FIG Commission 4 - Hydrography

Term 2007-2010

Highlights Commission Chair


 The Congress in Sydney, Australia was the main activity in Commission action plan in 2010. Commission 4 presented nine sessions, five of which were collaborative with other commissions – 5, 7 and 8. These joint sessions featured work on vertical reference frames (datums), positioning at sea, coastal zone issues, capacity building, competencies and the administration of marine spaces.

Mr. Andrew Leyzack

 A number of presentations were from peer reviewed papers and two sessions were offered as virtual posters in flash sessions. All of the sessions were well attended and in some cases were subject to standing room only. For the benefit of hydrographic-types a technical tour was organised by Sydney Ports and co-hosted by Sydney Ports, Newcastle Port Corporation and the Royal Australian Navy. In Sydney also the annual general meeting plus an executive meeting of commission officers were held.

Four newsletters as well as an Insider’s View article on the Economic Benefits of Hydrography were published in Hydro International. In the FIG publication series two Commission 4 publications were launched: “Guidelines for the Planning, Management and Execution of Hydrographic Surveys in Ports and Harbours” (Publication No. 56) and “The Economic Benefits of Hydrography” (Publication No. 57 was published as a web-only document).

Work Plan

Terms of reference

  • Hydrographic surveying
  • Hydrographic education, training and CPD
  • Marine environment & CZM
  • Data processing and management
  • Nautical charting and bathymetric maps - analogue and digital, includes ENCs (Electronic Navigational Charts).

Mission Statement

  • Promote the aims and objectives of FIG to hydrographers through the active involvement of national delegates from member associations and other interested parties in the activities of the commission.
  • Foster closer links with all sister organisations currently active within the global hydrographic community.
  • Develop guidelines and standards that will assist hydrographers in the provision of their services.
  • Disseminate information relevant to the profession through participation in international meetings, conferences and committees.

Work Plan

Key documents


Working Groups

Working Group 4.1 - Hydrographic Surveying in Practice

Policy issues

  • Monitor and report on new directions in Hydrographic surveying
  • Develop good practice recommendations for project management and as well the delivery of Hydrographic products and services
  • Respond to opportunities to offer continuing professional development at regional meetings.
  • Respond to direction from FIG Council to address emerging issues on an ad-hoc basis.


Mr. John McCarthy
E-mail: john[at]

Working Group 4.2 - Standards and Guidelines

Policy issues

  • Assist in the development and recognition of standards of competency
  • Assist in the development of technical standards and guidelines .
  • Cooperation with sister organizations and other appropriate bodies.
  • Cooperation with FIG Commissions


Mr. Andrew Leyzack
E-mail: leyzacka[at]


Working Group 4.3 - Administering Marine Spaces

Policy Issues

  • Focus on land management within the near-shore, land/sea interface of a Coastal Zone
  • To promote and develop the work of FIG Publication 36, Administering Marine Spaces.


Michael Sutherland
e-mail: michael.d.sutherland[at]

Working Group 4.4 - Capacity Building and the Economic Benefits of Hydrography

Policy issues

  • Clearly identify the cost/benefits associated with Hydrographic products and services.
  • Promote Hydrographic Surveying as an investment.
  • Market the Profession and the development of qualified personnel
  • Provide support to the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), Capacity Building Committee (CBC).
  • Coordinate efforts to focus professional development where required.
  • Investigate low cost alternatives for the delivery of Hydrographic services and training.


Mr. Gordon Johnston
United Kingdom
E-mail: gordon.johnston1[at]