News in 2022

FIG Congress 2022 - report

11-15 September 2022, Warsaw Poland

Meeting again in person

Everyone was excitied - and some a little overwhelmed by the number of people they were exposed to after having been "grounded" and not together with so many at the same time for 2½ years. And it was overwhelming being back. But a nice overwhelming feeling...

815 attendees found their way to Warsaw, Poland. Several had to stay at home due to Covid19 restrictions , and a few defied the restrictions and came anyway. Including the online participants the total number of attendees was 1049 from 82 countries. Main focus was deliberately on the on-site event. FIG Council and the local organisers wanted to bring back attendees to all the advantages of an on-site event.

The post evaluation showed that the main reason for attending in person is to network. You cannot get and maintain connections and network in the same way online. It was also clear to see the joy of being together again in the lively discussions and talks both in the sessions and at breaks and social events.

FIG and the local organisers from Poland, SGP, had less than one year for the preparations. It was decided at the e-Working Week 2021 to move the Congress from Cape Town, South Africa, where the Congress should originally have taken place to Poland. It was a good decision because especially in Europe travels were again without restrictions and it was possible to meet onsite.

Even through main emphasis was on the onsite activities there was broadcast live from two session rooms throughout the congress, as well as from the General Assembly and all 6 Keynote sessions.

Opening Ceremony and Keynote sessions

The opening ceremony took place on Sunday 11 September right after the second General Assembly session.

At the opening there were addresses by Mr. Piotr Uściński, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology Ms. Alicja Kulka, Surveyor General, Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography, Dr. Rafał Trzaskowski, President of Warsaw Prof. Janusz Walo, President of Polish Association of Surveyors, SGP Dr. Krzysztof Bakuła, Co-Congress Director, SGP. Masters of ceremony were the two co-conference directors Krzysztof Bakuła and Louise Friis-Hansen. FIG President Rudolf Staiger gave a keynote speech on the development and undertakings of FIG during the past four years - Volunteering for the Future Geospatial Excellence for a better living.

The Song and Dance Ensemble of Warsaw University of Technology, which is one of the oldest student song and dance ensembles in Poland performed spectacular dances both at the opening ceremony and the Welcome Reception with traditional Polish dances in colourful traditional costumes.

Watch the opening ceremony:

The keynote session were structured differently from earlier (hence also the change of name from plenary to keynote sessions) and consisted of six one-hour sessions arranged in three two-hour slots. Two slots were placed in the mornings and one in the afternoon, in order to also accommodate on-line participants from various time zones. Having six different themes made it possible to highligh relevant and current topics that is on top of the agenda in FIG. 

Keynote session 1: Geospatial Excellence for a Better Living - Digitalisation and Modern Surveying and Cadastre in a Post-Covid19 Era.
The Activities of GUGIK During the Pandemic Ms. Ewa Surma, Director in Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography (GUGIK), Poland [abstract] [handouts]
Digital Transformation and the role of Land Administrations - FAO, FIG and UNECE/WPLA joint publications Ms. Rumyana Tonchovska, Senior Land Administration Officer, FAO of the UN (online) [abstract] [handouts
Better living after Covid – the surveyor point of view Prof. Paweł Hanus AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland [abstract] [handouts]
Watch the session:

Keynote session 2: Urban Rural Partnership which was afterwards followed by a special session

Urban Rural Partnership - Its a matter of territorial justice and status of mind! Prof. Holger Magel, FIG Honorary President and TUM Emeritus of Excellence [abstract] [handouts]

The GLTN Approach to Urban Rural Partnership Mr. Robert Lewis-Lettington, UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network [abstract] [handouts]

Watch the session:

Keynote session 3: Land Governance in support of the 2030 Global Agenda

Understanding the Role of Responsible Land Governance and Secure Land Rights in Support of the 2030 Global Agenda Prof. Stig Enemark, FIG Honorary President and Professor Emeritus of Land management at Aalborg University, Denmark [abstract] [handouts]

Taking action to transform our world into a more sustainable environment Ms. Paula Dijkstra, Director a.i. of Kadaster International / Chair Task Force on FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals [abstract] [handouts]

Watch the session:

Keynote session 4: How the Land profession skills may thrive in the post 2020 pandemic world - Insights from across the Generations: Geography, Governance and Volunteering

Ms. Victoria Stanley, Senior Land Administrator World Bank, USA
Ms. Shirley Tendai Chapunza, Young Surveyor, Zimbabwe
Mr. Marc Vanderschueren, President of Fédération des Géomètres Francophones (FGF), Belgium
Mr Tomasz Malinowski, Sales and Marketing Director, TPI, Poland
Mr. Israel Taiwo, Senior Lecture Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, Church lead for youth (online)

Watch the session:

Keynote session 5: Mapping the Plastic

Let’s Map Floating Plastic in Waterways ­Before it Reaches the Ocean! Mr. Simon Ironside, Chair, Working Group on Mapping the Plastic, New Zealand [abstract] [handouts]

Mapping Small Pieces of Floating Plastic in Near Real Time Dr. Gordana Jakovlević, Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy Bosnia and Herzegowina [abstract] [handouts]

Watch the session:

Keynote session 6: Technology and Visualisation for the Future

Surveyor 4.0 Dr. Prof. Rudolf Staiger, FIG President (in the absence of Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble)  [handouts]

Trends in the development of spatial data visualization methods Prof. Robert Olszewski, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland [abstract] [handouts]

Watch the session:


The exhibition was opened after the Opening Ceremony on Sunday evening - somewhat untraditional, but relevant because the following Welcome Reception took place around the exhibtion area which gave the possibility for the exhibitors to meet with the participants in a more festive setting.

The following three days the exhibition was open. Location was located on the ground floor of the conference centre next to the main halls - called "Ballroom Trimble" and "Ballroom Esri". There were lively discussions and activities around the booths and especially the robot-dog brought by Satlab had three very busy Congress days walking around the exhibition area and getting attention from many participants. Several exhibitors had brough instruments that were studied carefully by the attendees and discussed with the exhibitors.

A very big thanks to all sponsors and exhibitors.

Tecnical programme and pre-events

Six pre-events had been organised and which took place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September before the actual congress started:

  • Young Surveyors Conference
  • Mining Surveying Workshop
  • Reference Frames in Practice
  • Multi-Sensor-Systems Workshop
  • Surveying and BIM Classroom
  • Esri ArcGIS Parcel Fabric

During the busy congress days 370 abstracts were presented in 67 sessions, most of them presented in 49 technical sessions. There were sessions with partners such as FAO, UN-GGIM, UN-Habitat/GLTN, UN-ECE and EuroSDR, and FIG sessions organised by Young Surveyors, VCSP, a Director Generals Forum, Member Association Forum, a session organised by FIG Task Force on FIG and the SDGs and other special sessions.

A well visited special session was organised by "Stand for her Land" on women's land rights. It was a pleasure to welcome a special guest to the Congress from Ghana, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana, who had travelled all the way from Ghana to attend the Congress with the delegation from Ghana. A special session "Ghana in Focus - Surveyors' role in achieving the SDGs was organised to address the deveopment in Ghana.

Two prizes were presented at the Congress:

The biennial Surveyor Review Prize were presented to Adamu Bala, Nigeria, for the peer review paper, and on behalf of:

Adamu Bala (Nigeria), Saied Pirasteh (China), Yahaya Abbas Aliyu, AbdulAzeez Aliyu, Swafiyudeen Bawa and Ibrahim Abdulwahab (Nigeria): Mapping and Suitability Analysis of Existing Electoral Polling Units in Katsina Local Government Area of Katsina State, Nigeria (11312) [abstract] [paper] [handouts]

The navXperience price was presented by the CEO of navXperience Dirk Kowalewski and chair of FIG Commission 5, Dan Roman to:

Ola Øvstedal, Johan Tobias Arnell, Isak Foss Ingebrigtsen, Simen Walbækken Tangen and Bjørn-Eirik Roald (Norway): A Comparison of Survey-Grade GNSS Receivers by Means of Observation and Coordinate Domain Approaches; Traditional Vs Low-Budget (11320) [abstract] [paper] [handouts]

Young Surveyors conference

Monument of the European Geodesy

The city of Warsaw had arranged for the restauration of the survey monument of the 52°N parallel geodesic arc in the city center of Warsaw and change it into European Geodesy Monument. This restored monument was opened on Wednesday 14 September with representatives from the City of Warsaw and the national association, SGP. FIG was represented by FIG Honorary President Stig Enemark and representative from the FIG Permanent Institution of History IIHS&M John Brock.

Social events

The Welcome Reception took place right after the Opening Ceremony in the exhibition area. Before a second set of performance by the talented Song and Dance Ensemble of Warsaw University of Technology there were greetings by the local organisers and patrons of the congress as well as the specially invited Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana who gave a  speech on the development in Ghana and the special focus for the FIG Working Week 2024.

Welcome address by Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana 

After the Young Surveyors Conference a Chairty Dance was organised, sponsored by Trimble. The donations for the Charity dance will be allocated to the Young Surveyors Volunteer Community Programme VCSP.

The Congress dinner took place in the spectacular inner hall of Warsaw University of Technology. Entertainment was provided by the Engineers Band that continued throughout the night to surprise the participants. Per tradition 10 EUR per participant at the dinner is allocated to FIG Foundation and Trimble was again sponsor of the event - the sponsorship going in full to FIG Foundation.

Welcome by FIG Foundation President John Hohol and William Marbell, Director of Global Business Development & Strategy, Trimble.

The FIG Foundation grant recipients

FIG General Assembly and Closing Ceremony

The Closing marked the end of 5 vibrant days full of activities. In his closing speech FIG President Rudolf Staiger summaried some of the activities durng the busy congress pointing out the advantages of being back in person. The local organisers had done a remarkable job to organise the congress within one year.

The closing also marked the last conference of the current President Rudolf Staiger and his Council. It has been a different term for this council but it was good this event was not only taking place behind a screen.

At the end of the Closing ceremony the FIG flag was handed over from the current Local Organsers represented by Krzysztof Bakuła to John Hohol representing FIG Working Week 2023. FIG President Rudolf Staiger thanked the local organisers for this outstanding performance and to establish a full Congress in such a short time and in such a successful way.

At the end the FIG Fanfare was played to mark the closing of the Congress whereafter FIG Working Week 2023 was host of an American lunch prepared by the compentent kitchen of the Congress Centre in Warsaw.

Impressions by the Local Organisers

By Dr Krzysztof Bakuła, FIG Co-Congress Director

The Association of Polish Surveyors (SGP) was honoured to host the XXVII FIG Congress in Warsaw. This important and prestigious event for surveyors was organised for the first time in Poland, although, in 1942, the VII FIG Congress was to be held in Warsaw. Unfortunately, World War II thwarted these plans, and after exactly 80 years, we got another chance. Preparing the Congress was a huge project and a great challenge. We had to prepare it within one year, which should stop a run of bad luck of not being able to have direct meetings for two years.

We hosted about 900 participants from almost 90 countries for 6 days. They presented more than 300 papers in 70 sessions planned in 7 parallel tracks. Hours of records, hundreds of pages of proceedings, thousands of photos, and reports on social media, this is what will allow us to remember it. The Congress undoubtedly engraved in the participants’ memory because it was something that the community lost for a short time, what it had long expected.

During the Congress, we had the opportunity to meet and show the world that we are one community of surveyors volunteering for the future who can cooperate with each other. We proved once again that surveyors are part of every investment process, we are involved in sustainable development goals measurements, and geospatial data specialists are directly or indirectly involved in most of the decisions made in the world, providing us with geospatial excellence for a better living. All this makes us very visible among other engineers, and our participation in the economy is essential.

After the Congress, I was proud of many Polish submissions. Still, I was also delighted that I could show my Warsaw University of Technology co-organizing the event, not only as a leading technical academia in Central Europe located in a beautiful venue where the gala dinner was organised but also as the unit promoting Polish culture. I hope that we showed Poland from a perfect side. Every word and every smile on the face of satisfied participants was proof that there was a longing for the annual meetings of the FIG events. We are all the more pleased that it happened with the participation of our association of Polish Surveyors, SGP. I believe this Congress will strengthen our community for a long time and make us visible on the international stage.

More information

Handing over the flag from the local organisers 2022 til the organising committee 2023

Co-conference director Krzysztof Bakuła hands over the FIG Flag to John Hohol, co-conference director FIG Congress 2023

FIG 2022 local organisers - a very big thanks to the organising committee and all helpers

See you in Orlando, Florida 28 May - 1 June 2023



Louise Friis-Hansen
13 October 2022