FIG Working Week 2017 announces keynote speakers

This year FIG has received around 550 papers of which 60 papers have undergone the double-blinded peer-review process and graded on relevance, originality, breadth, completeness and clarity. The technical programme committee are now planning the sessions, which will be published in March.

Ed Parsons

We are pleased to announce the keynote speakers!

At the Opening Ceremony, Tuesday 29 May 2017 we are excited to announce Mr. Ed Parsons from google, as our main key note speaker.

Ed Parsons will set the scene for the FIG Working Week within the overall theme “Surveying the world to tomorrow – From digitalisation to augmented reality.” Ed will talk about the activities going on both above and below the radar and the professionals role in the future setting the tone and context of our world. Is the reality that urbanisation for all across the world will all be smart and digitalised? What happens to  the professionals scope of work if geospatial data is now in the hands of all? The digitalisation – version 2.0 can change much around the world – but in different ways.

Ed Parsons is the Geospatial Technologist of Google, with responsibility for evangelising Google’s mission to organise the world’s information using geography. In this role he maintains links with Governments, Universities, Research and Standards Organisations which are involved in the development of Geospatial Technology.

He is currently co-chair of the W3C/OGC Spatial Data on the Web Working Group.

The FIG Working Week programme will be underpinned by invited high-level presentations in three plenary sessions:

Tuesday 29 May

Living of Tomorrow – In a Digitalised World

  • Mr. Arvo Kokkonen, Director General, National Land Survey, Finland
    Does the Surveying Sector Change Quickly Enough?

    Focus will be on the ever more up-to-date data and information service challenges. How does the surveying sector renew itself as far as both administration and content are concerned and, most importantly, in relation to its customers.

  • Mr. Greg Bentley, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board, Bentley Systems
    3D City Initiatives

    The city of Helsinki in Finland is mid-way through an initiative to capture the city and create a new 3D model that is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Helsinki wanted to update its current 3D model with new, innovative applications that could provide entire city modelling capabilities in order to improve its internal service, promote smart city development, and share data through an open format for citizens and other agencies. Bentley Systems, a Platinum Corporate member of FIG, has been cooperating for many years with the City of Helsinki in the development. For more information, please visit

  • Mr. Oumar Sylla, Land and GLTN Unit Leader, UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network
    The development of cities after Habitat III and the surveyors’ role

    The talk will serve as awareness creation for broader Land Professionals in successes of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) which was held in Quito, Ecuador on 17 – 20 October 2016.  It will highlight the centrality of land in the New Urban Agenda and how the professionals will participate in implementation and the role played by GLTN Partners and Land and GLTN Unit of UN-Habitat in emphasising the role of land in the Agenda.

Wednesday 30 May

Professional behaviour – In a Digitalised World

  • Prof. Heidi Kuusiniemi, Director, Navigation and Positioning, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute
    Future trends in pervasive positioning

    Focus will be on the future trends in pervasive positioning. With the development of technologies, more diverse location services are needed to meet the demand of customers. What we are going to use pervasive positioning technology to creates new opportunities for large-scale data collection of position and sensor measurements.

  • Prof.dr. Yola Georgiadou, Professor in geo-information for governance, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente
    Geo-ethics: Past, Present, Future

    Presently, in the age of big data, geo-ethics is fiercely debated among techno-optimists and techno-pessimists. But the debate does not need to be polarized. In the future, geospatial scientists and engineers may shape geo-information technology in a socially responsible way.

  • Dr. Jolyne Sanjak, Chief Program Officer, Landesa
    Innovative and more affordable technology and how to democratize data gathering

    Based on her own experience both from current work at Landesa, and also from previous experience within FAO working on the VGGT, Dr. Sanjak will explore what is innovative and more affordable technology and how to democratize data gathering.

Thursday 1 June

The Contribution of our Profession – In a Digitalised World

  • Prof. Markku Poutanen, Director,  Geodesy and Geodynamics, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute
    Future of Geodetic Reference Frames

    Focus will be on the changes in most basic entities like the reference frames. With increased accuracy demands, new ways of thinking and new methods are needed to fulfill the requirements.

  • Dr. Janet Edeme, Policy Officer, Africa Union
    The LSBi initiative

    What does the LSBi initiavtive means for professionals and their contribution in society? Dr. Edeme will set the tone and context of our world in human settlements, the reality is that societally pressures in rural and urban areas and access to resources will not immediately be smart! What will the role be for surveyors around the world?

  • Prof. Juha Hyyppä, Director, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute
    What about the future? How does the future look for surveyors in this technological era.

    A philosophically discussion on technology demands and the challenges ahead for surveyors. In the future we use technology as a tool to add new dimensions to what we see around us.

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