Land Matters - 15/05/2018

Summer is on the way at long last and RICS Geomatics has been very busy on an ever-increasing UK and global portfolio. The early summer months see several of our key annual events take place – GeoBusiness 2018 (22-23 May) and the FIG Congress in Istanbul.

Now into its 5th year, GeoBusiness goes from strength to strength. RICS will again join our colleagues from AGI, TSA, ICE and CICES on a joint stand at the front of the exhibition space (stand C2), we are again a station on the legendary ‘Ale Trail’ and have been heavily involved in the conference (geospatial and the 4th industrial revolution), workshops and seminars. To mark the RICS 150th celebrations we will also have a mobile RICS exhibit which focusses on the history of RICS and the future of the profession. Geo-technology features heavily in this ‘immersive’ experience, something not to be missed. RICS HQ Westminster is also hosting a year-long exhibition in our library and a wonderful video can be viewed at

RICS 150

Members will also be interested in the ‘pride in the profession’ element of the 150th celebrations which highlights the achievements of many great surveyors (including many land & hydrographic surveyors) from over the years - Martin Hotine and David Powell have just been added. Send in any suggestions you have to Details on 150th year can be found at including details of a major student competition focussed on bringing change to the built environment.

ILMS & RICS at the World Bank Land Conference 2018

Last week was a real watershed for the forthcoming International Land Measurement Standards (ILMS) and for the international profile and status of RICS (within the land sectors for sure) when myself, Ben Elder and Tony Mulhall stormed the World Bank Land Conference 2018. This is a major conference that has become the biggest 'land' event in the world. The conference presents the latest research and practice on the diversity of reforms, interventions, and innovations in the land sector around the world. The theme was: Land Governance in an Interconnected World. The conference has become one of the largest international events on land governance, attracting over 1,800 participants from governments, academics, civil society, and the private sector.

RICS presented in several sessions (World Bank are very interested in the interconnection of land, land value, geospatial information, new technology, investment, land based financing and of course ILMS land reporting), chaired sessions, presented posters, participated in roundtables, put on local RICS chapter CPD (Georgetown University, a real coup!) and even managed to get the RICS logo on the main partners listing, a wonderful piece of profile raising.

RICS also completed a tripartite session with Ordnance Survey International (who also strongly supported the recent RICS Hong Kong geomatics conference – see below) and Land Registry International, RICS really has something to bring to the table on capacity building and on the understanding of how markets work (informal and formal). We have been building this relationship with the World Bank for several years and the synergies are starting to pay off.

But the real 'coup de grace' was the reception for the ILMS standard and concept. The UN has now requested special ILMS sessions (UN GGIM and UNECE/UNECA) and other organisations have been quick to voice their support (IAAO). The big news was the taking up of the ILMS banner by Thomson Reuters with an excellent article ( which has been 'wired' across the globe and which is springing up in lots of national news feeds, social media and papers. The momentum continues to build.


RICS has been very active in China recently. The China Society of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (CSSMG) issued an official notice for all senior geomatics professionals around the country encouraging them to apply for RICS membership through the Direct Entry Route (DER), established in 2017. The announcement went out on a range of public communications platforms and to 30 provincial geomatics associations across China. CSSMG is a non-profit national professional body with over 400 group members and more than 30,000 individual members.

RICS Hong Kong held a very well attended geomatics conference in March 2018 ( which focussed on ‘smart cities’ and was supported by Ordnance Survey International.

UK Government Geospatial Commission - Redux

The new Geospatial Commission was highlighted within the Autumn 2017 budget ( This is an enormous step forward for our industry in so many ways. Several of our geospatial industry colleagues such as AGI ( have come together to brief HM Gov. AGI took the ‘bull by the horns’ and held a Geospatial Commission Breakfast Briefing on 22 February, AGI welcomed a full house at the Geospatial Commission Breakfast Briefing in Westminster. Guests represented an excellent cross-section of the geo community, which stimulated an intriguing, exciting debate. Reports from our recent Geospatial Commission – AGI Breakfast Briefing are now online, in Short and Full Summary form (

FIG Istanbul 2018

This major quadrennial FIG congress takes place in early May and RICS will have a strong delegation covering a wide range of surveying sectors. RICS has put forward two commission chairs (9 - valuation, 10 - construction) and Dr Diane Dumashie FRICS will stand for another 4 year term as vice-president. There will also be a special BIM event (Survey4BIM will present) and multiple sessions. More at

Survey Theft

Our colleagues at TSA have really gotten to grips with the epidemic of survey equipment theft in the UK by engaging with security experts SmartWater which is leading to detailed analysis and police follow-up on every incident of equipment theft. A new three year agreement between TSA and SmartWater, sponsored by the leading manufacturers, is the first, co-ordinated response to thieves that persistently target surveyors. The full press release is available at and will be featured at GeoBusiness 2018.

Government Gives Go Ahead for Geospatial Apprenticeships

The Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds, has given final approval for a Geospatial Technician Apprenticeship by approving the funding band, meaning that this is now ready for delivery. The Institute for Apprenticeships has also recommended a final funding band to the Secretary of State for the Geospatial Mapping and Science Degree Apprenticeship and this will also be ready for delivery very shortly. More details in the TSA column.

This article was published in Geomatics World May/June 2018

Last updated: 18/02/2020