FIG IN BRIEF

FIG is the premier international organization representing the interests of surveyors worldwide. It is a federation of the national member associations and covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards.

FIG was founded on July 18 1878 in Paris by delegates from seven national associations - Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Switzerland - and was known as the Fédération Internationale des Géomètres. This has become anglicized to the International Federation of Surveyors. It is a UN-recognized non-government organization (NGO), representing more than 120 countries throughout the world, and its aim is to ensure that the disciplines of surveying and all who practise them meet the needs of the markets and communities that they serve.

The FIG vision

A modern and sustainable surveying profession in support of society, environment and economy by providing innovative, reliable and best practice solutions to our rapidly changing and complex world, acting with integrity and confidence about the usefulness of surveying, and translating these words into action.

The role of FIG

FIG’s activities are governed by a work plan, which is approved by the General Assembly and reviewed by Council as its tenure progresses. The current work plan with the motto “Ensuring the Rapid Response to Change Ensuring the Surveyor of Tomorrow” guides Council, Commissions, Networks and Task Force in their activities.

FIG supports the role of a prosperous and sustainable profession of surveyors to provide solution functionality, reliably, affordably for a complex and rapidly changing world that cannot wait, and to translate a sustainable development agenda into action. FIG supports international collaboration among its members for the progress of surveying in all its fields and applications. FIG has a close cooperation with United Nations relevant bodies, World Bank, and its sister associations and has been globally recognized as the leading international non-governmental organization on geospatial information and the management of “land”, the “sea” and the “built” environment. It is within the surveyors’ task to determine the size and shape of the earth, to map its surface and to manage it in a sustainable way.

Who are the members of FIG?

FIG draws its membership from practitioners working in communities with both the public and private sectors, from the scientific, research and academic community, as well as from the spatial technologies and services community. FIG functions with the goodwill, resources and contribution of its memberships and their corp of volunteers from around the world.

Members of FIG consist of:

  • member associations – national associations representing one or more of the disciplines of surveying
  • affiliates – groups of surveyors or surveying organizations undertaking professional activities but not fulfilling the criteria for member associations
  • corporate members – organizations, institutions or agencies which provide commercial services related to the profession of surveyor
  • academic members – organizations, institutions or agencies, which promote education or research in one or more of the disciplines of surveying. An individual may be appointed as a correspondent in a country where no association or group of surveyors exist that is eligible to join FIG as a member.


Commission activity

Ten commissions lead FIG’s technical work. Each member association appoints a delegate to each of the commissions. Detailed information on the work of the commissions, their work plans, working groups, seminars, newsletters and publications can be found at www.fig.net/organisation/comm/. The terms of reference are as follows:


The terms of reference are as follows:

Commission 1 - Professional Practice

Chair: Mr. Brian J. Coutts (NZIS, New Zealand)

Perception of surveying profession; professional practice, legal aspects and organizational structures; standards and certification; code of ethics and applications; under-represented groups in surveying; students and young surveyors; information technology management and professional practice; project management, quality and best practice

Commission 2 - Professional Education

Chair: Ms. E.M.C (Liza) Groenendijk (GIN, Netherlands)

Curriculum development; learning and teaching methods and technologies; educational management and marketing; continuing professional development; networking in education and training.

Commission 3 - Spatial Information Management

Chair: Mr. Enrico Rispoli (CNGeGL, Italy)

Management of spatial information about land, property and marine data; spatial data infrastructure – data collection, analysis, visualisation, standardisation, dissemination, and support of good governance; knowledge management for SIM; business models, public-private-partnerships, professional practice and administration.

Commission 4 - Hydrography

Chair: Ms. Angela Etuonovbe (NIS, Nigeria)

Hydrographic surveying; hydrographic education, training and CPD; marine environment and coastal zone management; data processing and management; nautical charting and bathymetric maps – analogue and digital, including electronic navigational charts.

Commission 5 - Positioning and Measurement

Chair: Ing. Volker Schwieger (DVW, Germany)

The science of measurement including instrumentation, methodology and guidelines; the acquisition of accurate and reliable survey data related to the position, size and shape of natural and artificial features of the earth and its environment and including variation with time.

Commission 6 - Engineering Surveys

Chair: Mr. Ivo Milev (USLMB, Bulgaria)

Acquisition, processing and management of topometric data; quality control and validation for civil engineering constructions and manufacturing of large objects; modern concepts for setting-out and machine guidance; deformation monitoring systems; automatic measuring systems, multi-sensor measuring systems; terrestrial laser systems.

Commission 7 - Cadastre and Land Management

Chair: Ms. Gerda Schennach (OVG, Austria)

Cadastre, land administration and land management; development of pro poor land management and land administration; development of sustainable land administration as an infrastructure for sustainable development to underpin economic growth; applications of innovative and advanced technology in cadastre and land administration; promoting the role of surveyors in land administration matters to the public and stakeholders.

Commission 8 - Spatial Planning and Development

Chair: Mr. Kwame Tenadu (GhIS, Ghana)

Regional and local structure planning; urban and rural land use planning and implementation; planning policies and environmental management for sustainable development; re-engineering of mega cities; public-private partnerships; informal settlement issues in spatial development, planning and governance.

Commission 9 - Valuation and the Management of Real Estate

Chair: Mr. Liao Junping (CIREA, China)

Valuation; investment in real estate and investment planning; real estate investment vehicles; real estate, development finance and land use feasibility planning; real estate economics and markets and market analyses; management of property and property systems; management of public sector property.

Commission 10 - Construction Economics and Management

Chair: Mr. See Lian Ong (RICS, Malaysia)

Construction economics, including quantity surveying, building surveying, cost engineering and management; estimating and tendering; commercial management including procurement, risk management and contracts; project and programme management including planning and scheduling.



Networks

Young Surveyors Network

Chair: Ms. Eva Maria Unger (OVG, Austria)

FIG Young Surveyors Network addresses the need for young surveyor representation within FIG, and the need to ensure FIG activities are meeting the needs of students and young professionals.

Regional Capacity Development Network

Chair: Dr. Diane Dumashie (RICS, United Kingdom)

This network originates from the Africa Task Force 2009–2014 and transformed into a Network it will include other regions as well. In the term 2015–18 it will concentrate on Africa.

Standards Network

Chair: Mr. David Martin (ESRF, France)

Standards are continuously important in the work of surveyors. In 2012 the Standards Network succeeded in publishing the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) as ISO Standard19152.

Permanent Institutions

International Institution for the History of Surveying & Measurement (IIHSM)

Director: Mr. Jan de Graeve (UBGE, Belgium)

The International Office for Cadastre and Land Records (OICRF)

Director: Dr. Christiaan Lemmen (GIN, Netherlands)

Task Forces 2015–2016

FIG Task Force on Real Property Markets

Chair: Mr. Pekka Halme (MIL, Finland)

Assesses the progress of establishing the real property markets in the countries with economies in transition primarily within the greater European continent.

FIG Task Force on Corporate Members

Chairs: Mr. John Hohol (NSPS, USA) in cooperation with Bryn Fosburgh, Vice President of Trimble

 Identifies how to strengthen the FIG relationship with corporate members.

FIG Task Force on Scientific Journal

Chair: Prof. Yerach Doytsher (ALSI, Israel)

 Investigates the usefulness and need and if justified, the steps forward in order to introduce an FIG peer review Journal (electronic or printed).

FIG Task Force on Commission Structure

 Chair: Mr. Mikael Lilje (Samhällsbyggarna, Sweden)

Assesses the Commissions and investigates if there is a need to revise their structure and provide a proposal on possible improvements.

The FIG Foundation

President: Mr. John Hohol (NSPS, USA)

The FIG Foundation is an independent body under the Federation giving grants and scholarships to support education and capacity building especially in developing countries. Contributions are received
through conferences, corporations, and private donators.


How does FIG operate?

The commissions prepare and conduct the programme for FIG’s international congresses, held every four years, and annual working weeks, held in the intervening years. The two previous congresses were held in Sydney (Australia) in 2010 and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2014. The next congress will be held in 2018 in Istanbul (Turkey). Congresses attract several thousand participants from all over the world and are the most important events in the FIG calendar. The technical programme, which marks the culmination of each commission’s four-year programme of work, is complemented by a major international exhibition.

Working Weeks combine meetings of FIG’s administrative bodies with technical conferences organized by the commissions and the host member association and as such provide the opportunity for commissions to implement and develop their work programmes and for FIG to network at a more regional level. The 2015 Working Week takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the next two will be arranged in Christ church, New Zealand (2016) and Helsinki, Finland (2017). To increase regional activities FIG also organizes regional conferences, the most recent of which was held in Uruguay in November 2012.

In addition to their involvement with FIG congresses and working weeks, commissions and their working groups organize or co-sponsor a wide range of seminars and workshops, usually in collaboration with member associations or other international professional bodies.

A key element to the success of a commissions work is the appointment of national delegates, providing a unique opportunity for professional development. Member associations, affiliates, corporate members and academic members are all entitled to appoint delegates to the commissions; and commission chairs often co-opt additional experts to assist with particular aspects of their work programmes.

How is FIG administered?

By its General Assembly which meets annually during the FIG Working Week or the FIG Congress. The General Assembly comprises of delegates of the member associations and, as non-voting members, the Council, commission chairs and representatives of affiliates, and corporate and academic members. The General Assembly debates and approves policies and implemented by the Council.

The Council is elected by the General Assembly. The Council consists of the President (elected for four year term of office) and four Vice Presidents (term of office is four years) with two of the Vice Presidents being elected every second year, and coming from different countries throughout the world. In addition commission chairs appoint their representative to the Council.

The work of the General Assembly and the Council is assisted by an Advisory Committee of Commission Officers (ACCO); ad hoc task forces appointed from time to time to review existing work plans; three networks; and two permanent institutions.

FIG Council members 2015–2018

President:

  • Prof. Chryssy A. Potsiou (TCG, Greece) (2015–2018)

Vice-Presidents:

  • Dr. Pengfei Cheng (CSGPC, China) (2013–2016)
  • Dr. Diane Dumashie (RICS, United Kingdom) (2015–2018)
  • Mr. Bruno Razza (CNGeGL, Italy) (2013–2016)
  • Prof. Rudolf Staiger (DVW, Germany) (2015–2018)
  • ACCO Representative: Mr. Brian J. Coutts (NZIS, New Zealand) (2015–2016)

For details on the current council see: www.fig.net/organisation/council/

FIG Office

The FIG Office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Address:
FIG Office
Kalvebod Brygge 31-33,
DK-1780 Copenhagen V, Denmark.
Tel: +45 3886 1081
E-mail: fig@fig.net
Further information about the FIG office at: www.fig.net/about/office/index.asp



How Does FIG Communicate?

  • Through the FIG home page www.fig.net, which is the main medium of external communication.
  • The FIG annual review – an overview of major activities and achievements (available on www.fig.net/about/annual_review/).
  • The FIG e-Newsletter – a monthly newsletter and the main medium of internal communication (available through subscription on www.fig.net/resources/subscriptions/getnewsletter.asp).
  • The FIG publications series – formal policy statements, guidelines, and reports (available on www.fig.net/resources/publications/figpub/).
  • Proceedings of FIG congresses and of selected technical seminars sponsored or co-sponsored by FIG’s commissions and member associations (available on www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/).
  • Commission news – for the dissemination of information specifically concerned with the work of individual commissions (available on www.fig.net/organisation/comm/ ).
  • Social media.

How Is FIG Financed?

Members’ annual membership fees largely finance operating costs. Rates of membership fees payable by member associations are approved annually by the General Assembly. The Council sets rates of membership fees payable by affiliates, corporate and academic members.

Other activities, including congresses, technical seminars and administrative meetings, are mostly self-financing. In the case of meetings, income is raised from registration fees, which may be supplemented by income from an accompanying technical exhibition, by subventions from the host government or association, or by grants from aid agencies.

FIG International Co-Operations

FIG international co-operations include:

  • UN agencies, notably the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA) and the World Bank, as well as United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UN sponsored United Nations Regional Committee for Global Geospatial Information Management for Asia and the Pacific (UN-GGIM-AP) and Permanent Committee on SDI for the Americas (PC IDEA), and United Nations Regional Cartographic Conferences (UNRCC). Joint workshops and other collaborative projects help to identify and develop practical solutions to problems associated with the ownership and management of land. FIG is officially recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • International professional organizations in surveying disciplines through the Joint Board of Spatial Information Societies that includes organizations such as the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), the International Cartographic Association (ICA), the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), and the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). Furthermore, FIG has formal co-operation with the International Society for Mine Surveying (ISM), Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS). FIG is also an international scientific associate of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

The Benefit of Being a Member

The benefits for all classes of membership of FIG include:

  • being part of the global community of surveyors seeking to extend the usefulness of surveying for the betterment of society, environment and economy
  • international recognition of the national profession and enhancement of the profile of the international surveying profession
  • access to the international surveying community for exchange of experiences and new developments
  • access to surveyors and surveying companies throughout the world who already have established connections with influential international bodies
  • opportunities through the commission working groups and FIG Task Forces to take part in the development of many aspects of surveying practice and the various disciplines, including ethics, standards, education and a whole range of professional issues
  • access to continuing professional development and critical self evaluation of individual standards and professionalism 
  • access to institutional FIG support – the global surveying community – when aiming to improve the educational or professional standing in society; or improving the national systems for land registration and land management.

For further information about FIG and its activities consult the homepage at: www.fig.net