News in 2005

More the 50 experts from more then 20 countries were invited to join the meeting held in the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok. 22 papers on the subject were presented and discussed. The meeting was organised by the FIG Commission 7 on Cadastre and Land Management, The World Bank, UN-Habitat and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The FIG Annual Review 2003-2005 is available as a .pdf-file from here. Hard copies will be mailed to all members by the end of June 2005. You can receive your personal copy by contacting the FIG office, email: 

Proceedings now available.

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Keynote speakers of the opening ceremony

FIG Working Week 2005 and the 8th International Conference of GSDI was held in Cairo from 16 to 21 April 2005. The Organizing Committee consisted of the Egyptian Committee for Surveying and Mapping (ECSM), and the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA), who together with FIG and GSDI were in charge of the arrangements of this successful and biggest ever FIG Working Week. The conference was attended by more than 900 participants from more than 80 countries.

In the conference programme there were more than 400 papers and poster presentations in more than 50 technical sessions and 7 pre-conference workshops. In addition to opening and closing ceremonies there were three high profile plenary sessions. Updated proceedings are available at: , the updates include handouts out those ppt-files that were submitted in time.

More information about the conference:
  • Minutes of the FIG General Assembly in Cairo April 17 and 21, 2005

The FIG General Assembly was held in Cairo, Egypt 17 and 21 April 2005. At the General Assembly following decisions were made:

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Vote of the FIG 2010 venue.

  • The FIG Congress 2010 will be held in Sydney, Australia
  • Andrew Leyzack from Canada was appointed as Chair Elect to Commission 4 2005-2006 and as chair 2006-2010 and Simon Adcock from Australia was appointed as Chair Elect to Commission 8 for the same term of office.
  • New member associations were adopted from Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Kosovo UNMIK, Mexico and United Arab Emirates. TOPCON Corp. has joined as a corporate member.
  • Jerome Ives from USA was appointed as an honorary member.

Minutes of the General Assembly now available.

The Board of Directors of the FIG Foundation decided on the grants for 2005 at its meeting in Cairo. Seven applicants out of 14 got a grant this year. Grants were given to following succesful applicants: Parama Anandan (India), Daniel Paez (Australia), Ganesh Prasad (Nepal), Karin Viergever (United Kingdom), Mia Flores-Borquez (United Kingdom), Emmanuel Tembo (Botswana) and Hasanuddin Zainal Abidin (Indonesia). Next grants will be offered in 2006.

  • Request of support to surveyors from Sri Lanka after the tsunami disaster

The Surveyors' Institute of Sri Lanka has asked support from international surveyors' society to survey professionals in Sri Lanka. Several members of the association lost all their belongings and even their survey equipment got washed away. The institution is asking support for about ten surveyors at least for them to commence their professional practice. Please contact the institution by email at to find how best to help. Letter from the institution as a .pdf-file. Read the latest news from the President of the Surveyors' Institute.

The FIG Council met at the Technical University in Munich, January 28-29, 2005. This was the first time when the new Council members Ken Allred and Stig Enemark attended the Council as well as Matt Higgins as the ACCO representative. The decisions included proposals to the General Assembly on membership, finances and the venue of FIG 2010. The Council also endorsed the Aguascalientes Statement and decided to establish a Task Force to study the future FIG Commission structure.

Workshop on Standardization on the Cadastral Domain was organised by COST Action G9 and FIG Commission 7 in Bamberg, Germany 9-10 December 2004.

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Workshop on 3D cadastre in Nepal - 3 May 2005

Cadastral Survey Branch, Survey Department, Nepal had organized a successful one day discussion programme on the topic ‘implementing 3D cadastre in Nepal’ at Survey Department Hall, Minbhawan, Kathmandu, Nepal on 3 May 2005. Thirty five participants from 10 related Government Organizations were participated on that programme. The participants were mainly senior level executives and policy makers from different organizations. Different organizations are involving in Nepal for the data acquisition, data maintenance and data dissemination about 3D cadastre. The intension of the programme was to raise awareness to the different organizations for implementing 3D cadastre to secure the ownership and facilitate the real estate market.

The history of land recording in Nepal was started from one dimension (i.e. keeping the record only) and now the registration of two dimensions (i.e. measuring the length and breadth of the parcel and calculating area) is in practice. Basically, the legal boundaries of parcels used for the registration of the legal status are fixed in 2D space. Due to the high population growth and growing interest in using space under and above the surface (particularly in the urban areas) there is a need of registration of vertical dimension of the legal status of real estate objects. To be able to define and manage the juridical situation satisfactory, 3D information are becoming indispensable for land administration in Nepal.

France: Chartered Surveyors Mobilized around a National Objective: The Creation of a GPS Network of the Territory by the End of 2005

The French Order of Chartered Surveyors (Ordre des Géomètres Experts )has set itself the objective, by the end of 2005, of setting up a GNSS (“Global Navigation Satellite System”) network over the national territory, integrated with satellite geo-referencing, which will allow any user to position himself in real time with an accuracy down to the inch, anywhere within the territory, at any time. Already, 500 chartered surveyors, one third of the profession, are supporting the rollout of the network—the most substantial ever carried out in the world at a single time. The chartered surveyors intend to share this network in order to respond to the needs of other potential users: in local governments, in agriculture, public works contractors, network administrators, vehicle fleets, for housing stock, emergency preparedness, cartography institutes, research and universities.

The European Commission and the United States agreed on GPS/Galileo co-operation in Brussels in February 2004

The United States and the European Commission, joined by the European Union Member States, held a successful round of negotiations on GPS/Galileo co-operation in Brussels on 24-25 February 2004. The delegations built upon progress made in The Hague and in Washington and were able to reach agreement on most of the overall principles of GPS/Galileo cooperation, including,

  • Adoption of a common baseline signal structure for their respective open services
  • Confirmation of a suitable baseline signal structure for the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS)
  • A process allowing optimization, either jointly or individually, of the baseline signal structures in order to further improve performances
  • Confirmation of interoperable time and geodesy standards to facilitate the joint use of GPS and Galileo
  • Non-discrimination in trade in satellite navigation goods and services
  • Commitment to preserve national security capabilities
  • Agreement not to restrict use of or access to respective open services by end-users
  • Agreement to jointly finalize associated documents after which the agreement will be presented for signature

The delegations will continue to work diligently to resolve the few remaining outstanding issues which concern primarily some legal and procedural aspects.

The Netherlands Society of Geodesy merged into the new society Geo-Information Netherlands, GIN

The Geo-Information Netherlands, GIN was established late last year and has started under the new structure in January 2004. The new association is the result of a fusion of in total eight former societies of landsurveyors, catographers, remote sensing and photogrammetrists and others.

On October 23, 2003 the landscape of geo-related societies in the Netherlands changed considerable. Eight societies, among which the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Geodesie (the Netherlands Society of Geodesy), merged into the new society Geo-Informatie Nederland (Geo-Information Netherlands, GIN). The total amount of members is about 4,000 including 150 institutional members and about 800 academic members. The association is split up into five sections:

  • Landsurveying and Geodesy
  • Earth Observation
  • Cartography and Geo-visualisation
  • Real Estate and Landinformation
  • Geo-ICT

Every section has a president and is member of the general board.

The new society Geo-Information Netherlands inherited all rights and obligations of the merged societies including the membership of FIG. Members of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Geodesie (the Netherlands Society of Geodesy) are automatical members of GIN. The President of GIN is Leen Murre, Secretary is Wilbert Wouters (ir. W.J.C. Wouters) and the new treasurer is Maarten Bomers (ir. M.P.H. Bomers). The total number of general board members is 11 persons.

Contact information:

Geo-Information Netherlands 
P.O. Box 57,
NL-5753 CW Deurne,
The Netherlands
Tel. + 31 493 328 628
Fax + 31 493 328 601

UNHCR and UN-Habitat sign a Memorandum of Understanding - Closing the gap between relief, reconstruction and development efforts in post-conflict and post-disaster area

The High Commissioner, Mr. Ruud Lubbers, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Under Secretary-General, signed in the Geneva Headquarters of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees December 17, 2003 an operational Memorandum of Understanding opening the opportunity for operational linkages between the mandates of both organisations.

The significance of this agreement lies in the collaboration between an agency mandated to address the emergency and humanitarian obligations of the High Commission, and the developmental and longer term mandate of the Human Settlements Programme, with a view to ensuring "...systematic, predictable cooperation between the two organisations while building on the recognized expertise... of each organisation." Specific areas of collaboration will include among others: shelter solutions for refugees and returnees; settlement planning and management; land and property rights, restitution, and administration; infrastructure planning and development; and capacity building of local and national authorities.

The objective of this collaboration however, is to ensure that one end of the bridge spanning the gap between relief and development rests within the emergency humanitarian activities of UNHCR, and the other well into the longer term sustainable human settlements development activities typically undertaken by UN-HABITAT.

The longest map of the world?

In 2004 the Netherlands Committee for Geodesy will celebrate its 125th birthday. To draw some publicity to this occasion the Netherlands Kadaster decided to produce a cadastral map 1:2000 of a 332 km. cross section of the seemless cadastral database of the Netherlands, thus resulting in a 166 m. long map. It is the longest map of the Netherlands and maybe of the world. A photograph of the map was selected news-photograph of the day by the largest press agency of the Netherlands. Pictures of the map ("langste kaart" in Dutch) and a flash-animation can be seen on the website of Kadaster,

"This is better than learning math" - Made to Measure

Alberta Land Surveyors and the Science Alberta Foundation have launched an educational math program that has kids saying, "this is better than learning math" and "this is fun!"

Made to Measure is one of the newest crates offered as part of Science Alberta's Science in a Crate program. The crates are a treasure trove of scientific activities designed to engage minds through hands-on learning. In the Made to Measure crate, grade eight students get to try their hand at seven activities commonly performed by Alberta Land Surveyors. In the "world survey" activity, students draw and interpret scale diagrams while in the "that was then, this is now" activity, students estimate areas using photos and maps of property boundaries.

During the student testing of the crate, students were heard to say that doing the activities in the crate were better than doing math. They didn't realize they were learning about shapes and volumes.

The Made to Measure crate is based on the grade eight math curriculum and because the only cost to schools or libraries or community groups is a small handling charge, it is a great opportunity for those with limited budgets and resources.

The Made to Measure crate can be ordered by calling Science Alberta at + 1 403 220 0077 or visiting their website Thanks to Science Alberta's supporters, users pay just $25 for a three-week booking, including shipping.