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Terms of Reference

Mission Statement

The purpose of UN-GGIM-Geospatial Societies (previously Joint Board of GIS - JB-GIS) is to provide, where possible, a collective and unified voice at the international level regarding geospatial affairs, especially to the United Nations and other global geospatial information stakeholders and to assist in the coordination of relevant activities between the organisations in which they hold office.


The UN-GGIM-GS is a coalition of the Presidents, Secretaries-General or equivalent office bearers or their nominees, that lead recognised international organisations involved in the coordination, development, management, standardisation or regulation of geospatial information and related matters.

The UN-GGIM-GS may either invite new member organisations to join the society or new member organisations can be accepted based on application. Any new member organisation must be a recognised international organisation. Membership of UN-GGIM-GS places no obligations on the organisations that members represent. There are no membership fees, and members are expected to bear their own costs.

The members of the UN-GGIM-GS currently are: GSDI, IEEE-GRSS, IAG, ICA, FIG, IGU, IMIA, ISPRS, and ISCGM.


The UN-GGIM-GS shall have a Chair who will be elected annually by the representatives present at the meeting. When there is more than one candidate for the position of chair a secret vote will be held. The position of chair may be held for a maximum of 3 years.

The Chair may speak on behalf of the UN-GGIM-GS on those matters on which they have consulted with the members and particularly those members whose organisation may be affected.

It is the responsibility of each member to highlight their need to gain approval or endorsement of their parent organisations on decisions or actions of the UN-GGIM-GS. It is their sole responsibility to gain it.

Each member of the UN-GGIM-GS may choose to be accompanied at meetings by a maximum of one appropriate colleague. The member will inform the chair in advance of the meetings of the name and position of anyone accompanying them.

Decisions will normally be achieved by consensus. When a vote is necessary decisions require a majority of the votes by members present. People accompanying members have no vote.

The names of members, and the organisations in which they hold the position which entitles them to membership, together with that title, shall be published on the UN-GGIM-GS web pages.

The UN-GGIM-GS will have a permanent address which is the office of FIG. FIG will also be responsible for the publication of minutes of the meetings, administration and a web presence.


TheUN-GGIM-GS will meet normally once a year. Wherever possible the meeting will be linked to a conference or other meeting of one or more of the organisations represented by the members. The host of the meeting shall decide whether participants may be allowed free registration to any associated event. Wherever possible, free registration should be offered to at least each member of the UN-GGIM-GS. The working language of meetings shall be English. Meetings may also be convened when sufficient members of the UN-GGIM-GS are able to attend forums or meetings organised by the secretariat of the United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).

Ad hoc Committees

The UN-GGIM-GS may establish ad hoc committees for certain projects and important topics of common interest. These committees shall have clear goals and be established for a limited time period. Each member of the UN-GGIM-GS may designate an appropriately qualified or experienced person as a member of an ad hoc committee


The UN-GGIM-GS has approved a new logo in 2017. Permission for the use should be applied from the UN-GGIM-GS. Unauthorised use of the logo is strictly forbidden.


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This page is maintained by the FIG Office. Last revised on 17-09-05.