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FIG PROFILE 2007-2010

The FIG Profile

and the benefits of being a member

2007 - 2010

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

This profile leaflet in A4 format as a .pdf-file (6 pages A4 - 2.18 MB)
This profile leaflet in folded format as a .pdf file (2 pages, folded - 1.24MB)
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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 Fèdèration Internationale des Gèometres. This has become anglicized to the International Federation of Surveyors. It is a UN-recognized non-government organization (NGO), representing more than 100 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 role of FIG

FIG’s activities are governed by a work plan, which is regularly reviewed against a longer-term strategic plan. The current work plan, titled “Building the Capacity”, which guides the Council and Commissions activities, focuses on the surveyor’s response to social, economic, technological and environmental change. FIG recognises the particular needs of capacity building in developing countries to meet the challenges of fighting poverty and developing a basis for a sustainable future. 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.

In general, FIG will strive to enhance the global standing of the surveying profession through both education and practice, increase political relations both at national and international level, help eradicating poverty, promote democratisation, and facilitate economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Who are the members of FIG?

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 surveyor;

  • 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 a member.

Commission activity

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 www.fig.net/comm/comindex.htm.
The terms of reference are as follows:

Commission 1 - Professional Practice

Chair: Mr. Yaacoub Saade (Lebanon)

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 Bela Markus (Hungary)

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: Dr. Chryssy Potsiou (Greece)

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: Mr. Andrew Leyzack (Canada)

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: Professor Rudolf Staiger (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 Alojz Kopacik (Slovakia)

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. András Osskó (Hungary)

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: Dr. Diane Dumashie (United Kingdom)

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 governance.

Commission 9 - Valuation and the Management of Real Estate

Chair: Professor Kauko Viitanen (Finland)

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 property.

Commission 10 - Construction Economics and Management

Chair: Mr. Andrew Morley (United Kingdom)

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.

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 Munich (Germany) in 2006; and the next congress will be in Sydney (Australia) April 9-16, 2010.

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 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 will be held in Stockholm, Sweden (14-19 June 2008), Eilat, Israel (3-8 May 2009), Marrakech, Morocco (April/May 2011) and in Rome, Italy (2012).

To increase regional activities FIG organizes regional conferences on a biannual basis. The last conference was held in San Jose, Costa Rica (November 2007) the next conference will be in Ha Noi, Vietnam in (October 2009).

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 bodies.

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 and develop new strategies; and two permanent institutions: the Office International de Cadastre et du Régime Foncier (OICRF) 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 developing countries.

The permanent office undertakes the day-to-day management of FIG.

FIG Council members 2007–2010


  • Prof. Stig Enemark (Denmark)


  • Dr. Dalal S. Alnaggar (Egypt)

  • Mr. Matthew B. Higgins (Australia)

  • Mr. G. K. (Ken) Allred (Canada) (2007-2008)

  • Prof. Paul van der Molen (Netherlands) (2007-2008)

  • Mr. Iain Greenway (United Kingdom) (2009-2010)

  • Mr. Teo Chee Hai (Malaysia) (2009-2010)

ACCO Representative:

  • Dr. Chryssy Potsiou (Greece)

For details on the current council see: www.fig.net/council/council_index.htm

FIG Office

The FIG Office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

FIG Office
Kalvebod Brygge 31-33,
DK-1780 Copenhagen V, Denmark.
Tel: +45 3886 1081
Fax: +45 3886 0252
E-mail: fig@fig.net
Further information about the FIG office at: www.fig.net/admin/office.htm

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 delegates

    • 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 (available on www.fig.net/annual-review/anrew-index.htm).

  • The FIG e-Newsletter – a monthly newsletter and the main medium of internal communication (available through subscription on www.fig.net/pub/subscriptions/getnewsletter.htm).

  • The FIG publications series – formal policy statements, guidelines, and reports (available on-line on www.fig.net/pub).

  • Proceedings of FIG congresses and of selected technical seminars sponsored or co-sponsored by FIG’s commissions and member associations (available on www.fig.net/news/newsindex.htm).

  • Commission newsletters – for the dissemination of information specifically concerned with the work of individual commissions (available on www.fig.net/comm/comindex.htm).

  • Presidents Letter – as required for the successful operation of FIG.

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), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA) and the World Bank. 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 organisations 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 cooperation with the International Society for Mine Surveying (ISM) 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:

  • 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 international bodies;

  • 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 management.

For further information about FIG and its activities consult the homepage at: www.fig.net

FIG PROFILE 2007-2010

The FIG Profile and the benefits of being a member.

Published in English

Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
June 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark

Printed copies can be ordered from:
FIG Office, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, DENMARK,
Tel: + 45 38 86 10 81, Fax: + 45 38 86 02 52, E-mail: FIG@fig.net

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This page is maintained by the FIG Office. Last revised on 13-04-03.