News in 2021

FIG Foundation - 20th anniversary  2001-2021

11 May 2021

Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the FIG Foundation

The current FIG Foundation President, John Hohol, USA, started as Director 2001-2002 when FIG Foundation was established, and was in 2003 appointed President of FIG Foundation. Since then he has, together with his directors, built up the FIG Foundation to what the Foundation stands for today. Another long term director is Michael Barry, Canada, who was appointed Director in 2006 and has until today set the standards for the academic requirements of the Foundation. John Hohol was several years ago appointed FIG Honorary Member due to his long-term engagement in FIG and especially with the development of FIG Foundation. In 2020, FIG Council together with FIG Foundation President John Hohol, proposed to the General Assembly to appoint Michael Barry Honorary Member of FIG. Due to the fact that the General Assembly was postponed until 2021, this will be on the agenda for the General Assembly in June 2021.


FIG would like to thank all Directors who have helped built up FIG Foundation to what it represents today, and a special thanks to John Hohol for leading the way during all these 20 years.

Celebration greetings from FIG Foundation President John Hohol

We have received this below letter from John Hohol - and we hope that you will celebarate this special day and occasion with us.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please join me in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the FIG Foundation.

On 11 May 2001, at its last session of the FIG Working Week in Seoul Korea, the FIG General Assembly endorsed the statutes of the FIG Foundation that was established by transferring the former Education Foundation from Australia to the FIG office in Denmark. The FIG Foundation is administered by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) office in Copenhagen, Denmark with the FIG Foundation Board of Directors appointed by the FIG Council.

The first FIG Foundation Board of Directors consisted of Holger Magel (Germany) as President with Directors Stig Enemark (Denmark), Iain Greenway (Ireland), John Hohol (USA), Ian Williamson (Australia). The current Board consists of John Hohol (USA) as President with Directors Winston Ayeni (Nigeria), Michael Barry (Canada), Enrico Rispoli (Italy), Jixian Zhang (China). Over the years 23 people from 14 countries have served on the Foundation Board. All have generously served as volunteers receiving no compensation for their time and activities on the Board.

Trimble has been a Charter Partner of the FIG Foundation since 2010, donating over 160,000 EUR since the establishment of FIG Foundation in 2001. Thank you so much for your continued generous support!

The purpose of the FIG Foundation is the funding of educational and capacity building projects and scholarships. For the over 100 years of its existence FIG has experienced a shortage of funds to finance education projects, even though education is vital to the surveying profession and is relevant to all the organizational members of FIG. The FIG Foundation raises funds to secure a sustainable future for surveyors. Donations finance educational and capacity building projects and scholarships, especially in developing countries and countries in transition, and encourage research into all disciplines of surveying and help disseminate the results of that research.

The FIG Foundation proudly supports:

  • Participation of several Young Surveyors at the FIG Working Weeks/FIG Congresses
  • Participation of Young Surveyors at FIG Young Surveyors Regional Meetings
  • FIG Foundation PhD Scholarships
  • FIG Foundation Academic Research Grants
  • FIG Commission Publication Author Support Grants
  • Other worthy activities such as Volunteer Community Surveyor Program (VCSP)
  • Aubrey Barker/FIG Foundation Course Development Grant

To date the FIG Foundation has awarded 242 grants to surveyors in 75 countries, totaling over 352,000 EUR. Congratulations to all recipients of an FIG Foundation grant and the best to you in your career in surveying.

Many thousands of people have supported the Foundation through their FIG conference registration fees and attendance at FIG Foundation dinners. Some supporters have also generously donated hundreds and even thousands of euros in additional donations over the years in support of the Foundation and its activities. Thank you to all!

A special thank you to all the board members of the FIG Foundation who have and donated their time, expertise, and knowledge to help the Foundation help others. Thank you to members of the FIG Council and the FIG General Assembly over these past 20 years who have supported the activities of the Foundation. And, finally, a big thank you and recognition to all the work and support by the FIG Office who have administered the FIG Foundation activities over the years, especially FIG Directors Markku Villikka and Louis Friis-Hansen, FIG Event and Support Manager Claudia Stormoen Pedersen, and Finance and Administration Maria Bargholz. Thanks to Claudia for renewing and updating the Foundation website last year. Take a look and learn the complete story about the Foundation and its work, complete with stories about grant recipients.

A perfect opportunity to celebrate its 20th anniversary: The FIG Foundation is proud to facilitate the publication of an important collection of books on the history of surveying, with the generous financial support of FIG Foundation Charter Partner Trimble. Thirty-five years of extensive research by Jan De Graeve and Jim Smith, FIG Honorary Members and respectively Director and Honorary Secretary of The International Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement- a Permanent Institution (IIHS&M) within the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), has resulted in two sets of important publications on the history of surveying and measurement, covering 2760 years, in seven volumes totaling 3000 pages with over 350 historical pictures: a five-volume set titled Notes on the History of Determining the Shape and Size of the Earth Using Meridian Arc and a second set of two books titled respectively Meridian Arcs in East & Southern Africa with emphasis on the Arc of the 30th Meridian and Connection Between the Struve Geodetic Arc and the Arc of the 30th Meridian. A special edition of 100 sets of these seven books will be published this summer. More information will be available soon.

Unfortunately, with the cancelation of the 2020 FIG Working Week and the 2021 FIG Working Week being held virtually, the FIG Foundation has lost its primary source of income during these two years (income composed of a portion of each registration fee received, the FIG Foundation dinner, and additional donations made during the working week). Please consider donating on the FIG Foundation webpage to help ensure the Foundation continues to Build a Sustainable Future. Please visit the FIG Foundation website for more information or to donate:  

Thank you.

Best regards,

John D Hohol
FIG Foundation

The letter from FIG Foundation President John Hohol in .pdf


FIG Foundation President John Hohol pesents the certificate to one of the FIG Foundation Young Surveyors Grant Award winners at the FIG Working Week 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The four Young Surveyors Grant Award winners together with John Hohol. Each year FIG Foundation has supported Young Surveyors to attend the FIG Working Weeks and Congresses.

FIG Foundation President represented at the FIG General Assembly - here in 2012 in Rome, Italy.

The board of Directors meet each year at the FIG Working Weeks/Congresses. From left John Hohol, Trimble representative William Marbell, Mike Barry, Liza Groenendijk and Paul van der Molen in 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand

Each year at the Working Week/Congress a Cultural Evening is offered, also called the FIG Foundation Dinner, as part of the dinner ticket fee is dedicated to he Foundation. Here in 2015 in Bulgaria

Trimble has for over a decade supported FIG Foundation and the Cultural Evening/Foundation dinner/Trimble dinner substantially. In 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria, Trimble was represented by Keith Hofgartner.

In 2019 in Vietnam the Cultural Evening/FIG Foundation/Trimble Dinner was converted into to a spectacular theatre performance. John Hohol welcomes all participants in the theatre.

John Hohol presents news from the Foundation each year at the FIG General Assembly. Here in 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

FIG General Assembly 2001 adopted unanimously the new statutes and internal rules for the Federation including the Foundation.

Presentation of  FIG Foundation Plaques at the FIG Congress 2002 in Washington DC, US, from left: Jack Dangermond (ESRI Donation $25,000),  Mary Clawson (2002 FIG Congress Director, Congress donation: $5,000), Holger Magel, FIG Foundation President, and John Hohol (donation: $1,000). Further donation came from Trimble: $2,000.




Louise Friis-Hansen
11 May 2021