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‘Innovations must for staying relevant’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Over 800 professionals from the surveying industry from Malaysia and around the world converged at the 11th South East Asia Survey Congress and the 13th International Surveyors’ Congress, organised by the Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia and held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during June 22-24, 2011. With the theme “Innovation Towards Sustainability,” the conference witnessed discussions and use of innovative technologies and other initiatives for the benefit of surveying community and economic development.
“Surveyors play a very important role in socio-economic development of any country. Surveyors no longer confine themselves to traditional roles but are increasingly taking up new challenges in an increasingly globalised world. They are playing an active role in various fields related to land development, spatial planning, real estate management as well as decision making. Today surveyors are in a unique position to contribute to sustainable development through creativity and innovation,” observed Y.B. Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, in his opening address. Elvin Fernandez, President, Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia observed that surveying profession in Malaysia has contributed siginficantly to nation building, and the siginficance can continue by using various specialisations in surveying to meet the needs of general public. He also stresssed that surveying professionals must be able to learn to work at higher levels and should continue to finetune their skills. Plenary sessionsThe plenary session during the conference focussed on several interesting dimensions of land administration.  Dr. Keith Clifford Bell of World Bank (Sustainable Development – East Asia Pacific Region) shared the initiatiaves of the orgnisation in rural and urban land development at two levels: governance and ICT deployment. He informed that currently the World Bank is supporting land administration projects worth USD 180 million in East Asia, with emphases on institutional and policy reform, capacity building, tenure security, land management, governance, social equity, economic development, service delivery -and more recently SDI. He informed that World Development Report (2010) stresses the importance of accurate and timely data, especially from remote sensing and other geographic information. He also observed that spatial data will increasingly be sourced from non-official sources. Prof Ian Williamson of Centre of Centre for SDI & Land Administration of University of Melbourne stressed on the growing importance of spatially-enabled AAA (accurate, authoritative and assured) land information, while sharing challenges in land administration in Australia. According to him, this information is an underutilised public good and the power of land registry information must be unleashed.  
In another plenary, Chris Gibson, Vice President and Executive Committee Member, Trimble, stressed on the need for surveyors to align themselves with industries and processes to enhance their productivity and sustainability.  According to him, geospatial data is ever increasing and is forming a significant component for a wide range of industries, from mining to construction. Beyond just generating data and establishing databases, surveyors can become data authorities in these industries where data comes from several sources. With surveying not ending where land ends, marine cadastre has an equally important role in the surveying ecosystem. Dr. Michael Sutherland, Chair Session 4, Hydrography, FIG, emphasised on the need for implementing a marine cadastre since such information systems can emerge as a decision support tool in the management and administration of those spaces.  
Technical sessions The event also featured a number of technical sessions, dealing with technical innovations, developments and other issues pertinent to the surveying industry and surveyors. These emphasized on new surveying initiatives like cadastral mapping in Cambodia, the strife-torn country where all existing land records were destroyed in 1979; demonstration by Korea Cadastral Survey Corp (KCSC) on how a terrestrial LiDAR method and 3D modelling can be applied to establish a 3D cadastre; referral agricultural commodities mapping to address increasing food demand in the face of increasing population; the need, benefits and initiatives in 3D mapping of cities like that of Putrajaya in Malaysia and use of technologies like close range photogrammetry in applications as diverse as restoration of historical sites and 3D modelling of industrial piping that has enormous potential in the utilities segment.  Source: Our Correspondent