Go FIGure

Go FIGure

At the time of this newsletter going to print, two FIG Commission 4 publications are nearing completion. They are products resulting from the efforts of two Commission 4 working groups and are as follows:

Guidelines for the Planning, Management and Execution of Hydrographic Surveys in Ports and Harbours.
Prepared by Working Group 4.1, Hydrographic Surveying in Practice, this document will be available in print and e-copy and is a contemporary update of the (1994) FIG Publication No. 8, a report entitled Hydrography, Ports and Harbours. Many thanks to Simon Ironsides (New Zealand) and Venessa O'Connell (Australia) for spearheading this work. The Economic Benefits of Hydrography, a summary document highlighting the work of Working Group 4.4, Capacity Building and the Economic Benefits of Hydrography. Our plan is to release this work as a web-publication only with links to select papers in the FIG Surveyor's Reference Library. Thanks to Gordon Johnston, chair of WG 4.4, we will be able to provide a focal point for information supported by research on this topic.

I am certain there are many cases where we are aware of the economic benefits of hydrography and our readers are encouraged to send us feedback in this regard. For example, insurance estimates on the salvage, repair and loss of business costs associated with the recent grounding of a cruise ship in the Canadian Arctic on an uncharted shoal was put at CDN $10 million. If a fraction of these funds would have been directed to proactively supporting surveys and charting one can speculate that the outcome and benefits to commercial shipping would have been significant.

The FIG "Handover" Meeting and Ceremony will be held on 26 November in Copenhagen. The meeting will serve as transitioning event for the incoming and outgoing Commission chairs to meet and move forward into the next work term (2011-2014). Although the next Commission 4 Work Plan is well into the planning, delegates are encouraged to contact the Commission with their suggestions for the direction of the next work plan. This is, after all, your opportunity to make use of the research and networking power of FIG to address various technical and professional challenges for hydrographers.

Our next Working Week will be held in Marrakech Morocco, 18-22 May 2011. The conference theme is ‘Bridging the Gap Between Cultures' and the event will be co-hosted by the Moroccan Ordre National des Ingenieurs Geometres Topographie (ONIGT).

Commission 4's call for papers has requested work on the following themes:

•Hydrographic surveying in practice
•Administering marine spaces
•Data collection, sea level monitoring and climate change
•Multi-sensor systems in hydrography
•Ellipsoidal hydrographic surveying
•Vertical link between different height measurements and height systems
•Monitoring and mapping of the coast and coastal zone management
•Standards and guidelines
•Hydrography enabling world issues (socioeconomic/environmental issues, benefits, gaps and links etc.)

Readers may recall our previous mention of the upcoming release of new editions of S-5 and S-8, Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers respectively. Publication of the new editions has been delayed as an IHB circular on changes to these documents makes the rounds to member states, particularly the inclusion of cost recovery measures for course accreditation and guidelines for individual recognition (certification) schemes.

There is also some sad news to pass along as David Neale (Trinidad and Tobago) our vice chair of Administration and Communications and member of the FIG/IHO/ICA IB was hospitalised last September due to a brain tumor. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David and his family in the hope of a speedy recovery.

Updates to the Commission 4 website are underway so for more information on the Commission or to register for Working Week 2011 please visit the website below.

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