2nd Global Surveyors Day

2nd Global Surveyors Day

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha
Former Survey Director General and
Border Researcher

21st March is the Global Surveyors Day (GSD) that will be celebrated in various countries of the world every year. The Day recognises the work of surveying, mapping and geospatial professionals. This is a worldwide event initiated by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) based in Denmark, the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE), and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) in the USA. FIG has initiated to celebrate the Day by the country association around the world.

Surveying, mapping and geospatial information are necessary for the planning, designing, estimation and execution of development projects; such as generation of hydro-electric projects, infrastructure development including construction of roads and railways, development of urban cities and rural towns and settlements. It is to produce accurate, exact and up-to-date maps and related data for the successful implementation of the project.

Land surveying is the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialized technology and equipment. Surveyors measure just about anything on the land, in the sky or on the ocean bed. They even measure polar ice-caps

FIG has determined the norms and standard, specification and modality of surveying, mapping and geo-informatics system (GIS) of the world. FIG is is an UN-accredited organisation which represents the interests of surveyors throughout the world.

Surveyors play an integral role in land development, from the planning and design of land subdivisions through to the final construction of roads, utilities and landscaping. Surveyors are the first people on any construction site, measuring and mapping the land. These primary measurements are then used by engineers to understand and make the most of the unique landscape when designing to plan structures accurately and safely, ensuring not only fit with the landscape but are able to be constructed. So the Global Surveyors Day has to be celebrated to encourage the surveyors of the world to produce exact and accurate maps and data for the development of the nation.

Who is a Surveyor ?

According to FIG, a surveyor is the professional person with academic qualifications and technical expertise to determine, measure and represent land, three-dimensional objects, point-fields and trajectories, to assemble and interpret land and geographically related information, to use that information for the planning and efficient administration of the land, the sea and any structures thereon, and to conduct research into the above practices and to develop them.


A Surveyor must exercise unbiased independent professional judgement; assume responsibility for all work carried out by their professional and non-professional staff, avoid any appearance of professional impropriety and make no fraudulent charges for services rendered.

Ethics and conduct of a Surveyor  

Surveyors must have integrity, independence, care and competence. Surveyors duty is to maintain confidentiality about the affairs of their current and former clients and employers unless required by law to make disclosures; avoid conflicts of interest; take environmental concerns into account in their operations and activities; recognise the interests of the public when providing services to their clients or employers; and conduct their work to the best of their ability, giving due consideration to the rights of all parties

It is important that Nepali professional Surveyors must be affiliated with the FIG through their national association, Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (NICS). In the meantime, Nepali Surveyors must obtain Survey License to make professional practices, as the medical Doctors get their licences from the Nepal Medical Council, also for those who work in government Hospitals.

Surveying, mapping system and GPS/GIS activities of Nepal should be more scientific as the norms and standards set by FIG.

Purpose to observe the Day

Main purpose to observe the Day is to reflect on the work that surveyors do. It is said that it is essential to know what impact of various kinds of surveyors can have all over the world. First edition of the Global Surveyors Day was specially marked at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in Washington DC, USA with representation of FIG, CLGE and NSPS and many other Surveyors and others from around the world who are in Washington DC.

It can be celebrated in many/different ways, and it is up to the national surveyors institutions to find their best way to celebrate the day. As part of the celebrations initiated by FIG, a Round Table should be placed to enable surveying professionals to discuss important topics in today’s world, followed by an evening reception as get-together.

FIG is the main umbrella of the Surveyors of the globe. It is a United Nations and World Bank recognized non-governmental organization of national member associations and other affiliated members from over 120 countries and Nepal is one of them. Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (NICS) is its country member association. Government of Nepal Survey Department is the affiliate member and Land Management Training Center is the academic member of FIG from Nepal.

Reasons to observe the Day

Various organizations and agencies observe their World Day in their own way in one particular day of the year. For example, World Women Day will be celebrated on the 8th of March. In the same way, International Labour Day is observed on 1st of May every year. So as to mark the ‘Global Surveyors Day’ every year. In order to highlight the importance of a Surveyor, their job and the field work all over the world, the date 21st March has been chosen and named Global Surveyors Day. It is necessary to highlight that the tools as surveying, mapping and related GIS data and materials will be prepared and produced by the Surveyors, which are necessary for the planning and implementation of various economic development of the country.

Nepali context

Nepal has a huge potentiality of hydro-power generation. To plan and execute the hydro-power project, at first it needs accurate and exact maps and related data. So is the case for road construction project, urban/rural development programs, tourism development planning, so on and so forth in Nepal. The Nepali Surveyors generate these materials and the concerned Engineers use it as their essential tool. These activities of Surveyors should be highlighted and communicated through observing the Global Surveyors Day also in Nepal.

In connection to the activity of Surveyors, Ministry of Land Management has said that there are 30 million land parcels all over the country. The ministry has a plan to convert the registered land from manual data into digital form. The Minister Ms. Padma Kumari Aryal has said on February 25, 2019 that there are 131 survey and land management office across the country. Among them 54 offices have implemented the digital system. Rest of the offices will complete the digital system within two years period from now. Nepali Surveyors have to come forward to perform these tasks scientifically. 

In the meantime minister Aryal launched new official map of Nepal in Kathmandu on March 7, 2019. The map bears the boundaries of seven provinces with the names of head quarter three provinces–Gandaki, Karnali and Sudurpashchim, whereas other four provinces are numbered as 1, 2, 3 and 5. All these activities have been performed under the work of surveying and mapping, undertaken by the Surveyors.

Last year NICS celebrated the Day in association with the government Survey Department amidst a function in the Survey Department. Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives Gopi Nath Mainali was the Chief Guest.

Last item

Global Surveyors Day will create awareness to the Surveyors of Nepal on their services to the society.  It will help to resolve the issues in connection to perform the surveying and mapping activities. It has to make well manage the works of Surveyors on the land, above the crust and underneath the surface of the world. Surveyors must be active. They must author their professional books and articles. Their profession should be respectful and take moral accountability.

The Surveyors have to be good and professionals. Role of the Surveyors is important for the nation. Private and public sector Surveyors must have good co-operation and co-ordination to prepare scientific maps and accurate data, needed for the implementation of various projects for the benefit of the people.

Surveyors must make their profession successful writing technical articles and books on the background of their knowledge and work experience to observe the global surveyors day to provide efficient land management services to the people and society.

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