Representatives from FIG attended 11th South East Asian Survey Congress

22-24 June 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  

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Robert Šinkner, Chair FIG Commission 10 (Construction), Christiaan Lemmen, Director OICRF, CheeHai Teo, President FIG, Ahmad Fauzi Nordin, chair of the Organizing Committee. Michael Sutherland, chair of Commission 4 (Hydrography)

The eleventh South East Asian Survey Congress was held this year in the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, home town of FIG president CheeHai Teo.

Under the congress theme ‘Innovation towards Sustainability', about one thousand participants were welcomed by the President of Institution of Surveyors Malaysia Sr Elvin Fernandez; the President of the ASEAN Federation of Land Surveying and Geomatics (AFLAG), Ms. DiahKirana Kresnawati and by the President-elect of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS): Sr Ong See Lian. Proceedings were opened by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dato Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, who urged surveyors to be ‘well prepared to take on new challenges - to venture into new areas of discovery and development, through shared knowledge and creative innovations'. Under the chairmanship of Sr Ahmad Fauzi Nordin an excellent programme was prepared in co-operation with FIG President CheeHai Teo and Sr Teng Chee Hua from the Surveying and Mapping Department.

Broad Coverage

The conference offered broad coverage of the survey profession, from modern geodesy to land administration and valuation, real-estate markets to 3D and Marine Cadastres, and from sustainable construction engineering to software developments. Keith Clifford Bell from the World Bank presented a very comprehensive overview in his paper ‘Focusing on Innovation and Sustainability in Rural and Urban Land Development: Experiences from World Bank Development Support for Land Reform’.
Twenty survey experts were invited, including five presidents and president-elects of international organisations: Sr Ong See Lian, RICS, Prof. William Cartwright, International Cartographic Association, Dr Abbas Rajabifard, Global Spatial Data Infrastructure, Prof. Chris Rizos, from the International Association of Geodesy, and FIG president CheeHai Teo. While many speakers were well-known names, some of the most surprising speeches came from ‘outside', really motivating the audience to be different, change the rules of the game, think outside the box, get feedback and innovate. Heera Singh brought most interesting examples here.

Almost a thousand participants and roughly forty exhibitors took part under Platinum sponsorship of Trimble and ESRI – with keynotes from Chris Gibson (Trimble) and Brent Jones (ESRI).

FIG was well represented by several invited speakers. Prof Iain Williamson presented a keynote on ‘Lessons for Federal Countries that have State Land Registries - The Australian Experience’. Christiaan Lemmen, director OICRF, had a keynote on ‘Society Driven Innovations in Land Administration’, Robert Šinkner, Chair Commission 10 (Construction), presented a paper on Sustainable Development in using of Maps and Geospatial Data for GIS/MIS Systems in comparison with availability of Graphical Data in the last centuries in the Czech Republic and in Europe and Michael Sutherland, Chair Commission 4 (Hydrography) on Implementing Marine Cadastres

Not to be Ignored

A total of 138 papers made up the technical sessions, workshops, open forum and technology updates, seventeen presented in the plenary and the rest in other sessions. The plenary sessions covered a lot of ground: World Bank support for sustainable land reform, the Australian experience in improving land information management, and emphasis on the need to use GIS to help people understand complex problems and make better decisions.

Also discussed were issues associated with re-engineering SDI design to support the new vision of spatially enabled government and society. The characteristics of modern geodesy were presented, and how it was helpful to regard applications and technologies as belonging to the broad field of earth-observation science. The real challenge was to make GeoInformation so accessible that it cannot be ignored by policy-makers.

BIM: a Proven Trend

Building Information Modeling was described by Prof. Michael L. Riley as a spatial modeling trend which has proven its efficacy. More process-oriented than data-oriented, BIM should both excite and engage our profession, although there are obviously data and legacy issues, as well as technological, to be addressed.

The need for robust valuation runs deep and wide in the financial system, and valuations not only support banking systems but also good corporate governance, as well as providing the key to efficient functioning of property markets. Continual updating of standards and best practice guidelines were important here.
The China forum was interesting, introducing the latest developments from China in terms of survey instruments, GIS software and access to geodata.

Going Green

Many presentations encouraged green behaviour. The message from Dr. Ann Heywood: it's important for the occupier of a building to behave in a sustainable way within a sustainable building.

Christiaan Lemmen
Director OICRF
September 2011

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20 September 2011


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