Newsletter 1

FIG Commission 5

Positioning and Measurement

"A World and a Profession in Transition"

November 1998



Editors corner

FIG Commission 5 takes form for the next four years

Structure of Commission 5

Report from Working Group 5.1 meeting and MGID'98, Brno, Czech Republic

Special Reports

Report from Brighton

The new homepage of FIG Commission 5

Forthcoming events for FIG Commission 5

Next issue

Contact addresses

Editors corner

By Mikael Lilje, secretary FIG Commission 5

This is the first issue of the FIG Commission 5 newsletter. We hope that we will be able to distribute it twice every year. The issue was possible thanks to the support of the National Land Survey of Sweden.

We are focusing towards Working Group 5.1 (Standards, Quality Assurance and Calibration) in this number because the WG had its first meeting in Brno in the beginning of November (see report). We intend to focus each newsletter towards the work of a specific WG.

The newsletter also includes information about the new structure of the commission together with short presentations of the different working groups. Some of the WG chairs are presented in this number including Jean-Marie and myself. More presentations will follow in the next number of the Newsletter. You can of course also find a short review of the FIG XXIst International Congress as well as information about our homepage and the nearest events.

Commission 5 is very interested in your opinion about the newsletter. What is good? What is bad? What did you miss? The only way to improve it is with the help of all of you. Please do not hesitate, send us an email, fax etc.

We are also looking for volunteers to translate information concerning FIG Commission 5 to other languages than English. The information could come from the newsletter but also parts of our homepage could be translated. Let me know if you are interested. This can be a simple but efficient way to spread the work of Commission 5 over the world.

Let me take this moment to make a presentation of myself. I was born in the southern part of Sweden in 1967. I graduated 1993 with M.Sc. in Land Surveying. My studies were concentrated towards geodesy and photogrammetry. I have been working at the National Land Survey since graduation and mainly in the field of geodesy. I had no experience of FIG before Jean-Marie Becker asked me to be secretary for FIG Commission 5 but I am thrilled by the challenge and hope that I will live up to your expectations of me.

My work will be to help Jean-Marie as much as I can with the organisation and supervision of the Commission. This means for instance that I will take care of our homepage as well as the newsletter.

FIG Commission 5 takes form for the next four years

By Jean-Marie Becker, chair FIG Commission 5

As Mikael Lilje pointed out in his introduction, this newsletter is the first one from FIG Commission 5 and I would like to use this opportunity to make a short presentation of your chair. A presentation of the objectives, organisation and members of the Commission 5 team will follow this.

Who is your new chair?

I was born 1935 in Metz (France) and has a M.Sc. in Land Surveying from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts and Industries, Strasbourg (1961). I live since 1966 in Sweden (Gävle) and works for the National Land Survey of Sweden as well as professor in Engineering Survey at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology). My hobbies are painting and mushrooms.

I started to work during two years as assistant to Prof. Arne Bjerhammar at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm). I have been involved in many projects around the world concerning the most various types of surveying as examples:

-chief engineer responsible for several construction projects in France and Germany.

-responsible of geodetic operations in French-Russian expedition in Antarctica (Mirny -Vostok)

-responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the Swedish national geodetic networks including instrument control, calibration and geodetic repayment services (1982-90)

-expert in the EC project CIRC (Computer Integrated Road Construction)

I am well known for my engagement in the development and implementation of several survey techniques especially for height determination such as ML (Motorised Levelling), MTL (Motorised Trigonometric Levelling) and INS (Inertial Survey). I have been involved in the introduction of these techniques in several countries like Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway, Holland, USA, Zambia, and Malaysia.

I am involved in several international organisations as NKG (Nordic Geodetic Commission, chair of the Height Determination Group), CLGE (Council of European Geodetic Surveyors, Swedish delegate), IAG and FIG.

Motorised Levelling

My work within FIG begun for more than twenty years ago (Stockholm Congress 1974) and I have worked together with several former chairman of Commission 5 as Cooker (Ghana), Hirsch (Germany), Cooper (UK) and Hothem (USA). Under this period, I have been involved in different WG, Task Forces over the years.

What does a chair of Commission 5?

My first task was to prepare a working plan including different specified tasks to be achieved, to discuss and have acceptance for these objectives inside FIG. This also include the creation of needed working groups (WG) for the specific missions, objectives and finally find enough of enthusiastic people accepting to work within these WG for a minimum of four years. To find these people, and specially team leaders, is one of the most difficult parts of the chairman work. You need not only good leaders but they must also have enough time for their mission and sufficient with financial support for it. This is getting harder to achieve for most people around the world. The National Surveyors Associations are poor and do not give any support and therefore each one has to find his own sponsor for the four years period. I believe that this is the big problem today. FIG has also changed its policy and especially concerning the activities of the technical commissions. These must work more professionally with questions influencing the daily work of the Surveyors.

I have to admit that it is a big difference between the leadership/chairmanship within FIG and the classical leadership/project leader in a company or office for the reasons I have mentioned. The role as the chair as well as being an officer is much more time consuming than in the past. We have to show to all the members of the FIG community that we are dealing with their problems and that they will obtain a good support from us. The chair has to guide and stimulate all his collaborators to achieve their mission in time. He is responsible for the work of the commission and has to actively participate at all meetings of ACCO (Advisory Committee of Commission Officers), FIG Working Week etc.

The best way to succeed in this mission is to have the help of a good collaborator who can take the function as secretary. I am happy that I succeeded to engage Mikael Lilje. He is of great help and works hardly for all the officers and members of the commission. Together we can concentrate our efforts to make our mission feasible.

Activity field and mission of Commission 5

Commission 5 (Positioning and Measurement) activities concerns the science of measurement and acquisition of accurate, precise and reliable survey data related to the position, size and shape of natural and artificial features of the earth and its environment.

The mission of the Commission 5 is to focus on modern technologies and technical developments and, through guidelines and recommendations, to assist individual surveyors to choose and utilise these methods in their daily work. Our objectives are clear and we must not compete with IAG, ISPRS, ISO, CLGE, CEN or other organisations. We must make their scientific or specific results accessible and useful for the Surveyors applications.

We want to support research, development and stimulate new ideas in our working field.

Commission 5 will present and promote the work of its working groups on an on-going basis at FIG annual working weeks and other relevant technical meetings.

Commission 5 has also by tradition regular contacts with the different manufacturers to exchange information for the improvement of instrumentation and associated software, etc. This collaboration is needed for the benefit of both partners and especially the surveyors.

The most important change with the past is that we will regularly inform all FIG-members and the surveying community about the progress of our work through our own Newsletter and Commission 5 web page.

Structure of Commission 5

By all officers of Commission 5

During the preparation phase before the Brighton congress Jean-Marie Becker and Mikael Lilje made an inventory over questions that has to be highlighted in the coming period 1998-2002. This resulted in the need to see over structure and mission of FIG Commission 5 and the existing Working Groups (from 1994-1998).

FIG C5 has a new structure that includes a Steering Committee (SC), five WGs and several ad-hoc groups with specific objectives.

We can now say that:

bulletwe have succeeded to define clear objectives and goals for the coming four years,
bulletwe have a good team of collaborators and many supporters interested to participate actively to the work of the different WG,
bulletwe have team leaders for all WG.

It is now time to actively concentrate our efforts to realise our objectives.

Matt Higgins, v. chair of FIG Commission 5

Higgins.jpg (32858 bytes)

Matt Higgins is a Senior Surveyor with the Department of Natural Resources, Queensland, Australia. He was awarded a Bachelor of Applied Science, Surveying (With Distinction) in 1983 from the Queensland University of Technology. In 1985, Matt was licensed by the Surveyors Board of Queensland. He was awarded a Master of Surveying and Mapping Science from the University of Queensland in 1988, working in Geodesy and the GPS. He is presently undertaking a PhD at the University of New South Wales working in GPS Heighting.

Matt is Vice Chair of FIG Commission 5 on Positioning and Measurement for the period 1998 to 2002. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of GPS World Magazine and is a member of the Geodesy Sub-Committee of the Australian Academy of Sciences. He is Queensland representative on the Geodesy Group of Australia's Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping. Matt is a member of the Institution of Surveyors Australia (Queensland Division).

The Steering Committee (SC)

The members of the SC are the commission chair, vice chair, secretary and the different WG chairs and v. chairs. The SC will co-ordinate and optimise the work of the commission and avoid duplication of work within it. The SC shall supervise the finalisation of the task(s) of each WG. The SC is also co-ordinating the distribution of information by Newsletter, WWW or other suitable media. The SC will meet at minimum once a year in connection to the annual FIG Working Week but preferably twice. The first schedule meeting will take place the 14th of March, 1999 in connection to a seminar in Gävle, Sweden

WG-5.1 (Standards, Quality Assurance and Calibration)

Chair is Dr. Vaclav Slaboch (Czech Republic) and v. chair is Prof. Hans Heister (Germany).

The special task of WG5-1 is to establish guidelines and recommendations for checking and determination of the accuracy in field of different instrument and for the calibration of them. It is important to note that the WG does not make standards. This is something for ISO.

Dr Vaclav Slaboch works as Director of Research Institute of Geodesy, Topography and Cartography. He is a member of the Presidium of the Czech Union of Surveyors and Cartographers and Speaker of the Czech Committee for FIG. He studied geodetic surveying at the Czech Technical University in Prague. He has worked for some time with Fairey Surveys Ltd., in the U.K and later at the department of informatics of the Research Institute for Geodesy, Topography and Cartography in Prague and of the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre. He was recruited as a consultant for a UNDP project in 1979 in Guinea, West Africa, and worked from 1990 till 1995 for the Government of Malta. He is besides WG-5.1 member of the CERCO WG on Quality, observer of CLGE and teacher of Engineering Surveying at the Department of Special Geodesy of the Czech Technical University in Prague

Prof Hansbert Heister was born in 1944 in Bonn, Germany. He educated in Geodesy and Surveying at the University Bonn and has worked at the Geodetic Institute of the University Bonn and at the Geodetic Institute of the Technical University of Munich. His research work was in the field of optimisation of control networks and practical experiences in engineering surveys and his Dr. thesis concerned optimal design of geodetic networks by the method of dynamic programming. He is since 1992 working as apl. Professor for "Geodätische Messtechnik".

WG-5.2 (Height Determination Techniques)

Chair is Prof. Michel Kasser (France) and v. chair is Prof. Hilmar Ingensand (Switzerland).

WG-5.2 shall follow the technical developments concerning different height determination techniques and instrumentations (e.g. total stations, digital levels, laser planes, GPS) and prepare recommendations for making the best use of them in different applications with specified request of accuracy.

Prof Michel Kasser was born in 1953 in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has two engineer degrees; from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris, 1972-1975) and Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques (1975-1977). He worked between 1977 and 1991 with Institut Géographique National France as manager. First of the Levelling Department (in charge of the French High Precision Levelling Network), then in 1984 of LOEMI instrumentation laboratory, and then in 1988-1991 of the commercial department of IGN. In parallel, he worked with geophysical geodetic operations in many active areas of the world. M. Kasser was 1991 appointed as University Professor, director of the Ecole Supérieure des Géomètres et Topographes (main french technical university in Surveying and Geomatics). The research work today concerns instrumentation (SLR, airborne laser ranging) and Geophysics (Philippines, Indonesia, China).

Prof Hilmar Ingensand, born in 1947 in Siegen (Germany), has been a full professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) since 1993, holding the chair of Geodetic Metrology at the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry. He has also been head of the Department of Geodetic Science since 1996. He studied geodesy at the University of Bonn. He received a Ph.D. for his work on "Development of Electronic Inclinometers" at the Institute of Geodesy at the University of Bonn. After several years of activity as a development engineer at Leica Heerbrugg AG, Switzerland (formerly Wild Heerbrugg AG) he became head of the "Basic Research and Applications" group in 1989.

WG-5.3 (Kinematic and Integrated Positioning Systems)

Chair of this WG is Dr. Naser El-Sheimy (Canada, Egypt). There are two v. chairs; Dr Yang Gao, Canada and Prof Orhan Altan, Turkey.

WG-5.3 shall follow the technical developments concerning integrated positioning systems. It also has to report about the performances of existing systems and make recommendations about the best use of them.

The officers will be presented in the next number of the newsletter.

WG-5.4 (Digital Mapping)

Chair of this WG is Dr. Nicolas Paparoditis (France, Greece).

Dr Nicolas Paparoditis received M Sc degrees in mathematical and computer engineering and Ph.D. degree in digital mapping from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. He has worked for four years with Aerospatiale on the specification of very high H.R.V. satellites dedicated to digital urban mapping and on the design and integration of techniques for digital mapping automation. He is assistant professor in digital photogrammetry, image processing, remote sensing, and computer science at CNAM, Paris, since 1996.

WG-5.5 (Reference Frame in Practice)

Chair of this WG is Prof. Paul Cross (UK) and Mr Matt Higgins (Australia) will act as v. chair.

The WG will work with guidelines and recommendations to help the surveyor in his daily work to handle all questions about data, co-ordinates and transformation parameters, specially when using different kinds of reference frame and instruments (e.g. GPS, total station, etc).

Prof. Paul Cross will be presented in the next newsletter.

Other obligations

FIG C5 is involved in the activities of different FIG Task Forces and other associations like:

bulletSustainable development. Chair Markku Villikka (Finland). Prof. Michel Kasser and I represent FIG C5.
bulletStandards. Chair Iain Greenway (UK). Dr. Vaclav Slaboch and I represent FIG C5.
bulletISO/TC 211. Dr. Vaclav Slaboch and I represent FIG-C5.

Other representations will be established and announced in the future.

Report from Working Group 5.1 meeting and MGID'98, Brno, Czech Republic

By Vaclav Slaboch, Hansbert Heister, Jean-Marie Becker and Mikael Lilje

WG-5.1 meeting

Working Group 5.1 had its first meeting 1 November. We are thankful to the company Geodezie Brno for their very kind hospitality and generous provision of facilities for the meeting. Mr. Milan Klimeš, representative from the company and co-organiser of MGID98, honoured the meeting with his presence. We are also thankful to Mr Šedy, director of Geodezie Brno, for the support as well as for a nice evening at a wine cellar. Also present at the meeting was Karel Svoboda (co-organiser of MGID98).

The discussions during the meeting concerned:

bulletThe working plan and mission of the working group and its ad-hoc groups were discussed as well as the necessity to nominate leaders and organise to the ad-hoc groups. Vaclav Slaboch and Hansbert Heister will now continue to contact these people.
bulletWG-5.1shall not make standards because this is the work of ISO. The WG shall through guidelines, help ISO to produce standards as well as translate these into a language comprehensible for the field surveyor.
bulletThe Working Group shall have regularly discussions with the manufacturers to improve their hard- and software of different types of instruments.
bulletThe working group shall help national bodies to influence and distribute guidelines as well as inform universities and technical high schools.


The 35th International Surveying Information Days took place in Brno the 2nd to 3rd November. The number of participants where about 150 coming from several countries as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Sweden, England and The Netherlands.

Mikael Lilje, Jean-Marie Becker, Vaclav Slaboch, Hansbert Heister and Jiri Lechner

The conference was in two languages; Czech language and English. The afternoon of the first day had an English session especially for FIG Commission 5 concerning the activities of C5 and especially WG-5.1. The session was chaired by Vaclav Slaboch and included presentations by Jean-Marie Becker, Vaclav Slaboch, Hansbert Heister, Mikael Lilje and Jirí Lechner. The session was a very good one with many discussions after each paper.

Other meeting

In connection to these meeting, Prof Milan Kašpar, former secretary of WG-6.6 (earlier named WG-6E) had asked for a meeting with Jean-Marie Becker. The discussions concerned the work done by the WG as well as the future of this Working Group. The working group is supposed to publish a book on laser instruments. Discussions also concerned the connection to FIG Commission 5. Jean-Marie will continue these discussions with Michel Mayoud (chair Commission 6) and Peter Dale (FIG President).

Special Reports

By Jean-Marie Becker

ISO TC 59/SC4 and TC 172/SC6 JWG meeting, London, July 27th-28th, 1998.

Both these ISO Technical Commissions are involved since many years in the standardisation work of different measuring instruments. In the past, they produced often different ISO standards concerning the same instrument and the same subject: "Field procedures for determining the accuracy of surveying instruments". Unfortunately, they had different approaches and goals. TC 59 looked from the building constructing view and TC 172 from the instrument manufacturer views. This resulted in several different standards for the same instrument (as example 3 standards for EDM) and caused a lot of trouble for the application by the surveyor.

To eliminate this duplication a Joint Working Group (JWG) was created 1997 for the harmonisation and updating of these standards. Mr. K. Zeiske from Leica AG (Switzerland) is convenor and Jean-Marie is Vice Convenor. The JWG has had several meetings. The last one was in connection to the Brighton Congress.

Four different standard projects are running forward concerning the review of ISO 8322-1 (theory) chaired by D. Ehlert; ISO 8322-3, 12857-1 (levels) chaired by J-M Becker; ISO 8322-4 and 12857-2 (theodolites) chaired by H. Ingensand and ISO 8322-8 and 12857-3 (EDM) chaired by K. Zeiske.

The JWG has also decided that new standards must be prepared, especially concerning total station. At the moment the four projects have presented a reviewed draft and work on a final document. The next meeting will take place in Berlin 4th of March 1999.

TC172 meeting

Several of FIG-C5 members (H. Ingensand, T.Seto, Jean-Marie) are involved in the work of this JWG and I hope that more people from WG-5.1 will participate in the preparation and elaboration of the new standards.

Report from the ISO/TC 211 meeting, Beijing September 21st-26th, 1998

This ISO technical commission is working on standards concerning "Geographic Information/ Geomatics". Since Melbourne 1994, I have been the official FIG/liaison to TC211 and followed its activities together with L. Hothem, Iain Greenway and Vaclav Slaboch from FIG C5 as well as other FIG members. In Brighton, the new established Task Force on Standards (Chair Iain Greenway) organised a special session together with ISO/TC 211. One of the most debated question concerned the "Certification of personnel" proposal to standard (N502) from the Canadian about "GIS/Geomatics" (engineer, scientist, manager, technician). The participants were not in favour of the proposal and Canada announced that a new and modified version was going to be presented in Beijing. The FIG Bureau nominated me to represent FIG at this meeting. I had two objectives; firstly to follow the Canadian action and secondly to see what happens in the other projects. For several practical reasons (many parallel sessions, confusing agenda and timetables), I focused my time on two different projects: WI.11 (Spatial referencing by co-ordinates) and WI.16 (Positioning Services) and the joint sessions.

About 100 delegates participated to the meeting and the debates. All the results and resolutions taken there will be published on the home page of ISO/TC211.

My personal reflections concerning the work of TC211 are the following:

bulletThe Canadian proposal on "GIS/Geomatics" will only create confusions with the already existing titles. We need more time to elaborate a better proposal with definitions and specificity’s.
bulletSerious progress has been made in several of the 20 projects of TC211. Nevertheless, I have the impression that all participants are not acting for the same objectives perhaps because TC211 cover a too large area with too many different interests!
bulletToo much time is used for standard presentation and not enough for the content and its quality: This reflects perhaps the representation in each project with to many standardisation experts and to few technical experts.
bulletTC211 want to have its one internal terminology, which I believe is not good for the surveying community. In our daily work we have to apply several ISO standards and therefore we expect that all this standards use the same terminology. We also expect that the FIG terminology (FIG dictionary in three languages) is respected and followed.

WG-5.1 will certainly have a lot to do to translate these new standards in the "popular surveyors language in use"!

My conclusion after the ISO meetings is that FIG and WG-5.1 have an important role to play in the establishment of the standards concerning our profession. We have to be more active in this work especially in the preparation of them. Several members have to bee involved and participate to the meetings.

Report from Brighton

By Jean-Marie Becker

General Assembly

Two General Assembly (GA) meetings were held. During these meetings, the GA accepted the proposed nomination for the Commission 5 chair (Jean-Marie Becker). Our new vice chair (Matt Higgins) was the result of a vote between two excellent candidates who where proposed by there National Association (Australia and France).

Matt Higgins, Jean-Marie Becker and Mikael Lilje

The work plan for C5 was adopted at this occasion.

ACCO meetings

The Advisory Committee of Commission Officers (ACCO) had three meetings during the Congress under the leadership of Bob Foster, incoming FIG President. The first meeting (the day before the congress start) was dedicated to all questions discussed in Annapolis (January 1998) and on the General Assembly agenda. These questions concerned the commissions work plans, chair, vice-chair and the different task forces. The last ACCO meeting concerned mostly the future activities and the preparation of the incoming FIG working week in Sun City (South Africa) and especially the involvement of the Commissions. The ACCO meetings are very important and useful for the efficiency of the FIG-work. ACCO has succeeded to reorganise and co-ordinate the technical work of the Commissions which is fundamental for the future existence of FIG. It was also decided that the commission secretary could participate to its meetings in the future.

Technical sessions

Commission 5 organised 10 own technical sessions and some joint sessions, in total 47 papers were presented by C5 and between 40 and 300 people followed the presentations. The presentations were in general of good quality and had interesting subjects.

Commission 5 working meetings

Brighton was a kind of transition, overlapping and bridge between the outgoing chairs (1994-98) and the incoming chairs for 1998-2002 and also between the working group members. It was the first opportunity for many of our members to meet each other and make personal contacts in a way to stimulate our future collaboration.

We had the possibility to inform and discuss the proposed working plans concerning the specific activities/missions of each WG through three meetings (about 1 hour each). A majority of our chair and vice-chair as well as many interested people contributed to the discussions on updating of the proposed work plans and working group organisation.

In Brighton, we had also the possibility to make personal contacts with other FIG and commission members, manufacturers, exhibitors, etc and discuss with them subjects of common interest.

A common reflection was that we had not enough time for these meetings. We should have had them within the official agenda. We need also larger rooms with technical facilities so that all interested can participate to the commission debates. All leaders (Chair and Vice-Chair) should participate to these meetings. They are very important for the good work and spirit of our team and to have a good contact with our supporters.

Special session with the manufacturers

By tradition, Commission 5 invites all manufacturers to a common meeting for discussion of questions of common interest. These meeting allows informing each partner about problems, suggestions, news and requests. FIG C5 is the link between FIG Surveyors and the manufacturers.

Due to various things, the participation was limited to about seven manufacturers mostly representing GPS producers. In total about 30 participated to the meeting. Nevertheless the discussion and debate focused on some specific questions from the manufacturers side (e.g. too high registration fees for the exhibitors, few visitors) and from the C5 surveyors side (e.g. concerning open access to raw data and formulas used in the instruments, better information about the technical specifications including the limitations).

We also made a common agreement to have common meeting at each FIG working week, or at least once per year. Furthermore, C5 will in the future inform about technical news in its Newsletter.

Technical excursions

Commission 5 and 6 arranged three technical tours:

bulletOrdnance Survey in Southampton.
bulletGreenwich Meridian, Historical Observatory Museum and the Thames Flood Barrier.
bulletBluebell Railway from Sheffield Park to Kinscote.

The most appreciated was the second one, which allowed each participant to stand over and visualise the reference meridian taking a photograph in situ!

Visit to the Thames Flood Barrier

Other events where C5 members were involved during the Brighton Congress

As mentioned earlier some C5 members participated to the special ISO TC211 meeting concerning the debate on the "geomaticians" proposal from Canada and the other projects included inside TC211 work.

The CLGE (European Council of Geodetic Surveyors) had three meetings concerning its activities. Several European FIG members (Vaclav Slaboch, Jean-Marie Becker, etc) are also CLGE-members and participated to all meetings.

A French-speaking group (Groupe Francophone de la FIG) was created and had also its first meeting in Brighton concerning the questions related to the use of one FIG language (English). About 32 delegates from 13 countries participated to the debate trying to found a solution to the actual language problems. The debates were very animated and sometimes hot. Different proposals for actions were presented; the future has to show what this Groupe Francophone is able to do! This is a growing problem for FIG and we must find a acceptable solution.

Michel Kasser and Jean-Marie proposed to contribute with some summaries in French within the Newsletter. The same proposal is valuable for other languages (Spanish, etc) but we need the help from some translators. Voluntaries are welcome.

The new homepage of FIG Commission 5

By Mikael Lilje

Our homepage has moved from USA to Sweden! The new address is We are thankful to the National Land Survey of Sweden who host and support our homepage.

The content is very much the same as our previous homepage. Commission 5 is presented as well as all of our working groups. All the officers are presented with names, pictures and addresses as well as all of our future events.

It is our intention to keep the homepage as updated as possible but we need your help. Please provide me with information that you would like to be presented at our homepage!

We also appreciate any kind of opinions regarding the homepage so that we have the best page there is.

Forthcoming events for FIG Commission 5

By Mikael Lilje, Naser El-Sheimy and Matt Higgins


15-17 March (FIG, NKG, NLS) Geodesy and Surveying in the Future, The Importance of Heights, Gavle, Sweden. Contact: Mr. Mikael Lilje or Prof Jean-Marie Becker, Geodetic Research Division, National Land Survey, 801 82 Gavle, Sweden Tel: (+46) 26 63 30 00 Fax (+46) 26 61 06 76 Email: or Internet

The technical evolution goes more and more to automated Robotised Real Time surveying techniques using different kind of instruments. The geodesists, surveyors, teachers, students and others dealing with surveying have to face many problems in their work. Different solutions are accessible to do this work but to achieve it in the best we need much more knowledge and developments in this field.

This seminar will give a very deep information about the possibilities and limitations existing today and a look in the future. It will be of a great help for every one when dealing with these questions. The main focus will be towards the height issue within surveying and geodesy.

The seminar is also a jubilee seminar celebrating 25 years with motorised levelling for national network levelling in Sweden, a technique that was developed in Sweden and exported to a large number of countries.

The seminar will also include an exhibition to the National Land Survey including a demonstration of Motorised Levelling.

The seminar will be held at the National Land Survey, Gavle, Sweden, March 15-17, 1999 and is co-sponsored by FIG Commission 5, Nordic Commission of Geodesy (NKG) and the National Land Survey of Sweden. For more information, please contact Mr Mikael Lilje or Prof. Jean-Marie Becker.

21-23 April (FIG, ISPRS) Mobile Mapping Technology Workshop, Bangkok, Thailand Contact: Dr Rongxing Li, The Ohio State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, 470 Hitchock Hall, 2070 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1275 Tel: (+1) 614 292 6946 Fax (+1) 614 292 2957 Email:

The International Workshop on Mobile Mapping Technology will focus on real-world mobile mapping applications and research and the exchange of information among private industry and utilities, university researchers, and local, regional, and federal agencies. A mobile mapping system consists mainly of, navigation sensors and mapping sensors mounted on moving platform (land vehicles, a vessel, or an aircraft). Generally, the navigation sensors, such as GPS receivers, INS, and odometers, and INS (Inertial are used to provide both the trajectory of the vehicle and the georeferencing information of the mapping sensors. Objects to be surveyed are sensed directly by mapping sensors, for instance digital cameras, laser rangers, and radar sensors.

The workshop program is designed to bring together experts who are working in mapping, geodesy, surveying, computer vision, and photogrammetry. The workshop will be held at the Maruay Garden Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, April 21-23, 1999. For more information contact Dr Rongxing Li (see above) or Dr Naser El-Sheimy:

Dr. Naser El-Sheimy, Canada

Fax: (+1) 403 220 7587 Fax: (+1) 403 284 1980


Department of Geomatics Engineering

The University of Calgary

2500 University Dr. N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

30 May - 3 June (FIG) FIG Working Week & Survey 99, Sun City, South Africa, Contact: Lance Nel Fax +27 11 773 8265 Email

Co-ordinating the congress for FIG Commission 5 is Matt Higgins. Planning is well under way for the FIG Working Week to be held in Sun City, South Africa from the 30 May to 5 June 1999. The Working Week will see a General Assembly of the Federation and meetings of the various operational committees, Task Forces and Commissions, including the Commission 5 steering committee.

The technical programme for the Symposium associated with the Working Week is also firming up with all Commissions planning technical session and tours. The Commission 5 technical programme will begin with a joint session between Commission 5 and 6 titled Technological frontlines and frontiers. There will also be three sessions specific to Commission 5 with the theme of the first being Trends in Positioning and Measurement. There will then be two sessions on Reference Frame in Practice, centred around the topics of WG-5.2 and WG-5.5

In all technical sessions, it is planned to open each session with an overview paper on recent trends and developments related to the session theme which will be given by Commission and Working Group officers. Each session will include at least one paper by an international speaker and one paper presenting an Africa perspective related to the session theme. At this

stage of the planning it is intended to have speakers from Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA.

A full day technical tour shared between Commissions 5 and 6 is also planned. In the morning, the tour will take in the Hartebeeshoek observatory which undertakes operations very relevant to surveying, including Very Base Line Interferometry (VLBI) and a Satellite Remote Sensing ground station. The afternoon will see a visit to a platinum mine in Rustenburg.

The general programme will include many social and cultural events including a "night game drive" in a nearby national park. All in all, it is shaping up as an excellent week and all people interested in Commission 5 activities are encouraged to attend.

October (FIG), Malta Contact: Mr. Mikael Lilje or Prof Jean-Marie Becker, Geodetic Research Division, National Land Survey, 801 82 Gavle, Sweden Tel: (+46) 26 63 30 00 Fax (+46) 26 61 06 76 Email: or Internet

The Malta delegation together with Vaclav Slaboch at the General Assembly in Brighton

A seminar to be held in Malta is at the planning stage. The national association of surveyors from Malta has offered to organise a seminar.

The final datum has not yet been confirmed but it will take place in October next year. The symposium will cover all kinds of problems for surveyor with special focus on the conditions on Malta and countries around the Mediterranean meeting in preparation. More information will be available shortly on the Internet and in next Newsletter.

Next issue

We intend to have the second Newsletter in print in April/May, 1999. We will focus on the seminar held in Sweden in March as well as look forward towards the seminars in Bangkok and Sun City. We also continue to present more officers in Commission 5.

If there is something that you would like us to include in future newsletters, please let us know.

Contact addresses

Jean-Marie Becker chair fax: +46 26 61 07 76 email:

Matt Higgins v. chair fax: +61 7 3891 5168 email:

Mikael Lilje secretary fax: +46 26 61 06 76 email:

Working Group 1

Vaclav Slaboch chair fax: +420 2 685 7056 email:

Hansbert Heister v. chair fax: +49 89 60 04-39 04 email:

Working Group 2

Michel Kasser chair fax: (+33) 2 4343 3102 email:

Hilmar Ingensand v. chair fax: (+41) 1 633 11 01 email:

Working Group 3

Naser El-Sheimy chair fax: (+1) 403 284 1980 email:

Orhan Altan v. chair fax: email:

Yang Gao v. chair fax: (+1) 403 284 1980 email:

Working Group 4

Nicolas Paparoditis chair fax: (+33) 1 43 98 85 81 email:

Working Group 5

Paul Cross chair fax: +44 171 380 0453 email:

Matt Higgins v. chair fax: +61 7 3891 5168 email: