FIG Commission 5 - Positioning and Measurement

Working Group 5.1
Standards, Quality Assurance and Calibration

Policy Issues

  • Influence the development of standards affecting positioning and measurement instruments and methods, in collaboration with the FIG Standards Network and through participation in the relevant technical committees (TCs) of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and other appropriate bodies.
  • Acceptance controls, quality assurance and certification and their impact on the surveying profession.
  • Testing and calibration of measuring instruments.
  • Assist other Commission Working Groups to implement Standards from TC 172/SC 6 and ISO TC211 as appropriate.


David Martin, (France)


What we are working on -

  • Guide for the expression of uncertainty in measurements (GUM) for surveying
  • Connection to ISO TC211
  • A dedicated publication regarding the implementation of the “Guide for the expression of uncertainty in measurements” (GUM) for surveying

What's New

ISO TC 211 is concerned with standardization in the field of digital geographic information. This commission aims to establish a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth. These standards may specify, for geographic information, methods, tools and services for data management (including definition and description), acquiring, processing, analysing, accessing, presenting and transferring such data in digital/electronic form between different users, systems and locations. The work links to appropriate standards for information technology and data where possible, and provides a framework for the development of sector-specific applications using geographic data. Nic Donnelly, from Land Information New Zealand, is the FIG liaison to TC211. One item of interest to Commission 5 is the start of a new standard for Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS), ISO19170. This work is undertaken jointly with OGC, which has already published a standard on DGGS. DGGS are designed to support big-data processing at global scales, providing a scalable means of assigning location to data at any desired resolution.

ISO/TC 172/SC 6 deals more closely with the hands on details related to using classical surveying instruments. These standards deal with field procedures for testing geodetic and surveying instruments such as theodolite, total stations levels and GNSS in real-time kinematic (RTK). Ingo Neumann from the Geodätisches Institut Leibniz Universität Hannover is the FIG representative to ISO/TC 172/SC 6. One key standard where work is presently concentrated is ISO/DIS 17123-9 - Optics and optical instruments -- Field procedures for testing geodetic and surveying instruments -- Part 9: Terrestrial laser scanners. Another is the republication of ISO 17123-5:2018 Optics and optical instruments -- Field procedures for testing geodetic and surveying instruments -- Part 5: Total stations with updated formulas and an improvement in the layout. Finally, the new Standard ISO 9849 is published – Optics and optical instruments -- Geodetic and surveying instruments – Vocabulary. This standard is very important for FIG because it summarizes vocabulary used in the field of geodetic and surveying sensors and instruments. It has been extended to include terms in the area of multi-sensor-systems of the future.