News in 2015

Technical Seminar on Vertical Reference Frames in Practice

Singapore, 27-28 July 2015


The Technical Seminar on Vertical Reference Frames in Practice was held in Singapore on 27-28 July 2015. The seminar had a particular focus on vertical reference frames, in response to requests from the region. This complemented a previous seminar held in Manila in 2013, which focussed on 3D frames.

The workshop was organised by FIG Commission 5, in conjunction with the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), the International Committee on GNSS (ICG), the United Nations Initiative for Global Geospatial Information Management for Asia-Pacific (UN-GGIM-AP) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

The seminar was held in conjunction with the 13th South East Asian Survey Congress at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Local organisational support was provided by Victor Khoo and Richard Loo of the Singapore Land Authority.


Group photo of attendees

There were 22 participants, including presenters, from around the world. Countries represented included Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Poland, France and Austria. Attendees represented a mix of academic, government and commercial institutions.

Organisational representatives were as follows:

Nic Donnelly (FIG)
Chris Rizos (IAG)
Sharafat Gadimova (ICG)
John Dawson (UN-GGIM-AP)
Victor Khoo (SLA)

Technical content

Professor Chris Rizos presenting at the seminar

The seminar focussed on the theory and practice of vertical reference frames. Topics covered included:

  • Introduction to Vertical Reference Frames
  • Time Dependence and Transformations
  • Airborne Gravity Data Collection and Analysis
  • International GNSS Service
  • Vertical Deformation
  • GNSS Heighting
  • Case Studies
    • Australia
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Singapore

Networking and Social Events

There were excellent opportunities to network and socialise during the lunch and tea breaks, which the participants took advantage of. One of the highlights of the seminar was the dinner held on the first evening, facilitated by our Singaporean hosts. Dinner was held at Satay by the Bay and provided an opportunity to sample a number of local dishes and continue the networking.

Participants at the seminar dinner


The seminar was well supported by Leica and Trimble, in terms of both financial support and attendance. The ICG provided financial support to several participants from developing nations.


Nic Donnelly
13 August 2015/p>