20th Nordic Surveying Congress takes place in Finland

Järvenpää, Finland, July 8-10, 2004

The 20th Nordic Surveying Congress took place in Järvenpää, Finland 8-10 July 2004. The theme of this four-yearly congress was this time “Surveyor in a Unified Europe”. Almost 200 surveyors from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden gathered to the Järvenpää Concert Hall for two days followed by a joint technical tour to the medieval city of Porvoo. The participants also had a change to visit Ainola, home of the famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in Tuusula. Songs of the composer were also presented at the opening ceremony of this conference in his home city.

The Nordic conference has long tradition – the first conference was held already in 1920 in Copenhagen – and has thereafter been rotating between the four Nordic countries every four years. The previous congress was held in Stockholm in 2000 and the next one will be held in Denmark in 2008. It is also characteristic to this event that it is a real family event, which gathers surveyors with their spouses and children to these meetings – many of the participants have attended the meetings since 1960s. However, the younger generation is well represented. The second specific feature is that the conference is held in the Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish and Norwegian) so that each participant is able to speak his/her own language and the other participants can understand the presentations. The Finnish participants make their presentations in Swedish, which is the second official language of the hosting country.

Because the theme of this year’s congress was the European integration the invited keynote presentation was given by Paul van der Molen, Chair of FIG Commission 7. His presentation was titled “The European integration gets deeper and wider – How does this influence land surveyors?”. In the programme there were also two other presentations from FIG: newly elected Vice President Stig Enemark, President of the Danish DdL made a presentation on future needs of competences for surveyors and Markku Villikka, Director of FIG office representing Finland made his presentation on the surveyors role in Europe in the future.

The social programme included the traditional home visits to local surveyors, where the Nordic visitors could enjoy the mid-summer night and the Finnish hospitality and a farewell dinner in a traditional Finnish style with song and dance and admiring the midsummer sun at the lake.

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Sakari Viertiö, President of MIL, Finland was together with Congress Director Mikko Uimonen in charge for the conference arrangements.
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Leiv Bjarte Mjøs, President of the Norwegian Surveyors’s Association and Chair of the Nordic Surveying Committee brought the greetings on behalf of the Nordic surveyors.
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Jarmo Ratia, Director General of the National Land Survey, Finland addressed the congress on behalf of NLS. Mr. Ratia had attended the congress for the first time already in 1960.
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Paul van der Molen, Chair of FIG Commission 7, was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony.
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The Chamber Choir of the Sibelius Gymnasium presented some Finnish folk songs arranged by Pekka Kostiainen at the opening ceremony.
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The other songs presented by the choir included songs written by Jean Sibelius to Swedish and Finnish poems.

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