FIG Council

Ensuring the Rapid Response to Change
Ensuring the Surveyor of Tomorrow

Work Plan


The FIG vision is of a modern and sustainable surveying profession in support of society, environment and economy by providing innovative, reliable and best practice solutions to our rapidly changing and complex world, acting with integrity and confidence about the usefulness of surveying, and translating these words into action.


FIG supports international collaboration among its members for the progress of surveying in all its fields and applications.

FIG, through dedicated leaderships and the long and systematic work of its members, has established a close cooperation with the UN, the WB and its sister associations and has been globally recognized as the leading international non-governmental organization on geospatial information and the management of land, the sea and the build environment.

For the 2015-2018 time period FIG council agreed on an overall theme for the next period of office:

Ensuring the Rapid Response to Change, Ensuring the Surveyor of Tomorrow”.

Through the years almost every incoming administration of FIG has acknowledged “change” as a reality of our world. Now the changes we face are more than technological; they are global and they are fast. Change is inevitable; as professionals we cannot manage change, we can only manage the way we respond to change. What we traditionally do, as professionals, is to seek the relevance of our profession and to improve our efficiency to respond to change.

Since the steel tape, the logarithms, the theodolite, the introduction of triangulation and the least squares adjustment theory, the cadastral maps, the revolution of photogrammetry, the electronic distance measurement, the use of telurometer, up to the satellite images and the GNSS revolution, the GIS and spatial information management, the UAVs and mobile devices, and our leading role in modern cadastres and marine information systems, our increased involvement in land governance, especially in land administration, land management, land and property valuation and quantity surveying, FIG and “the surveying profession” has continuously changed aiming to better serve a spatially enabled society.

The difference today lies in the fact that “timing” is introduced as the crucial factor in our theme. We are living in an era of constant and rapid change: changing technology that challenges us to maintain our proficiency; changing markets that challenge us to adapt to international processes and standards; changing societal needs that challenge us to adapt our governance policies and tools.

Today we have reached the stage where there is an increased UN and WB recognition of how reliable geospatial information helps governments and citizens to underpin decision making; Being “geospatial” is a global “transformation”. Geospatial information is recognized as the tool to address issues like:

Our professional services and products are changing the perception of how governments seek growth. Good land administration, for example, has a direct effect on lending practices and national economies. Governments are seeking innovative ways to encourage universal parcels recordation as quickly as possible. Citizens also understand that innovation facilitates good decision-making for all people both in the public and private sectors. There is a fast growing civil demand and a changing culture for authoritative spatial information published on the web, a culture that changes the administrative concept. The question is how much change can governments afford? To satisfy such great demand the use of data derived from various providers may be supportive. Authoritative data can be provided and assured by government agencies but also by crowd sourcing and the engagement of surveyors.

Surveyors today are recognized for their provision of reliable geospatial data towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), enabling a real difference in people’s lives. As the MDGs are to be concluded by the end of 2015, it is the purpose of government to build on the generated momentum and carry on with an ambitious post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

FIG and its Member Associations, Academic Members, Affiliate Members, as well as Corporate Members, through the work provided by the Council, the Commissions, Task Forces, Networks, and the Permanent Institutions, are in a strong position to interact with politicians, individual surveyors and citizens at regional, national and local level and further contribute the expansion of this progress in most of the world’s countries. The post-2015 development agenda is expected to tackle many issues relevant to the surveying profession, including ending poverty and hunger, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, protecting oceans and forests. FIG and its member surveyors are the specialists who contribute this change. It is the role of surveyors to provide solution functionality, reliably, affordably for a complex and rapidly changing world that cannot wait. It is therefore urgent for the surveying profession to be customer oriented, to think ahead, to predict future changes, and to foresee the requirements of the next generation of the public and structure the way ahead. Therefore we must develop a prosperous and sustainable profession which will translate the post 2015 sustainable development agenda into action and will direct benefits to member associations respective Nation States.

During the 2015-2018 time period FIG, its council and commissions, hand in hand with its member associations, affiliate members, academic members, and corporate members will strive to achieve the FIG Vision.

The key topics of the Council Work Plan include professional development, institutional development, capacity development, cooperation with global organizations and sister associations to respond to global needs.


FIG will continue to provide a global forum for discussion and exchange of experiences and new professional developments between members and individual professionals in the broad areas of surveying and mapping, spatial information management, and the management of land and the built environment. This relates to FIG annual conferences, regional conferences, the FIG Networks, the work of the ten commissions (ACCO) within their working groups and commission seminars and the work of the Task Forces (TFs).

The council will ensure that this global forum offers opportunities for all aspects of the surveying profession, its various disciplines and the total range of its professional areas and professional standards.

The council will also ensure that the performance according to the agreed work plan will be monitored and supported by the responsible council members. The council will work closely with the FIG family to agree upon the deliverables and upon key performance indicators for monitoring the performance during the next 4 years and will report annually.

3.1. Global Environment

In order to further promote and enhance the role of FIG within the global environment actions will include:

FIG will continue to promote professional development through its commission activities, conferences, the Young Surveyors Network, and the Regional Capacity Development Network. The organization of commission activities and conferences is an important global FIG effort. The FIG motto “Ensuring the Rapid Response to change, Ensuring the Surveyor of Tomorrow” should be applied to these activities. According to the situation, e.g., response to economic change (economies in transition), or response to disaster management (natural disasters), professional achievements should be identified and promoted.

FIG will support promotion of the “post 2015 sustainable development agenda” in cooperation with UN agencies such as UNGGIM, FAO, UNHABITAT/GLTN, UNECE, UNEP, UNDP, UNOOSA, UNECA, UNRCC, ECOSOC, PCIDEA, the World Bank, and sister organizations; when appropriate new MoUs or extension of existing MoUs will be developed. FIG will coordinate with International professional organizations in surveying disciplines such as IAG, ICA, IHO, ISPRS, GSDI, ISM, IFHS, ICSU through the Joint Board of Spatial Information Societies. More specifically, there is a mutual interest between FIG and

It is expected that raising awareness on the above global topics, within FIG, will enable FIG member associations to create more global surveyors.

3.2. Regional Environment

In order to further promote and enhance the role of FIG within regional environments actions will include:

3.3. Local Environment

In order to further promote and enhance the role of FIG within local environments actions will include:


 FIG will promote internal structural improvements in order to meet the need for a rapid response to change. Such improvements will include:

PDF version of the work plan
Responsibilities of Council

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