FIG Commission 4 - Hydrography


"FIG Commission 4 is focusing on development and recognition of standards of competency, development of technical standards and guidelines, developing and promoting the need to manage our oceans and seas in a sustainable manner, and a comprehensive investigation of plastic pollution at source that is concerning global environmental problem (“Mapping the Plastic”). "

What we do

For the term 2023-2026 FIG Commission 4 will be working on:

PDF: Work Plan
VIDEO: Chair of the commission Eranda Gunathilaka takes you through the work plan

Chair of FIG Commission 4:
Eranda Gunathilaka, Sri Lanka

Join Commission 4 on LinkedIn


Learn more about how Commission 4 is working with the SDG's



FIG Working Week 2024

19-24 May 2024 in Accra, Ghana


Commission 4 at FIG Working Week 2023

June 2023

FIG Working Week 2023 took place 28 May - 1 june 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
Commission 4 had organised several sessions in the tehcnical programme and held its annual meeting during the conference days. At the General Assembly the Work plans of all commissions were presented

> Work plan
> Video presentation of work plan
> Proceedings/Technical programme

Commission 4 at FIG Congress 2022

October 2022

The XXVII FIG Congress took place from 11-15 September in Warsaw, Poland.

Read the Commission 4 report of the congress

There were three sessions of General Assembly held with the first one held online on 4 September 2022. Each Commission Chair presented their achievement in the last four years of holding the chair.

Read the Commission 4 report to the General Assembly 2022

Commission 4, Chair Elect

August 2021

The General Assembly elected Mr. Malavige Don Eranda Kanachana Gunathilaka from Sri Lanka, SISL, as the Chair Elect of Commission 4, the elected Chair Elect term as the Chair of the Commission will be initiated at the FIG Congress 2022 for the period 2023-2026.


More News from FIG Commission 4




Work Plans




Working Groups


Key Documents


Meet the officers

Commission Chair

Dr. Malavige Don Eranda Kanchana Gunathilaka, Sri Lanka
Contact: FIGCommission4 [at]

Working Group Chairs:

Chair of Working Group 4.1 - Hydrographic Standards and Guidelines
Mr. Geoff Lawes (Australia), geoff.lawes [at]
Co-chair: Ms. Tanja Dufek (Germany), tanja.dufek [at]
Chair of Working Group 4.2 - Sustainable Oceans and Hydrography
Mr. Gordon Johnston (UK), gordontjohnston1 [at]
Co-chair: TBC
Chair of Working Group 4.3 - Mapping the Plastic
Mr. Simon Ironside (New Zeeland), SIronside [at]
Co-chair: Dr. Gordana Jakovljevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), gordana.jakovljevic [at]
Chair of Working Group 4.4 - Hydrospatial Domain and Marine Administration
Dr. Kelvin Tang Kang Wee (Malaysia), tkwkelvin2 [at]
Co-chair: Mr. Denis Hains (Canada), dhains [at]
Chair of Working Group 4.5 – Climate Change induced Sea Level Rise and Adaptation
Dr. Mick Filmer (Australia), M.Filmer [at]  
Co-chair: Dr. Ashraf Dewan (Australia), A.Dewan [at]

Commission Chair
Dr. MDEK Gunathilaka (Sri Lanka), erandakan [at]
Vice Chair of Administration
Mr. Gordon Johnston (UK), gordontjohnston1 [at]

Delegates and Correspondents:

Each member association has the right to nominate a delegate to each of the ten technical commissions. In addition Affiliates, Academic Members and Corporate Members  are welcome to nominate a correspondent to each commission.

Interested? If you are interested to become a national delegate from your country, please contact your member association. The contact information of national delegates is updates by the FIG office. Any changes in contact information should be sent to the FIG Office.


The hydrographic surveying community is using high-accuracy GNSS positioning techniques for vertical positioning of survey platforms, the sea surface and the sea floor. In order to meet required vertical positioning standards, it is of paramount importance that the entire ERS process be thoroughly understood and that the appropriate procedures are in place during data acquisition, validation, cleaning and processing phases. Read the publication In 2019 a Working Group on Mapping the Plastic was established. The Working Group is focusing on the dumping of plastics (and other waste) into major rivers, river systems and deltas at strategic locations around the world. Follow the work of the Working Group
Much like towns and cities which have grown because of their close proximity to railroads, superhighways and airports, access to navigable waters has provided the earliest cornerstone for discovery and economic development the world over. But what makes waters navigable? Read the publication Since 1994, when FIG Publication No. 8, a report entitled Hydrography, Ports and Harbours, was first published, the widespread adoption of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Electronic Nautical Charts (ENC) have brought on notable changes to hydrographic survey technology and how nautical data is published. Read the publication


Term 2019-2022
Term 2015-2018
Term 2011-2014
Term 2007-2010
Term 2003-2006

Working Groups

Term 2023-2026 

WG4.1 Hydrographic Standards and Guidelines.
WG4.2 Sustainable Oceans and Hydrography.
WG4.3 Mapping the Plastic.
WG4.4 Hydrospatial Domain and Marine Administration.
WG4.5 Climate Change induced Sea Level Rise and Adaptation.

 Work plan


FIG Publications

FIG Pub. 62: Ellipsoidally Referenced Surveying for Hydrography

FIG Pub. no. 57: Report on the Economic Benefits of Hydrography

FIG Pub. no. 56: Guidelines for the Planning, Execution and Management of Hydrographic Surveys in Ports and Harbours. 

FIG Pub. no. 37: FIG Guide on the Development of a Vertical Reference Surface for Hydrography.

FIG Pub. no. 8: Hydrography in Ports and Harbours


FIG Proceedings

List of FIG Conference Proceedings
FIG Surveyors Reference Library


All events

Reports to General Assembly

Report, May 2020
Report, Hanoi, Vietnam. 2019
Report, Istanbul, Turkey, 2018
Report, Helsinki, Finland, 2017

All reports