FIG Standards Network

The Role and Work of the FIG Standards Task Force

1. Background

1.1 The development of standards is a long process and currently involves few surveyors. This often results in impractical or outdated standards. FIG believes that it can assist in the creation of workable standards covering survey activities by being involved in the work of standardisation bodies (including but not limited to ISO); as an international NGO, FIG is one of the few bodies through which surveyors can formally be represented in international standardisation activity. FIG can also assist in publicising and explaining the implications of standards for surveyors. Until more permanent arrangements are put in place, the Standards Task Force will co-ordinate this activity on behalf of FIG.

2. External Relationships

2.1 The Task Force will need to create working relationships with standardisation bodies, starting with ISO. In this regard, the Task Force can play an important part in the promotion and marketing of FIG to a wider community. There are two primary roles:

  1. Assisting in the production of workable and timely standards by proposing material which can be transformed into international standards (rather than relying on work developed by others) and by participating in the process of developing standards; and
  2. Disseminating information and creating explanatory material ands guidance notes to ensure that all members of FIG are aware of the most recent standardisation activities, standards and regulations, and their implications for surveyors.

2.2 A questionnaire distributed in early 1999 indicated that the appropriate relationships with standards bodies are at the global level for FIG, and at the national level for Member Associations.

2.3 Another key group of relationships is with other NGOs representing surveyors (for instance, IAG, CLGE, ICEC and ISPRS); the particular relationship on standards will need to be built.

3. Internal Relationships

3.1 The Task Force will be directed by the Council and the General Assembly.

3.2 The key relationships for the Task Force during its work will be with the Commissions, Permanent Institutions and Member Associations. In essence, the Task Force will provide the external face of FIG to the standardisation bodies, translating the requirements of each to the other and providing appropriate contacts as necessary. The Task Force will also be responsible for prioritising the proposed standards work of FIG and ensuring that the appropriate commissions take these priorities and turn them into action. The Commissions will work within their fields of specialisation, always conscious of the possible use and implications of standards in that work, and consulting with the Task Force as to how best this can be accomplished.

4. Work

4.1 The work plan for the Task Force has been shaped by the responses to the 1999 questionnaire to Member Associations. This showed a particular requirement to collect and disseminate information about the activity of ISO, and a need for FIG to take part as an active member of standardisation bodies to gain more influence in decision making.

4.2 The work of the Task Force will include:

  1. The creation of a working relationship with the ISO Central Secretariat to acquaint them with the benefits that a relationship with FIG can bring them, and agree the most appropriate ways in which to realise the benefits;
  2. Reviewing the current standardisation activity which impact on surveyors and determining (with the Commissions) how these can best be interpreted for surveyors - the ISO work highlighted in the questionnaire results is that of TC59, TC172, TC204 and TC211;
  3. A review, with the Commissions, Permanent Institutions and Member Associations, of items of their work (past, present and future) which relate to or impact on standards;
  4. Discussing and agreeing with other international organisations representing surveyors how we can work most effectively together in the field of standards;
  5. Discussing with instrument manufacturers and others how they have become involved in standardisation activities, to see what lessons we can learn from their experiences;
  6. Creating a guide for the Council and Commissions as to how they can best integrate FIG material with standards, and for member associations as to how they can best influence national and international standardisation activity;
  7. Creating and maintaining, with the Commissions, an appropriate list of FIG experts to relevant standardisation activities;
  8. In light of progress with ISO, determining the most appropriate standardisation bodies to build further relationships (for instance, the International Valuation Standards Committee - IVSC) and how this may be best accomplished; and
  9. Maintaining a flow of information on the activity of the Task Force to members of FIG, for instance through articles in the FIG Bulletin and on the FIGTree.

4.3 During 2000, the Task Force has worked in a number of areas, including:

  • Maintaining an area of the FIG web site;
  • Playing an active part in the work of ISO TC211 (Geographic Information/ Geomatics), not least in the proposed work item on the qualification and certification of personnel;
  • Making the necessary formal links with other ISO technical committees;
  • Continuing to build a relationship with the ISO Central Secretariat;
  • Building a relationship with IVSC; and
  • Drafting the FIG Guide on Standardisation.

4.4 A future work plan is attached at Annex A.

5. Membership of the Task Force

5.1 The core membership of the Task Force is:

  • Iain Greenway (Chair) (IG) - will also maintain contact with MLD
  • Jean-Marie Becker (Commission 5) (JMB)
  • Yola Georgiadou (YG)
  • Winfried Hawerk (Commission 7) (WH) - will also maintain contact with OICRF
  • Larry Hothem (LH)
  • Martin Scheu (Commission 3) (MS)
  • Vaclav Slaboch (Commission 5) (VS)
  • Brian Waldy (Commission 9) (BW)

5.2 Those who will be kept fully informed of activity are:

  • John Collinge (Ad hoc Commission on Construction Economics)
  • Stig Enemark (Commission 2, and Chair of the FIG Task Force on Mutual Recognition)
  • Mary Feindt (Commission 8)
  • Rob Hare (Commission 4) (RH)
  • Matt Higgins
  • Tom Kennie (Bureau) (TK)
  • Hans Knoop
  • Mikael Lilje
  • Craig Macauley
  • Otto Heunecke (Commission 6)
  • John Parker (Commission 1)
  • Jes Ryttersgaard (Commission 3)
  • Sverre Steen
  • Emmanuel Tembo

6. Time Scale

The Task Force will continue to work until the 2002 General Assembly, with reports to the intermediate General Assemblies. Future arrangements for standards issues in FIG will be proposed by the Task Force on Commission Structure.

Iain Greenway

27 December 2000









Create guide on standardisation activity for Bureau, Commissions and Member Associations (to include a policy statement)

For review at the 2001 General Assembly, May 2001 and ratification at the 2002 GA



Determine how the FIG documents can be integrated with standards

ISO decided not to take forward the Statement on the Cadastre; in Seoul, the Task Force will have to decide if there is another FIG document which can be taken forward with ISO



Continue to build relations with IVSC

Framework for co-operation formalised by 30 April 2001



Maintain two-way links with Commissions on current work


Commission reps (Terms of Reference to be included in Guide)


Review previous Commission/ PI work which could possibly be integrated with standards

April 2001

Task Force, esp. Commission reps


Ensure that standards issues and priorities are addressed in the 2002-06 Commission work plans

Ongoing, working through ACCO

IG/ TK/ Commission reps


Build relations on standards with other organisations representing surveyors

Ongoing; to be progressed formally via Memoranda of Understanding



Maintain Task Force section on FIG Web site


IG/ FIG Office


Manage experts to and information flow from ISO TC211 (c)




Manage experts to and information flow from ISO TC172 [and TC59] (c)




Monitor developments with ISO TC204


IG via ISO Secretariat


Consider paper(s) for Washington

31 March 01



Present paper on TF progress in Seoul

May 01



Manage Task Force activity

Ongoing; 6 monthly progress reviews (d)

IG and Task Force

Notes on Work Plan:

(a) It was agreed in Prague that the Guide would include a policy statement (what is FIG trying to achieve in the standards area, and what are its priorities?). An outline timetable is as follows:




(i) Draft policy statement



(ii) Task Force review of Guide, including policy statement

TF members


(iii) Revise



(iv) ACCO and Bureau review

IG to despatch


(v) Revise



(vi) Submit for formal Bureau consideration



(vii) GA review of policy and document

FIG Office

May 01

(viii) Final revisions, in particular the responsibilities after the Task Force is wound up IG/ TF member/ TK/ Council Oct 01
(ix) Ratification by GA FIG Office Apr 02

(x) Publish

FIG Office

30 June 02

(b) Leads by organisation are as follows:

  • ICA - IG 
  • ISPRS - YG
  • IAG - LH 
  • IHO - RH
  • OGC - WH 
  • UN/ECE WPLA (MOLA) - Paul van der Molen via WH
  • EuroGeographics (and CEN TC287) - VS
  • Instrument Manufacturers - JMB and VS
  • IVSC - BW

(c) The role and responsibilities of experts will be defined in the Guide, but will include regular reporting back to FIG Member Associations in an appropriate format (for instance, the FIG Bulletin).

(d) The progress reviews will be provided to the Director of the FIG Office, all Task Force members and all Commission chairs. Appropriate summaries will be provided on the FIG Web site and through the FIG Bulletin. Appropriate information will also be provided to the ISO Central Secretariat, appropriate ISO TC chairs, and those who completed the questionnaire and indicated that they wish to be informed of progress. The next review will be in May 01.


Mr Iain Greenway
13 Hazelbury Park
Dublin 15
Phone + 353 1 802 5316
Fax + 353 1 820 4156

Dr. Vaclav Slaboch
Research Institute of Geodesy VUGTK
CZ-250 66 Zdiby 98
Czech Republic
Phone + 420 2 685 7907
Fax + 420 2 685 7056

Dr.-Ing. Martin Scheu
Head of the Grit Branch Office
Maxstr. 3a
D-13347 Berlin
Phone + 49 30 4660 6280
Fax + 49 30 4660 6282

Prof. Jean-Marie Becker
National Land Survey of Sweden
S-80182 Gävle
Phone + 46 26 153 728
Fax + 46 26 610 676

Larry Hothem
USGS National Mapping Division
521 National Center
Room 2D-312
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
VA 20192
Phone + 1 703 648 4663
Fax + 1 703 648 4165

Brian Waldy
8 Queen’s Court
Earls Court Square
Phone + 44 20 7373 3543
Fax + 44 20 7477 8573

Dr-Ing Winfried Hawerk
Amt fur Geoinformation und Vermessung
Sachsenkamp 4
Postfach 10 05 04
Phone + 49 40 428 26 54 40
Fax + 49 40 428 26 59 63

Dr-Ing Yola Georgiadou
Division Geoinformatics & Spatial Data Acquisition
Hengelosestraat 99
PO Box 6
Phone + 31 53 487 43 92
Fax + 31 53 487 43 35