Home Articles SEASC 2003 Interview with t N wong, chairman, organising committee

SEASC 2003 Interview with t N wong, chairman, organising committee

T N Wong


T N Wong
Chairman
Organising Committee
7th South East Asian Survey Congress 2003, Hong Kong

When did the concept of SEASC originate and how?
The concept of SEASC originated in 1977 when a group of professional surveyors in Australia were discussing the prospect of establishing a regional meeting of professional surveying organizations. The region envisaged included Australia and New Zealand, the nations of the SW Pacific and the countries of SE Asia. The idea was that a congress should be staged in a country within that geographical area and it would be modelled on the format of the Australian Institution of Surveyors (AIS) Annual Conference. The main proponent at that time was Kevin Blume, a former AIS President, together with other prominent members of the Australian surveying fraternity. The general consensus was that it was a real ‘you-beaut’ idea – and further discussion dropped the possible name of ‘The SW Pacific Survey Congress’ in favour of the SEASC.

Through their professional contacts with Surveyors in Singapore and Malaysia they were soon in discussion with their counterparts in those countries. The outcome was the decision to stage a congress in Singapore in 1979, to be dovetailed with a technical tour to Malaysia. During those formative years, word went out to all professional bodies. All responses were positive, so a joint Australian, Malaysian and Singaporean organising team set about the task of getting the first congress off the ground.

The significant impact SEASC has been able to make is the formation of a more rigorous surveying institution now called the Federation of Land and Geomatics (FLAG).

What were the objectives of SEASC when it started?
The objectives were to run a more formal four-yearly surveying congress to be held in a country within that geographical area in this case the SE Asian Region and the Pacific Rim; to provide a venue for all professional surveyors to meet and establish closer relationships.

Tell us something about SEASC 2003?
SEASC 2003 was conceived by a young lady surveyor who gently nourished and carefully carried the well-nursed embryo from Hong Kong to Fremantle in November 1999. At the same time a well known matured surveyor who together with a group of professional surveyors gave birth to the 2nd SEASC in 1983 was asked to come up with a theme for the SEASC 2003. In 1983 the surveying method and instrumentations were mostly traditional. By 2003 it’s all cyber. Hence the theme “From Compass and Pacing to Cyber Spacing – How Does SE Asian Survey Measure Up?”. That was how SEASC2003 was borne. The objective of SEASC 2003 is to transform and transfer the existing analogous or paper data to form digital data for easy retrieval, inter-changeability and sharing; to investigate a standard data exchange format for sharing of data and to develop and adopt the standardised data exchange format.

What significant impact SEASC has been able to make on the surveying community?
The significant impact SEASC has been able to make is the formation of a more rigorous surveying institution now called the Federation of Land and Geomatics (FLAG). This was formed by the professional surveying institutions of the 10 ASEAN countries. This is a very strong regional grouping determined to promote, exchange and share the expertise and experience and knowledge of surveying not only among professional surveyors of ASEAN member countries, but also of the countries in the Pacific Rim.

What is your impression about the scenario of surveying in South East Asian region in general?
The present situation of surveying in SE Asian region is as diverse as its economic development. Some more developed countries are using the most modern instrumentations and software whilst some less developed countries are trying very hard to catch up. With the rigorous formation of FLAG and through more regional and inter-regional surveying congress the surveying in these regional will no doubt move towards modernisation and mutual recognition in the years to come.