Thinking Out Aloud about a FIG and GIM International Collaboration - 01/05/2020


Who could ever have imagined that GIM International would publish a summary of a FIG Working Week 2020 that never took place? The planned location was Amsterdam, but the coronavirus outbreak and coupled lockdown resulted in the situation we are in now. FIG and GIM International therefore decided to join forces to make the most out of all the effort that had been put into making this year’s Working Week a great success. Thanks to our partnership, we can give you a good flavour of all the papers, presentations and other activities that had been prepared for the FIG community.

Despite the lockdowns and social distancing, working from home works incredibly well. We communicate via internet, email and video calls. We present and discuss via video conferencing, and it’s going fine. We brainstorm with brainstorming tools – together in groups. This may come in very handy in the future, also when organizing congresses and seminars and other events. It therefore seems that changes are underway as a consequence of the coronavirus.

Two platforms that reinforce each other 

The collaboration between FIG and GIM International is one between two world platforms that reinforce each other. FIG is a highly respected NGO, involved in global developments that are important to the field and to the professionals represented. Affiliated members of the federation may refer to these developments in their discussions with national governments. Surveyors, companies and governments can share knowledge through FIG and use this as a foundation for developments and investments. As a federation, FIG strives to represent all surveyors’ associations worldwide. GIM, on the other hand, has a professional readership audience that is in a position to make decisions in investments and developments. Such decisions are based, of course, on substantive expertise and advice where necessary. The GIM readership therefore overlaps with the participants in the FIG activities: both platforms are knowledge providers with strong networks – not only in the developed world but especially also in developing countries, where GIM issues and FIG proceedings and publications are well received. This knowledge is used in national and local debates between professionals and their associations, as a basis for lectures at universities, as input for theses, and for the development of opinion and policies. It is also used for the financing and implementation of those policies – in cooperation with surveyors and others. 

Of course, the scope of GIM International goes beyond the activities of FIG and vice versa. There are also other professional and scientific organizations and NGOs in our field – just like there are other magazines, also at the national level. Many associations publish beautiful magazines with overviews of activities and relevant substantive contributions.

the sustainable development goals require a crucial contribution from surveyors and geospatial experts.
the sustainable development goals require a crucial contribution from surveyors and geospatial experts.

Sustainable development goals

As an example, the sustainable development goals require a crucial contribution from surveyors and geospatial experts. The manner in which this is developed and implemented is a subject of discussion within UN organisations, FIG, ISPRS, ICA, IHO and so on. These organizations find a platform for communication in GIM International– always and everywhere in versatile collaboration with the business community. The magazine has a worldwide distribution of more than 10,000 copies – the number of readers is a multiple of that. It is also the case that the ideas of FIG and other organizations have been spread through GIM International for decades. Considering the cooperation between FIG and GIM, digital options for spreading information quickly spring to mind, and are already used, but there are also other ideas, such as expanding the platform function with webinars and virtual conferences, or adding magazines, scientific publications, and links with local magazines. It is also important to meet each other, although perhaps a little less than we used to, of course.

Rest assured that GIM International will be covering the latest trends and developments in geospatial surveying. We will do our utmost to be your number one stop when it comes to our beautiful profession. With relevant articles, such as the recent How Geospatial Surveying Is Driving Land Administration, we hope we manage to provide you with useful solutions. Our society may undergo some significant changes due to the coronavirus outbreak; it is good to know that we continue in our mission to disseminate the immense amount of knowledge the mapping and surveying industry generates.

Last updated: 28/11/2020