FIG PROFILE 2011-2014
The FIG Profile
and the benefits of being a member
"Engaging the Challenge: Enhancing the Relevance"
2011 - 2014
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 and applications
What is FIG?
FIG is the premier international organization representing the interests of
surveyors worldwide. It is a federation of the national member associations and
covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying
community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development
aiming to promote professional practice and standards.
FIG was founded in 1878 in Paris and was known as the Fédération
Internationale des Géomètres. This has become anglicized to the International
Federation of Surveyors. It is a UN-recognized non-government organization
(NGO), representing more than 120 countries throughout the world, 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.
The FIG vision
A Profession, armed with knowledge and best practices, extending the
usefulness of surveying for the benefit of society, environment and economy,
increasingly positioned in significance and relevance, next door to everywhere.
The role of FIG
FIG’s activities are governed by a work plan, which is approved by the
General Assembly and reviewed by Council as its tenure progresses. The current
work plan, titled as “Engaging the Challenge: Enhancing the Relevance” guides
Council, Commissions, Networks and Task Forces activities, focuses the surveyors
response to the challenges faced by humanity at these times. FIG recognizes that
surveying sciences and technologies, surveying knowledge and practices pursue
common good. The present Council continues building on past efforts and work on
extending the progress, achievements and global standing towards the betterment
of society, environment and economy and thus enhancing the significance, role
and relevance of the profession.
This thrust is to be addressed through its activities at all levels, the
Council, the ten Commissions, the three Task Forces, the two Networks as well as
the FIG Foundation and Permanent Institutions. By engaging the challenges of the
times, the profession continues the race to the top when the significance and
relevance of surveying is enhanced in every sphere and jurisdictions that the
profession has a presence.
Who are the members of FIG?
FIG draws its membership from practitioners working in communities with both
the public and private sectors, from the scientific, research and academic
community, as well as from the spatial technologies
and services community. FIG functions with the goodwill, resources and
contribution of its memberships and their corp of volunteers from around the
Members of FIG consist of:
member associations – national associations
representing one or more of the disciplines of surveying;
affiliates – groups of surveyors or surveying
organizations undertaking professional activities but not fulfilling the
criteria for member associations;
corporate members – organizations, institutions or
agencies which provide commercial services related to the profession of
academic members – organizations, 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 eligible to join FIG as
Ten commissions lead FIG’s technical work. Each member
association appoints a delegate to each of the commissions. Detailed information
on the work of the commissions, their work plans, working groups, seminars,
newsletters and publications can be found at
The terms of reference are as follows:
Commission 1 - Professional Practice
Chair: Ms. Leonie Newnham (SSSI, Australia)
Chair-elect: Mr. Brian J. Coutts (NZIS, New Zealand)
Perception of surveying profession; professional practice, legal
aspects and organisational structures; standards and certification; code of
ethics and applications; under-represented groups in surveying; students and
young surveyors; information technology management and professional practice;
project management, quality and best practice.
Commission 2 - Professional Education
Chair: Professor Steven Frank (NSPS, USA)
Chair-elect: Ms. E.M.C (Liza) Groenendijk (GIN, The Netherlands)
Curriculum development; learning and teaching methods and
technologies; educational management and marketing; continuing professional
development; networking in education and training.
Commission 3 - Spatial Information Management
Chair: Prof. Yerach Doytsher (ALS, Israel)
Chair-elect: Mr. Enrico Rispoli (CNGeGL, Italy)
Management of spatial information about land, property and marine
data; spatial data infrastructure – data collection, analysis, visualisation,
standardisation, dissemination, and support of good governance; knowledge
management for SIM; business models, public-private-partnerships, professional
practice and administration.
Commission 4 - Hydrography
Chair: Dr. Michael Sutherland (CIG, Canada)
Chair-elect: Ms. Angela Etuonovbe (NIS, Nigeria)
Hydrographic surveying; hydrographic education, training and CPD;
marine environment and coastal zone management; data processing and management;
nautical charting and bathymetric maps - analogue and digital, including
electronic navigational charts.
Commission 5 - Positioning and Measurement
Chair: Mr. Mikael Lilje (Samhällsbyggarna, Sweden)
Chair-elect: Ing. Volker Schwieger (DVW, Germany)
The science of measurement including instrumentation, methodology
and guidelines; the acquisition of accurate and reliable survey data related to
the position, size and shape of natural and artificial features of the earth and
its environment and including variation with time.
Commission 6 - Engineering Surveys
Chair: Professor Gethin W. Roberts (ICES, United
Chair-elect: Mr. Ivo Milev (USLMB, Bulgaria)
Acquisition, processing and management of topometric data;
quality control and validation for civil engineering constructions and
manufacturing of large objects; modern concepts for setting-out and machine
guidance; deformation monitoring systems; automatic measuring systems,
multi-sensor measuring systems; terrestrial laser systems.
Commission 7 - Cadastre and Land Management
Chair: Mr. Daniel Roberge (CIG, Canada)
Chair-elect: Ms. Gerda Schennach (OVG, Austria)
Cadastre, land administration and land management; development of
pro poor land management and land administration; development of sustainable
land administration as an infrastructure for sustainable development to underpin
economic growth; applications of innovative and advanced technology in cadastre
and land administration; promoting the role of surveyors in land administration
matters to the public and stakeholders.
Commission 8 - Spatial Planning and Development
Chair: Mr. Wafula Nabutola ((ISK, Kenya)
Chair-elect: Mr. Kwame Tenadu (GhIS, Ghana)
Regional and local structure planning; urban and rural land use
planning and implementation; planning policies and environmental management for
sustainable development; re-engineering of mega cities; public-private
partnerships; informal settlement issues in spatial development, planning and
Commission 9 - Valuation and the Management of Real Estate
Chair: Dr. Frances Plimmer (RICS, United Kingdom)
Chair-elect: Mr. Liao Junping (CIREA, PR China)
Valuation; investment in real estate and investment planning;
real estate investment vehicles; real estate, development finance and land use
feasibility planning; real estate economics and markets and market analyses;
management of property and property systems; management of public sector
Commission 10 - Construction Economics and Management
Chair: Mr. Robert Sinkner ((CUSC, Czech Republic)
Construction economics, including quantity surveying, building
surveying, cost engineering and management; estimating and tendering; commercial
management including procurement, risk management and contracts; project and
programme management including planning and scheduling.
Task Forces 2013–2014
FIG Africa Task Force
Chair: Dr. Diane Dumashie (RICS, United Kingdom)
Focuses on the Surveying Profession in Africa and how it can better
contribute to meet the key challenges of poverty alleviation, economic growth
and environmental sustainability.
FIG Task Force on Property and Housing
Chair: Prof. Chryssy Potsiou (HARSE/TEE, Greece)
Investigates challenges and major threats resulting from the current global
financial crisis, and identifies new roles for the surveyor. The Task Force
works closely together with UN-HABITAT on the Global Housing Strategy.
FIG Task Force on Surveyors & Climate Change
Chair: Prof. John Hannah (NZIS, New Zealand)
Identifies areas where surveyors can assist uniquely the international
community to better understand the effects and impacts of climate change and to
provide advice on how to mitigate and cope with the effects of climate change.
Chair: Mr. David Martin (ESRF, France)
The Network is continuing the work of a FIG Task Force since standards are
continuously important in the work of surveyors. In 2012 after five years of
work the Standards Network succeeded in publishing the Land Administration
Domain Model (LADM) as ISO Standard19152.
Young Surveyors Network
Chair: Ms. Kate Fairlie (SSSI, Australia)
Chair Elect: Ms. Eva Maria Unger (OVG, Austria)
FIG Young Surveyors Network addresses the need for young surveyor
representation within FIG, and the need to ensure FIG activities are meeting the
needs of not only students and young professionals,
but also youth as a broad category within society.
International Institution for the History of Surveying & Measurement (IIHSM)
Director: Mr. Jan de Graeve (UBGE, Belgium)
The International Office for Cadastre and Land Records (OICRF)
Director: Dr. Christiaan Lemmen (GIN, The Netherlands)
The FIG Foundation
President: Mr. John Hohol (NSPS, USA)
The FIG Foundation is an independent body under the Federation giving grants
and scholarships to support education and capacity building especially in
developing countries. Contributions are received
through conferences, corporations, and private donators.
How does FIG operate?
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
Sydney (Australia) in 2010; and the next congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur
(Malaysia) on 16–21 June 2014. 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
Working Weeks combine meetings of FIG’s administrative bodies with technical
conferences organized by the commissions and the host member association 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. Working Weeks are
held in Abuja, Nigeria (6–10 May 2013), Sofia, Bulgaria (17–21 May
2015) and Christchurch, New Zealand (2016). T
o increase regional activities FIG also organizes regional conferences, the
most recent of which was held in Uruguay in November 2012. In addition to their
involvement with FIG congresses and working weeks, commissions and their working
groups organize or co-sponsor a wide range of seminars and workshops, usually in
collaboration with member associations or other international professional
A key element to the success of a commissions work is the appointment of
national delegates, providing a unique opportunity for professional development.
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 programmes.
How is FIG administered?
By its General Assembly which meets annually during the FIG working week or
the FIG congress. The General Assembly comprises of delegates of the member
associations and, as non-voting members,
the Council, commission chairs and representatives of affiliates, corporate
members and academic members. The General Assembly debates and approves
policies. Policies are implemented by
the Council, which meets several times a year.
The Council is elected by the General Assembly. The Council consists of the
President (elected for four year term of office) and four Vice Presidents (term
of office is four years) with two of the Vice
Presidents being elected every second year, and coming from different countries
throughout the world. 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; two networks; and two permanent
FIG Council members 2011–2014
Prof. Chryssy A. Potsiou (TEE and HARSE, Greece)
Prof. Rudolf Staiger (DVW, Germany) (2011–2014)
Mr. Bruno Razza (CNGeGL, Italy) (2013–2016)
Dr. Pengfei Cheng (CSGPC, PR China) (2013–2016)
For details on the current council see:
The FIG Office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Kalvebod Brygge 31-33,
DK-1780 Copenhagen V, Denmark.
Tel: +45 3886 1081
Fax: +45 3886 0252
Further information about the FIG office at:
How does FIG communicate?
Through the FIG home page (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
FIG publications and conference reports.
The FIG annual review – an overview of major activities and
achievements throughout the year (available on
The FIG e-Newsletter – a monthly newsletter and the main medium
of internal communication (available through subscription on
The FIG publications series – formal policy statements,
guidelines, and reports (available on-line on
Proceedings of FIG congresses and of selected technical seminars
sponsored or co-sponsored by FIG’s commissions and member associations
Commission newsletters – for the dissemination of information
specifically concerned with the work of individual commissions (available on
Social media - FIG Group at LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2669121&trk=group-name)
How is FIG financed?
How is FIG financed? Members’ annual membership fees largely finance
operating costs. 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.
FIG international co-operations
FIG international co-operations include:
UN agencies, notably the United Nations Human Settlements
Programme (UN-HABITAT), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the
United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office for Outer
Space Affairs (UN OOSA) and the World Bank, as well as United Nations
Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), United Nations Economic Commission
for Africa (UNECA), the UN sponsored Permanent Committee on GIS
Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP) and Permanent Committee on
SDI for the Americas (PC IDEA, and United Nations Regional Cartographic
Conferences (UNRCC). Joint workshops and other collaborative projects help
to identify and develop practical solutions to problems associated with the
ownership and management of land. FIG is officially recognised by the United
Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
International professional organizations in surveying
disciplines through the Joint Board of Spatial Information Societies that
includes organizations such as 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), and the Global Spatial Data
Infrastructure Association (GSDI). Furthermore, FIG has formal co-operation
with the International Society for Mine Surveying (ISM), Pan-American
Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the International Federation
of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS). FIG is also an international scientific
associate of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
The benefit of being a member
The benefits for all classes of membership of FIG include:
being part of the global community of surveyors seeking to
extend the usefulness of surveying for the betterment of society,
environment and economy
international recognition of the national profession and
enhancement of the profile of the international surveying profession
access to the international surveying community for exchange
of experiences and new developments
access to surveyors and surveying companies throughout the
world who already have established connections with influential
opportunities through the commission working groups to take
part in the development of many aspects of surveying practice and the
various disciplines, including ethics, standards, education and a whole
range of professional issues
access to continuing professional development and critical
self evaluation of individual standards and professionalism
access to institutional FIG support - the global surveying
community – when aiming to improve the educational or professional standing
in society; or improving the national systems for land registration and land
For further information about FIG and its activities consult the
homepage at: www.fig.net