New Technology for a New Century
International Conference 
FIG Working Week 2001, Seoul, Korea 6–11 May 2001



Prof. Holger MAGEL, Vice President of FIG, Germany

Key words


In the course of political changes (e.g. in countries in transition), global UN-campaigns (e.g. UNCHS (Habitat) campaigns on security of tenure and urban governance) and international declarations (such as Agenda 21 from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on sustainable development) or disasters (e.g. wars, earthquakes, floods), services of surveyors have received a growing economic and societal importance. In many places, there is, however, still a 'silence' between surveyors and politicians. Often, surveyors are not at all interested in political issues connected to their work. Politicians, politics, polities and policies are considered to be from another discipline or even 'from out of space' - especially from the perspective of universities. It is very significant that there are almost no surveyors in German or other parliaments.

From the perspective of the author, this reluctance is wrong. Examples from land registration, cadastre, geo-information, geo-data-systems and land readjustment show that - in times of global challenges, changing professions, and the increasing overlapping with neighbouring disciplines - surveyors need politicians and their support and decisions more than ever. This is true for universities, administration, economy and liberal profession.

At the same time, politics and society also need the surveyor's services and their advice with regard to reconstruction, transformation and development.

FIG can play an important role to support and enable this essential dialogue between politicians (policy) and surveyors (surveying). The results achieved so far by the present and previous Bureaux and Commissions as well as by UN-FIG-Liaison-Director Ian Williamson tell their own story. The paper shows how this strategy will be continued and extended in the future - for the mutual benefit of surveying and policy.


Univ. Prof. Dr-Ing. Holger Magel
Vice President of FIG
Chair of Land Readjustment and Land Development
Technische Universität München
Institute of Geodesy, GIS and Land Management
Arcisstrasse 21
D-80290 München
Tel. + 49 89 289 22535
Fax + 49 89 289 23933

22 March 2001

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