FIG Commission 6 - Engineering Surveys

Term 2011-2014

Highlights Commission Chair
Commission 6 has been active with 3 Working Groups and 3 study groups: WG 6.1 – Deformation Monitoring and Analysis; WG 6.2 – Engineering Surveys for Construction Works and Structural Engineering hereunder: Study group 6.2.1 – Fibre Optic Sensor, Study Group 6.2.2 – Laser Scanners (joint with Commission 5) and Study Group 6.2.3 – Ground Based Synthetic Aperture Radar; WG 6.4 / 5.5 Ubiquitous Positioning Systems. At the Congress, Commission 6 had 5 technical sessions and 7 joint with commission 5. Prof. Gethin Wyn Roberts
Work Plan

Terms of reference

  • Acquisition, processing and management of topometric data and all related information throughout the life cycle of a project (at construction site)
  • Quality control and validation for civil engineering constructions and manufacturing of large objects (method statements)
  • Modern concepts for setting-out and machine guidance
  • Deformation monitoring, analysis and interpretation, measurement of dynamic loaded structures (general)
  • Prediction of deformation and movements in engineering projects, mines and areas of geological hazard such as land slides, subsidence etc
  • Automatic measuring systems, construction and industry and multi-sensor measuring systems
  • Terrestrial laser systems, their usage in architecture, civil engineering and industry including automated periodic measurements in order to measure track movements
  • Industry measuring system metrology, testing and quality control
  • Standards related to the construction, deformation measurement and measuring system metrology

Mission statement

The mission of Commission 6 is to:

  • promote the knowledge, skills and abilities of surveyors in civil and industrial works within the various professional fields of engineering
  • support all development and multidisciplinary expertise leading to integrated survey methods, using various instruments (geodetic, geotechnic, fast motion) and sensors and combining geometry with all other data relevant to each engineering problem
  • provide a forum for exchange of knowledge related to engineering analysis of survey data for the study of structures
  • in addition to the links with related WGs of IAG, ISM and ISPRS, look for possible co-operation within these organisations and support the co-operation of civil, structural and mechanical engineers with our profession
  • participation with ICOLD (International Committee on Large Dams) national committees
  • participation on the FIG Standards Network on standardisation policy, support the standardisation activities at the international, local and national level, and development of standards and method statements
  • participation on regional FIG events, and events organised in co-operation with sister organisations.

Work Plan

Key Documents



Working Groups

Working Group 6.1 - Deformation Measurements and Analysis

Policy Issues

Deformation studies in Engineering Surveying are based on a broad knowledge of suitable sensors and their potential, modern data storage and communication solutions and advanced processing and analysis methods. Additionally a thorough understanding of the behaviour of monitoring objects (large scale structure or landslide effected area), is essential to set-up and operate an optimum monitoring system. Nowadays deformation tasks are more and more oriented towards real-time systems, which require automation of data capture and new concepts in data processing, analysis and interpretation.

WG6.1’s main goals will be to support specialists in deformation studies with state-of-the art solutions and provide latest developments and future oriented concepts:

  • Promoting studies on the potential of existing and new sensors to determine geometric deformation quantities from surveying and adjacent fields such as geotechnics;
  • Promoting the development of concepts for automated data storage, data transfer and data pre-processing;
  • Promoting the adaptation of numerical algorithms to derive relevant deformation quantities in real-time, including concepts from time series analysis;
  • Promoting a multidisciplinary collaboration between surveying, structural and geotechnical engineers to understand the behaviour of structures and geotechnical objects;
  • Study of most modern concepts for data analysis like artificial neural networks, fuzzy logics and generic algorithms;
  • Initiate investigations to extend the range of deformation studies to higher frequencies, which are important in Structural Health Monitoring, i.e. to be able to study oscillations and vibrations and their effects on critical structures;


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Niemeier

E-mail: w.niemeier[at] 

Dr.-Ing. Björn Riedel
E-mail: b.riedel[at]

Working Group 6.2 - Engineering Surveys for Construction Works and Structural Engineering

Policy issues

  • Promoting the use of adapted survey techniques in industry & engineering;
  • Promoting a multidisciplinary collaboration between survey engineers, civil engineers, structural & mechanical engineers;
  • Promoting the use of adapted survey techniques in the rail and railway building and operating sector;
  • Promoting the understanding of fibre optic sensors, e.g. interferometric sensors, Brillouin and Raman scattering and Bragg gratings;
  • Study the use of embedded sensor arrays and the role of advanced surveying techniques for structural monitoring;
  • Creating an awareness of surveyors through a task force “Fibre optic sensors” of the rapidly emerging technology of fibre optic sensors as "non-geodetic" sensors to measure deformations (strain) and temperatures in civil engineering structures
  • Promoting the use of Terrestrial based RF positioning system in engineering surveying;
  • Creating an awareness of surveyors through a task force “Geotechnical sensors” as the trend today is going for an integration of those sensors in the geodetic deformation analysis.
  • Creating an awareness of surveyors through a task force “Railways Trolley monitoring system.


Mr. Joël van Cranenbroeck
Leica Geosystems AG
E-mail: joel.vancranenbroeck[at]

Vice Chair
Prof. Esmond C.M. Mok,
Department of Land Surveying & Geo-Informatics
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
e-mail: lsemok[at]

Working Group 6.3 - Machine Control and Guidance (MCG)

Policy issues

The importance of real-time 3D-position sensors for navigation of machinery on construction sites of roads, tunnels, railways, and airports has increased over the last years and the market is still growing. Also in the field of agriculture GPS-based applications such as crop mapping and automatic steering are well introduced. The new FIG Working Group 6.5 will intensively deal with following topics:

  • Kinematic Measurement and Sensor Technology (focus on L1 RTK Cow-cost systems, adjustments of total station MCG requirements, additional Sensor like Slope Sensors, INS, Orientations Sensors, etc.)
  • 3D-Applications (Agriculture, Construction, Special Applications e.g. UAVs),
  • Multi-Sensor Systems and -platforms
  • MCG Data Processing and Data Flow
  • Control Process and Control Algorithm
  • Standardization of Major Construction Projects

The main goal of Working Group 6.3 is the interaction of research and industry activities.


Henrik Vad Jensen
E-mail: hvj[at]


Vice Chair
Karl Soar
Hexagon Machine Control Division
E-mail: karl.soar[at]

Study Groups

Study group 6.2.1 Fibre Optic Sensors

Chair: Dr. Helmut Woschitz (Austria), email: helmut.woschitz[at]

Study Group 6.2.2 Laser Scanners (Joint with Commission 5)

Chair: Dr Ivo Milev, Germany, email: ivo.milev[at]

Study Group 6.2.3 Ground Based Synthetic Aperture Radar

Chair: Prof Alessandro Capra, Italy, email: alessandro.capra[at]

Study Group 6.2.4 Geotechnical Sensors

Chair: Dr. Marco di Mauro, Switzerland, email: marco.dimauro[at]

Study group 6.2.5 Railway Surveying Techniques

Chair: Mr. Carlo Bonanno, Leica Geosystems, Italy, email: carlo.bonanno[at]