News in 2002

  • The German Council took over the administration of FIG January 1, 2003
    - The Handover took place during the Intergeo 2002 in Frankfurt, 16 October, 2002

Gerhard Muggenhuber (on the left), Thomas Gollwitzer, Ralf Schroth, Holger Magel, T.N. Wong and Andreas Drees.

The FIG Council 2003-2006 started its work 1 January 2003. The new Council is chaired by Prof. Holger Magel, President of FIG (Germany). The members of the Council are Vice President, Dr.-Ing. Andreas Drees (Germany), Vice President Dr.-Ing. Ralf Schroth, Vice President Bettina Petzold (Germany) and Vice President T.N. Wong (Hong Kong SAR, China). The remaining members of the new Council are Congress Director Thomas Gollwitzer (Germany) and Gerhard Muggenhuber (Austria) as the representative of the Commission chairs.

President Robert W. Foster gives the FIG chain to the new President Prof. Holger Magel from Germany. Mr Foster is assisted by Mr. Hagen Graeff, President of DVW.

The handover ceremony between the US and German Councils took place at opening of the Intergeo 2002 in Frankfurt, Germany 16 October 2002. The biggest tradeshow on surveying business attracted more than 15,000 visitors and the exhibition space was bigger than ever exceeding 10,000 square metres (net). The conference and opening ceremony attracted abut 700 delegates and invited guests.
The handover ceremony included performances of the Band of US Army and cheerleaders from the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Read more about the handover with picture gallery on the FIG web site.

FIG General Assembly in Washington endorsed FIG Publication no 29 - Business Matters for Professionals - A Guide to support professionals in the task of business management. The report was prepared by FIG Commission 1 Working Group 2 on Business Practices. The report is available also in .pdf-format. Further a presentation in PowerPoint has been prepared.

Working Group 3 of FIG Commission 3 - Spatial Information Management - has finalised its report Land Information Management for Sustainable Development of Cities - Best Practice Guidelines in City-wide Land Information Management which is now available on the FIG web site. The report was officially launched at the FIG 2002 Congress in Washington, DC in April 2002. The report is an FIG contribution to the UN-HABITAT Best Practices Database and of its learning and technical co-operation tools with good practices, policies and enabling legislation in LIM.

FIG Commission 7 Working Group (1998-2002) Reforming the Cadastre has published its report on Benchmarking Cadastral Systems. The report compiled and edited by Daniel Steudler and Jürg Kaufmann includes contributions from 9 case studies from different countries. The report was launched at the FIG General Assembly in Washington, DC in April 2002. The report is available on the FIG web site as .pdf-file (429 KB). Hard copies can be asked from the FIG Office.
  • Cadastre 2014
Cadastre 2014 - A Vision for a Future Cadastral System was first published by FIG Commission 7 in 1998. The report written by Jürg Kaufmann and Daniel Steudler with the Working Group 1 of FIG Commission 7 has now got its second edition and is available from the FIG Office. The second edition was made possible by the support of Leica Geosystems Ltd., a corporate member of FIG. Requests for the report should be made to the FIG Office, email:

The report is also available on web: 

  • FIG Multilingual Technical Dictionary
The FIG Multilingual Dictionary can now be ordered via Internet. Already 10 revised editions have been published and 5 volumes are under preparation. The Multilingual Dictionary is a result of work carried out by the FIG Multi-Lingual Dictionary Board - a permanent institution of FIG - for many years. The responsible organisation for editing is Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie in Germany. The terms and definitions as used in surveying and mapping are published in German with equivalent technical terms in English and French.

You can obtain the volumes or to get more information from the Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie, Aussenstelle Leipzig, Karl-Rothe-Strasse 10-14 D-04105 Leipzig, Germany, Tel. + 49 341 5634 - 330, Mrs. Kollenda, fax + 49 341 56 34 - 415, email: or from the web site:  

  • The 2nd International Conference on Engineering Surveying – INGEO 2002
The 2nd International Conference of Engineering Surveying INGEO 2002 was held in November 11–13, 2002 in the Congress Centrum of Slovak Savings Bank in Bratislava. The conference was organised by the Department of Surveying (DS) of the Faculty of Civil Engineering (FCE) of the Slovak University of Technology (SUT) in Bratislava under the auspices of the Dean of the FCE SUT Bratislava, Prof. Dušan Petráš, PhD.

The co-operation bodies of the conference were: FIG Commission 6 WG 6.2 – Engineering Surveys for Industry and Research; the Chamber of Surveyors and Cartographers and the Slovak Union of Surveyors.

Specialists from the 9 various countries in the world, who work at universities, research centres, in geodetic and building organizations as well as in industry, have participated in proceedings. Total number of participants was 76, out of which 36 participants were from foreign countries and 40 participants from Slovak Republic.

Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Engineering Surveying was aimed at a discussion about actual problems of engineering surveying, about conclusion of knowledge and results, which were acquired by the using of new modern technologies.

  • The Second International Symposium in Surveying (Education and
    Professionalism) at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez, October 3-5, 2002

FIG representatives at the Symposium in Mayagüez: Prof. John Parker (left), President Robert Foster, Prof. Stig Enemark and Prof. Pedro Cavero.

The Second International Symposium in Surveying (Education and Professionalism) was organised at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez October 3-5, 2002. With the participation over 150 people from several countries including USA, Latin-America, and Europe, the conference was declared a success by Mr. Robert W. Foster, President of FIG. After an opening address by Mr. Foster, 18 technical presentations followed in the topics of education, research and professional practice.

A panel composed of officials from different participating institutions and a student debated motions and resolutions on Saturday. The Assembly of over a hundred participants approved the following motions and resolutions October 5, 2002.

More pictures from the Symposium.

  • GIS 2002 and Commission 3 Annual Meeting in Istanbul, 23-26 September 2002
Commission 3 organised its Annual Meeting 2002 in conjunction to GIS 2002 at the Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul 23-26 September 2002.
Proceedings from the Symposium are now available on the FIG webs ite as well as pictures from the Symposium and Annual Meeting.
  • Struve Arc 150

Prof. Jüri Randjärv, Jan de Graeve and Jim Smith at the Struve monument outside Tartu Observatory.

From 25 to 28 September 2002 the Association of Estonian Surveyors, Estonian Land Board, Estonian Agricultural University and Tartu University held a conference in Tallinn and Tartu on “Struve Arc 150”. 50 delegates from 10 countries attended- namely Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Belgium and UK. Essentially it was commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Struve Geodetic Arc that ran from near North Cape in Norway to the Black Sea, but was an ideal opportunity to discuss the arc in detail and to progress the efforts of the International Institution for the History of Surveying & Measurement to have selected points in each country recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Monument.

13 of the 15 technical papers were published in a special booklet. In addition to the technical presentations the group visited the remaining Struve survey stations marking the terminals of the Simuna baseline and the starting point of the whole arc in Tartu (formerly Dorpat) observatory. At the latter point the Rector of Tartu University, Professor Jaak Aaviksoo, unveiled a special plaque at the point set by Struve on the meridian through the observatory. Four resolutions were passed, see attached report.

  • Commission 7 Annual Meeting and Symposium on Land Re-distribution in
    Southern Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, November 4-9 2002
FIG Commission 7 Annual Meeting was held in Pretoria, November 2002. This two day seminar focused on land redistribution in southern Africa and was held in conjunction to the annual meeting of Commission 7. This seminar was part of Working Group 2 on ‘instruments for land distribution’, chaired by Mikko Uimonen, and is included in the Commission 7 Work Plan 2002-2006.


New chairs were elected to the ten technical Commissions at the General Assembly in Washington, DC.

At the FIG General Assembly Association four new member associations were adopted: Association des Géomètres et Topographes du Burkina (AGT-B), Asociación de Agrimensores del Uruguay (AAU), Association of Authorised Land Surveyors Malaysia and Ordré National des Géomètres du Cameroun (OGEC). In addition Nepal and Mexico joined as affiliate members. 

The FIG Working Week 2007 was admitted to Hong Kong, China and the Working Week 2003 that was planned to be held in Israel was postponed to year 2009. The venue for Working Week 2003 will be confirmed by the Council in June 2002.

Mr. T. N. Wong from Hong Kong, China was elected as a  Vice President of FIG for 2003-2006. He is the first Vice President that is directly elected by the General Assembly following the new statutes and will be a member of the German lead Council. The 10 FIG technical Commissions got new officers who started their work at the end of the Congress. The new work plans will be published on this site within short.

Memoranda of Understanding were adopted with UN-FAO, UN-HABITAT, ISPRS, ICA and IFHP.

The FIG Foundation managed to collect almost US$ 50,000 in conjunction to the Congress which allows to give the first grants before the end of this year.

The minutes with all appendices are now available on this site.

  • FIG Congress 2002 in Washington, D.C. April 19-26, 2002 attracted almost 4,000 surveyors from almost 90 countries - in the FIG programme more than 450 papers were presented in more than 110 sessions

The Opening ceremony of the FIG Congress in Washington gathered a full house.

The XXII FIG International Congress was held in Washington, D.C. USA April 19-26 2002. The Congress attracted almost 4,000 participants from almost 90 countries. The technical programme included the FIG technical programme with more than 450 presentations in more than 110 sessions. In addition in the domestic programme almost 160 papers were presented. Further there were several workshops organised by ACSM and ASPRS. 

The report from the conference with pictures.

The FIG Congress Prize 2002 was given to Mr George Oner Ogalo from Kenya for his presentation "GPS in Cadastres: A Case Study of Kenya".

The papers from the FIG Technical Programme are now available on this web site. You are also able to view the extended abstracts. Proceedings (DC-Rom and extended abstract) can be ordered from the FIG Office, price US$ 50 including postage.

  • FIG Standards Network

The FIG Standards Network (Joint Commission Working Group WG1.1 under Commission 1) is continuing the work of an FIG Task Force which was established in 1998 in response to concerns from the Commissions, the Council and the General Assembly that standards were becoming increasingly important in the work of surveyors, and that the issue was not being addressed sufficiently by FIG.

The Network's terms of reference are as follows:

  • Building and maintaining relations with the secretariats of standardisation bodies;
  • Proposing priorities on FIG's standardisation activities, including advising the Council on priorities for spending;
  • Setting up necessary Liaison relationships with standardisation bodies;
  • Ensuring that lead contacts to Technical Committees etc are in place;
  • Maintaining an information flow on standardisation to FIG members, including through the FIG website and FIG Bulletin, and more directly to relevant Commission Officers;
  • Maintaining the Guide on Standardisation, and related material on the FIG website;
  • Working with other NGOs, within the framework of the MOUs signed by the Council; and
  • Advising FIG's officers and members on standardisation activities as necessary.

The Network sees itself as at the hub of FIG standardisation activity, making the necessary linkages and providing the necessary advice to commissions and others.