International Scientific Societies meet in Hannover for the Day of Geodesy
During the Day of the Geodesy on May 24, 2019, the leaders of four international scientific societies in the field of geodesy and geoinformatics met in Hannover for talks on possible collaboration. Prof. Monika Sester (Leibniz University Hannover) represented the International Cartographic Association (ICA) as its Vice President; the other three societies were represented by their presidents: Prof. Harald Schuh (GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam) participated in the meeting for the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), Prof. Rudolf Staiger (University of Bochum) for the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and Prof. Christian Heipke (Leibniz University Hannover) for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). What is remarkable about this meeting is that all four representatives come from Germany; an unprecedented constellation in the, for some of the societies, more than 100-year history.
The morning began at the Leibniz University with presentations from each international organization to an interested professional audience. The four representatives then met for a 45-minute public panel discussion in the city centre, in which they highlighted the role of geodesy and geoinformatics for society at large. In addition to the classical task of surveying and mapping of the earth's surface and documenting the legal boundaries, the main topic was the role of geodesy in the age of digitization and climate change, e.g. for mobility and autonomous driving, for sustainable urban and rural development, for earth observation and natural hazards, and also in robotics and navigation. Without the often less visible geodetic contributions, reliable data would not be available in the required quality, neither for sea level rise nor for high-precision positioning in real-time or in disaster management.
With the use of the full range of their research, the geodesists also expect to make significant contributions to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to estimates by the World Bank, approximately just 30% of land is registered worldwide, which is why experts in cadastre and land management are in great demand.
In addition to this, all speakers emphasized the broad field of activity and the fascination of geodesy - a field in which full employment is virtually guaranteed in most countries today. With this background, the subject of geodesy and geoinformatics is highly recommended to prospective students.
The representatives of the scientific societies later met for an internal exchange of ideas, in which possibilities for closer cooperation were discussed. An improved exchange of information between the societies, and a common representation at, and organisation of, scientific and professional meetings and events for outreach and further education were agreed upon, especially in areas where overlapping interests exist. Cooperation is also to be intensified in areas relating to geodesy and geoinformatics in general, such as education and recruitment, scientific publications, and the visibility of the subject in politics, administration and the society at large, on a national and international level.
Further information about the scientific societies can be found here:
- FIG: International Federation of Surveyors (www.fig.net)
- IAG: International Association of Geodesy (www.iag-aig.org)
- ICA: International Cartographic Association (www.icaci.org)
- ISPRS: International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (www.isprs.org)
Caption: The leading representatives of the four geodetic scientific societies, all of which are currently from Germany, in front of the Leibniz University Hannover booth at the Day of Geodesy: (from left) Prof. Rudolf Staiger (President FIG), Prof. Monika Sester (Vice President ICA), Prof. Harald Schuh (President IAG ) and Prof. Christian Heipke (President ISPRS).