2008) and in Israel (2009).
To increase regional activities FIG has started to organise regional
conferences on annual basis. After three successful conferences – Nairobi,
Kenya (2001), Marrakech, Morocco (December 2003) and Jakarta, Indonesia (October 2004), two further regional
conferences are prepared for Latin America (in Havana, Cuba, September 26-29, 2005) and
for West Africa (Accra, Ghana, March 8-11,
In addition to their involvement with FIG congresses and working weeks,
commissions and their working groups organise or co-sponsor a wide range of
seminars and workshops, usually in collaboration with member associations or
other international professional bodies.
Member associations, affiliates, corporate members and academic members are
all entitled to appoint delegates to the commissions; and commission chairs
often co-opt additional experts to assist with particular aspects of their work
How is FIG administered?
By its General Assembly – delegates of the member
associations and, as non-voting members, the Council, commission chairs and
representatives of affiliates, corporate members and academic members – which meets
annually during the FIG working week or the FIG congress. The General Assembly
debates and approves policies. Polices are implemented by the Council which meets
several times a year.
Each Council is provided on a four-year rotational
basis by one of the FIG member associations which nominates the President of
FIG, three of the four Vice-Presidents and the Congress Director. The fourth
Vice President is elected by the General Assembly. At the moment the structure
is in a transition period so that after the current Council all Council members
will be elected by the General Assembly and represent different countries.
Additional two Vice Presidents were elected in May 2004. The new governing
structure will be in full operation in 2007. In addition commission chairs
appoint their representative to the Council.
The work of the General Assembly and the Council is assisted
by an Advisory Committee of Commission Officers (ACCO); ad hoc task forces
appointed from time to time to review existing work plans and develop new
strategies; and three permanent institutions: the Office International de
Cadastre et du Régime Foncier (OICRF), the FIG Multi-Lingual Dictionary Board
and the International Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement.
The FIG Foundation is an independent body under the Federation giving
grants and scholarships to support education and capacity building especially in
The day-to-day management of FIG is undertaken by the permanent office. The
FIG Office is located at Lindevangs
Allé 4, 2000 Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.
How does FIG communicate?
- Through the FIG home page (
http://www.FIG.net ) which includes e.g.
- the work plan of the Council and the commissions
- contact details of Council members, member associations, affiliates,
corporate members, academic members, commission officers and commission
- forthcoming events
- FIG publications and conference reports.
- The FIG annual review – an overview of major activities and
achievements and the main medium of external communication.
- The FIG e-Newsletter – a monthly newsletter and the main medium of
internal communication (available on the FIG home page).
- The FIG publications series – formal policy statements and ethical,
educational and technical guidelines (also available on the FIG home page).
- Proceedings of FIG congresses and of selected technical seminars
sponsored or co-sponsored by FIG’s commissions and member associations (also
available on the FIG home page).
- Commission newsletters – for the dissemination of information
specifically concerned with the work of individual commissions (also available
on individual commission home pages).
How is FIG financed?
Operating costs are largely financed by members’ annual
membership fees. Rates of membership fees payable by member associations are
approved annually by the General Assembly. The Council sets rates of
membership fees payable by affiliates, corporate members and academic members.
Other activities, including congresses, technical seminars
and administrative meetings, are mostly self-financing. In the case of meetings income
is raised from registration fees which may be supplemented by income from an
accompanying technical exhibition, by subventions from the host government or
association, or by grants from aid agencies.
With whom does FIG co-operate internationally?
- With UN agencies, notably the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT),
the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the United Nations
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Office for
Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA). Joint workshops and other collaborative
projects help to identify and develop practical solutions to problems
associated with the ownership and management of land.
- With international professional organisations in surveying disciplines
like the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), the
International Cartographic Association (ICA), the International
Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the International Society for
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), the International Society
for Mine Surveying (ISM) and the International Federation of
Hydrographic Societies (IFHS).
- With international professional organisations whose activities
complement those of surveyors. These include the International Real Estate
Federation (FIABCI), the International Council for Building Research
Studies and Documentation (CIB), the International Cost Engineering
Council (ICEC) and the International Federation of Housing and Planning
FIG is an international scientific associate of the International Council
for Science (ICSU). FIG is also a founding member of the Habitat
Professionals Forum and a member of the Joint Board of Spatial
Information Societies. FIG is also hosting the permanent addresses of the
Habitat Professionals Forum and the Joint Board of the Geospatial Information
FIG Council members, 2003–2006
Holger Magel (Germany)
|Dr.-Ing. Andreas Drees (Germany)
|Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf
|Mr. T.N. Wong (Hong Kong
|Mr. G. K. (Ken) Allred (Canada)
||Prof. Stig Enemark (Denmark)
|Mr. Thomas Gollwitzer (Germany)
|Mr. Gerhard Muggenhuber (Austria), 2003-2004
|Mr. Markku Villikka
||Mr. Per Wilhelm Pedersen
||Ms. Tine Svendstorp
For further information about FIG and its activities consult its
home page at
or write to:
FIG at Lindevangs Alle 4
Tel. + 45 3886 1081
Fax + 45 3886 0252