News in 2023

FIG General Assembly 2023 - report

28 May and 1 June 2023 in Orlando, Florida, USA

FIG Council, from left Mikael Lilje, Daniel Steudler, Louise Friis-Hansen, Diane Dumashie, Kwame Tenadu and Winnie Shiu

The first General Assembly of the new leadership of FIG was held in Orlando, Florida, as part of the FIG Working Week 2023.

Around 300 participants attended the General Assembly on each of the two assembly days. The roll call, conducted by Vice President Kwame Tenadu showed that on the first General Assembly day on 28 May, 51 member associations were represented, and on the second day on 1 June 52 member associations were represented. Hereto there were representatives from affiliate, academic and corporate members.

In advance FIG Office had asked all member associations to register their official delegate because the voting would be held online. 56 associations registered their official delegate which represented in total 71 votes.

FIG President Diane Dumashie welcomed everyone to Orlando, Florida and thanked the local organisers from the US who had worked hard to welcome all in Florida for this Working Week. It is the first time in over 20 years that the main FIG event and General Assembly is being held in the entire Americas. The last time was in Washington in 2002.

Unfortunately, at this Working Week and General Assembly many delegates from Africa, and especially Nigeria, and Asia were missing due to major difficulties in getting visas. Despite the extensive effort of both the local organisers and FIG office, there were only very few visas granted by the US embassies. A very big pity for those who applied for visa, for FIG and for the Working Week. It was a big problem that the US embassies turned out to be very difficult to work together wtih. At the General Assembly FIG President Diane Dumashie expressed her sorry for this unfortunate development and pointed out that in the future it is important to find destinations where FIG attendees can get visa. FIG cannot guarantee that visas are being issued; there are too many factors involved and FIG does not have such power, however, FIG office with the local hosts are doing all they can to influence and help the process.

Presidents report

The last General Assembly was held only 8 months prior, but despite this, quite much has been going on since then, from several visits, a hand-over ceremony and event, Council and commission meeting in Copenhagen and preparations of work plans. The President gave a short report on these activities.


Past President Rudolf Staiger was called to stage, and on behalf of Council Diane Dumashie was honored to appoint him FIG Honorary President based on a nomination from his home association, DVW. No further introduction or explanations were needed and Rudolf received a large applause from the audience. He thanked for the appointment and Diane gave him a FIG gold pin.

Another appointment was on the programme; the appointment of Brent Jones as Honorary Member of FIG, nominated by the American association NSPS, the host of the Working Week. Tim Burch presented the nomination and outlined his outstanding work for FIG during his many years in ESRI. It is the hope that Brent will continue a close connection to FIG, also after his retirement.

Finally, Diane Dumashie infomed that the elected chair of Commission 10 for the term 2023-2026 was not able  to stay in the seat, however, FIG council has found a splendid replacement in Mercy Iyortyer who was thanked for stepping in and already having achieved much. This proves good for the future of Commission 10.

Rudolf Staiger receives the golden pin by Diane Dumashie marking the title as FIG Honorary President

Nominated by the national association, NSPS, Brent Jones is appointed Honorary Member of FIG

FIG Foundation

FIG Foundation President John Hohol delivered a short report, and informed that after more than 20 years in duty he had decided to step down. FIG Council has appointed Bryn Fosburgh as the new President of the Foundation. During this coming year there will be a transition periode with the experienced John Hohol assisting Bryn Fosburgh in this role. As a special and one-time token of appreciation John Hohol was honoured with the title of FIG Foundation Emeritus President due to the fact that his is already holding the title of Honorary Member.

In the second General Assembly John Hohol presented the four FIG Foundation grant recipients who have been selected among a large number of applicants. It is wonderful to see this interest, and the four selected grant recipients were excellent representatives.

  • Angela Omamuyovwi ANYAKORA - Nigeria (Age 24 - Female)
  • Darion David MAHADEO - Trinidad (Age 27 - Male)
  • Angel Collado MURILLO - Spain (Age 26 - Male)
  • Hilda STEEN - Sweden (Age 23 - Female)

FIG President Diane Dumashie thanks FIG Foundation Emeritus President John Hohol for his more than 20 year's of engagment in the FIG Foundation.

Bryn Fosburgh, the new President of FIG Foundation taking over after John Hohol

At the General Assebly 2022 John Hohol handed out several plaques to organisations and persons who had made special donations to the Foundation over the past few years where it has not been possible to meet in person. Kengo Okada from Ripro, Japan was not able to attend last year, so John Hohol handed over two special plaques to Kengo Okado - one to his company Ripro and one to himself for his generous donations.

The four youngs surveyors were called to stage where they presented themselves and their outcome of their attendance

Cromwell Manaloto received a special plaque for his tireless work as a Young Surveyor - also long after he stopped being a Young Surveyor...

New members

An item that is always nice to look forward to at the General Assembly is the appointment of new members, who are all being called up to the stage by the President to receive their membership certificate.

This year, one new member association was approved, Haitian Association of Geodetic Surveys (HAGS).

Since the last General Assembly, FIG Council has furthermore welcomed the following new Affiliate and Academic members to FIG:

  • National Land Commission Secretariat, Bhutan (NLCS)
  • Cadastre Committee of the Republic of Armenia
  • Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) under American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • University of Life Sciences Romania AC-40158
  • Queensland University (UQ) Haiti AC-40159
  • Cyprus University of Technology AC-40160
  • National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia NUACA, Engineering Geodesy department
  • Universitat Politècnica de València, UPV, Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry (DICGF), and School of  Engineering in Geodesy, Cartography and Surveying (ETSIGCT)
  • Central Christian University, Department of Land Surveying, Malawi

A special thanks to these two new corporate members:

and a warm welcome to all new members.

Work Plans and reports

The first General Assembly of a term is always special, because this is where the plans for the coming four years are being presented. The first to talk was FIG President Diane Dumashie who revealed the Council Work Plan

The Work Plan is composed over the 5 P's used by UN-Habitat, using the three of the P's, namely:

  • Planet
  • People
  • Partnership
    and hereto also
  • Governance and communication

FIG President Diane Dumashie and her Council proposed the General Assembly to establish four task forces and each of the Task Force chairs presented their Terms of Reference and ideas to work on their specific topics.

  • FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals (continued from last term), chaired by Paula Dijkstra, The Netherlands
  • The Role of FIG in International Trends and Future Geospatial Information Ecosystem, chaired by Abbas Rajabifard, Australia
  • Diversity and Inclusion in the Surveying Profession with a specil emphasis on getting young people into the profession, chaired by Stephen Djaba, Ghana
  • Reimagining the Climate Action Agenda for the Global Surveyor Community, looking into a Climate Compass, co-chaired by Roshni Sharma, Australia and Clarissa Augustinus, Ireland

The Council Work plan includes two Council Working Groups, too; one on FIG Knowledge Assets and Infrastructure and one that will be working on a 50-year perspective publication to be published as part of the FIG 150th anniversary celebration in 2028.

Read the full Work Plan and see the handouts of the presentation.

Diane Dumashie, FIG President, presents the Council Work Plan at the General Assembly

Proposal for a new network

FIG has four Networks - two Capacity Building Networks - Africa and Asia Pacific, the Young Surveyors Network and Standards Network that work closely together with the Commissions. During the conference days there was a special meeting fort representatives from the Americas region - from North, Central and South America as well as the Carribean and they proposed as a follow up of their meeting that FIG Council will establish a Capacity Building Network in the Americas region.

John Brock, representing the Permanent Institution on History of Surveying and Measurement, had not only prepared a report. During the three conference days in the lunch break, he presented the world premiere of his "Surveying Superstar Movie Mini-Marathon". This is a compilation of over 50 movies, TV shows and TV commercials masterly webbed together by John Brock who has assembled the single greatst collection of Hollytwood Surveyor films ever seen in history. We do hope that we can repeat this amazing Movie-Marathon at future FIG events...

The second Permanent Institution, the International Office of Cadastre and Land Records OICRF was established in 1949, and has collected documents and publications ever since related to the profession. The first many years as a physical library, and now electronic. Since 1959 the Institution and its records have been hosted by Dutch Kadaster, and throughout these many years only four Directors have been in the lead of OICRF. 1961-1995 Prof. lr Henssen, 1995-2010, Prof. lr van der Molen, 2010-2022 Prof. Dr. Lemmen and in 2022 Dr Eva-Maria Unger has taken over. Eva challenged the use of ChatGPT and other AI resources and raised the question of ethics and among other things she encoraged book recommendations within FIG in order to enable discussion and dialogue amongst professionals from all over the world. The first book recommendation was made by the just appointed FIG Honorary member Brent Jones.


FIG Director Louise Friis-Hansen presented the financial result from 2022 and the current financial situation. The General Assembly were asked to approve the association membership fee for 2025. FIG Council has suggested to keep the current fees in 2025, however there is a need to look into the financial situation. We are looking into some years with inflation and increased costs, however, are at the same time looking at a downward going trend on income. There is a tendency for members to claim less members which at the end has a big impact on the financial situation for FIG. There might be a need to look into the current and future business model of FIG which might lead to increased membership fees from 2026 and onwards. Currently, however due to a tight monitoring of costs and some good income years in the past there is still a margin, which will however decrease significantly if we continue the current trend. This issue was discussed further in the Presidents Meeting.

FIG Commissions

Instead of presenting all Commission Work Plans one by one, a one-hour slot was dedicated to a discussion/question session with all commission chairs. For the general assembly agenda each commission chair had prepared a short video presentation of their work plans. These plans were furthermore shown in the FIG Cinema during the three conference days.

FIG Vice President Mikael Lilje asked questions to the commission chairs, and the inquisitiveness from the delegates in the audience was large, too, which resulted in a different, more lively and inclusive session.


The two tellers Richard Allen, Florida Surveying and Mapping Society, NSPS, and Humphrey Amegadoe, Ghana Institution of Surveyors, Ghana were ready for the election of the host and destination of the FIG Working Week 2027, likewise the two bidders from Nepal and Norway. Each of the representatives from their destination gave a picturesque presentation of the destination and their ideas and visions for the Working Week. It turned out to be a tight vote with 32 votes for Stavanger in Norway and 29 for Kathmandu, Nepal. Read more

Presentation of Kathmandu, Nepal

Presentation of Stavanger, Norway

President Dumashie thanked the representatives from Nepal for their willingness and wish to host a FIG Working Week

FIG President with the winning representatives from Norway

Closing and follow-up from the productive week

Several presentations and reports showed the many activities that had taken place during the three conference days. One highligt was the "traditional" report from the Corporate Members meeting that includes an evaluation of the whole event, masterly conducted - and for the last time - by Brent Jones. Something the local organisers are waiting for during the whole event... This time Mickey Mouse heads were used to measure various variables.

In her closing FIG President thanked all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, helpers, officials and others for their active participation and for coming to Orlando, Florida for the Working Week. Many activities took place during the three conference days both technical sessions, FIG related sessions, meetings and many other activities that all in all secured a rewarding experience. At the end Diane thanked the hosts from NSPS, the local hosts from Flordia Surveying and Mapping Society, the University of Florida, NOAA, all sponsors and exhibitors and all others who had taken part in the preparations of the Working Week.

Finally the upcoming host from Ghana was called up so that Tim Burch from NSPS could hand over the FIG flag. The local organisers from Ghana had chosen that the flag should be handed over to the official representative of the Ghanaian organisers, Honourable Benito Owusu Bioh, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources accompanied by Honourable Manu Adabor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry together with the 68 delegates from Ghana to mark the upcoming Working Week in Accra, Ghana 19-24 May 2024.

Read on



FIG Council from left Mikael Lilje, Sweden, Kwame Tenadu, Ghana, President Diane Dumashie, UK, Winnie Shiu, United States, Daniel Steudler, Switzerland


Pictures by Karol Hernances, Daniele Brancato and Louise Friis-Hansen

Louise Friis-Hansen
July 2023