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The database for geodetic surveying in Europe

The Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) is working on a project that could revolutionize the access to information about geodetic surveying in Europe. It had become obvious during the past years that there is a considerable lack of information when it comes to national rules, regulations and practices of geodetic surveying throughout Europe. At the same time there was a rising demand for such concise information.

So CLGE decided to take the initiative and drafted a concept for a so called “Dynamic Professional Knowledge Database”. The CLGE database is meant to be a regularly updated
comprehensive collection of all relevant information about the profession of Geodetic Surveyors in all CLGE Member countries.

The structure of the contents is clear and simple in order to avoid interpretational misunderstandings and to make the regular updating simple. Additionally this shall make the use of the database as easy as possible also for clients and non-experts.

The information is updated by the CLGE Member organisations on a regularly basis.

The aims of the database are manifold:

The information is meant as a help for CLGE as the representative organisation of European Geodetic Surveyors to even better explain and transport the situation and the necessities of the professionals and their clients to the European Institutions.

It also helps competent authorities on national level to learn more about the situation in other European countries, which can help them in matters of professional recognition and improve the contacts between competent authorities in different countries and enhance an exchange of best practice. Additionally the database is an important source of information for European Institutions, as such a clear overview of national regulatory and educational structures combined with practical contact and statistical information is not available anywhere else.

A very important aspect of the database is to provide an information pool and guidance for individual Geodetic Surveyors who are interested in providing their services in other countries. This element supports mobility within the profession. Last, but not least the database is a source of information for clients and can help them understand and compare surveying services in Europe.

The key elements of the database are:

  • National legal framework: The core of the data base is a collection of the national legislation about the profession including any laws containing relevant regulation in relation to the profession 
    (e.g. building laws, legislation on real property or living space or any other legislation that relates to the profession of Geodetic Surveyors).
  • Fields of activity: As the fields of activities of Geodetic Surveyors differ very much the database will give a description of the scope of the profession of Geodetic Surveyors in each country and describe the different fields of activities (e.g. real property assessment, property division, land use planning etc.) and the requirements (education, authorization etc.) for working in these fields.
  • Professional recognition: The database will show all requirements in relation with the different fields of activity and the procedures and contact persons for Geodetic Surveyors from another country who want to a) supply cross border services or b) get permanently established in that country.
  • Education programmes: National Universities/other institutions offering education/training programmes for the profession of Geodetic Surveyor plus a description of the relevant curricula will be listed in the database. 

The first version of the Database was presented in 2013; in it was relaunched in 2019 when it was also integrated into the main CLGE website.

Please also see the ‘Allan Report’ 3rd Edition 1995 which was published by CLGE.

The 3rd edition covers 17 countries in Western Europe with different educational and professional profiles of the surveying profession. The report shows the changes within the profession and in professional education throughout European countries which took place in the years prior to 1995. The report facilitates the general insight and understanding of different systems of education and practice within the surveying profession.

Whilst now historic the Allan Report remains an important and relevant document. Although some of the information contained therein has inevitably changed with progress over time there is much that remains true today. It is certainly an instructive reference for understanding the history and evolution of our profession in western Europe in the late twentieth century.

We remain grateful to the report’s author Dr Arthur Allan, Emeritus Reader in Surveying, Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering, University College London.

Allan, A., 3rd edition 1995,
(commonly referred to as the “Allan Report”), CLGE, UK, pp 1 – 159