ISPRS Council Meeting in Rio de Janeiro/Natal, Brazil, September 1997



7-12 SEPTEMBER 1997

Council Attendees

President:              Lawrence Fritz (LF)
Secretary General:      John Trinder (JT)
First Vice President:   Shunji Murai (SM)
Second Vice President   Marcio Barbosa (MB)
Congress Director:      Klaas Beek (KB)
Treasurer:              Heinz Rüther (HR)

In attendance
Journal Editor:         Emmanuel Baltsavias (EB) (Item 5.1)
Bulletin Editor:        Mauricio Araya (MA) (Item 5.2 )
Honorary Member:        Gottfried Konecny (GK)


  1. Opening (LF)
  2. Approval of Agenda (LF)
  3. Review of previous Council meeting in Seattle (JT)
  4. Actions of Council (JT)
  5. ISPRS Publications
    1. Journal (LF/EB)
    2. Bulletin (JT/MA)
    3. Home Page (JT)
  6. Amsterdam Congress Plans (KB)
  7. Council Activities Reports (Council)
    (Council to provide reports in writing at the meeting)
  8. Review of Technical Commissions (LF/JT)
    1. Working Groups
    2. Symposia, tutorials and other meetings
  9. ISPRS Membership (JT)
    1. Ordinary Members
    2. Associate Members
    3. Sustaining Members
    4. Regional Members
  10. Policy Discussions
    1. Education Program (MB)
    2. ISPRS Headquarters (LF/JT)
    3. Awards (Council)
    4. Other
  11. Inter-Organizational Activities (LF/JT)
    1. COPUOS
    2. CIPA
    3. CEOS
    4. ICSU
    5. ICET/UATI
    6. Standards
    7. Others (UN, IUSM, Africa EIS, GSDI Conference)
  12. Financial Affairs (HR)
  13. Other Business
  14. Next Meeting (JT)


1. Opening

President Lawrence Fritz welcomed Council and especially thanked Marcio Barbosa and Thelma Krug for such efficient preparations for the meeting. The meeting will be important in determining the future path of the Society. A shift in approach will be required for the Society for the future. Five major activities for the Society must be reviewed at this meeting.
  • The Society's communications, publications and the WWW Home Page
  • Advocacy issues and the Society's relations with other international organisations
  • The Education Plan must be formalised by the end of the year Initiation of a strategic plan for the administration of the Society
  • The scientific activities leading into the Symposia and the involvement of Commissions in international organisations

2. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with a change in the order of discussion of some items.

3. Review of previous Council meeting in Seattle

3.1 Regarding item 7.1 on CDROMs

a further communication has been received from Mr Keith Atkinson. No comments were received by TCPs.


3.2 Regarding Item 7.2.

The document on Educational Opportunities has been sent to Professor Deekshatalu, Director of the UN Centre for Asia and the Pacific in India, for comment.

4. Actions of Council

29 items were completed, 2 items were changed to "on-going", and 14 items are still "open".

Action 97/85: SG to request Chair of Financial Commission to complete his report according to the requirements of the Statutes and Bylaws.

Action 97/86: Council to provide advice on changes to the Benefits of Membership document to SG by 31 October 1997.

5. ISPRS Publications

5.1 Journal

President Lawrence Fritz congratulated EB on negotiations with Mr Jacques Kiebert of Elsevier. The transition from Mr David Tait to EB, the new Editor-in-Chief, has been smooth. President Lawrence Fritz stated that he is pleased with documents prepared by EB on reshaping the Journal. He requested that comments from Council on these documents should be sent to EB. EB will be requested to attend Council or Joint Council and TCP Meetings by invitation.

Action 97/87: Council to provide comments on documents on the Journal

Dr Baltsavias presented his plans for the Journal.

a. Journal content, schedule/evaluation of papers
The new aims and scope of the Journal are written in the contract. A greater variation in content and length of articles is intended, including interviews, tutorials, practical papers, and editorials. This variety will lead to a more variable and interesting Journal that is relevant to readers. The Journal will be produced for readers and not specifically for authors. It was agreed that the Journal should cover the whole scope of the fields of interest of ISPRS, which are photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information systems and their integration. Attention must be paid to quality which will be achieved by peer reviewing all articles, including interviews, which can be reviewed because of the way the questions will be asked, and comments will be obtained on the answers. If it is not possible to obtain papers covering the whole field, then it will be necessary to solicit them.

b. Subscriptions
Current subscriptions were reviewed. There are a total of 551 subscribers in 1997 from 53 countries, compared with 745 subscribers in 1995. This is an erosion of membership of more than 5%. There are 20-25 personal subscriptions, and 450 libraries. As the new editor, EB does not expect major changes in subscriptions. It was suggested that all Ordinary Members should be forced to become subscribers, and that Sustaining Members should be encouraged to join, but these suggestions were not supported.

c. Coordination with TC/WG, revision of Guidelines and Orange Book
This is covered in Item 6 in JM minutes. Corrections will be applied to the Guidelines and the Orange Book to ensure that TCPs recommend good papers for the Journal.

Action 97/88: EB and JT to coordinate changes in Guidelines to ensure that TCPs provide details of good papers presented at conferences

d. Editorial Board
Council dissolved the existing Editorial Board and requested that a list of names for a new 23 member Editorial Board be prepared by EB. Subsequently 25 names were approved by the Joint Meeting. See item 6.2 in Minutes of Joint Meeting.

e. Journal, Highlights Web coordination
Advertisements should be placed in the Journal and ISPRS Highlights to advertise each other. Links should exist between Home Pages of the Journal and ISPRS, ISPRS Commissions and WGs.

Action 97/89: EB and MA to exchange 1 page advertisements by 15 November 1997 for Journal and ISPRS Highlights

f. Uki Helava award
A new award, termed the Uki Helava Award has been proposed by EB and Elsevier to stimulate the submission of high quality papers to the Journal, and to advertise the Journal. The details of the award will be discussed under item 10.3.

g. Electronic form (Science Direct)
Elsevier is converting all journals into electronic form and hence the ISPRS Journal will ultimately be produced in electronic form. There is an opportunity for cooperation between Elsevier and the Congress organisers for the electronic publishing of the proceedings, and to provide a search engine for electronic documents. EB will request that Elsevier document forthcoming articles on its Web Page. Despite the existence of an electronic Journal, a hardcopy version will also be needed.

h. Other Items (cover, expenses)
New Cover. A decision is required by the end of September. There has been one suggestion only at this stage. EB will follow it up.

Travelling expenses. It was agreed that the expenses for EB to travel to Council and Elsevier meetings should be shared between Elsevier and ISPRS.

It was agreed that Ordinary Members should be asked to place advertisements for the Journal in their national journals.

Action 97/89: EB to draft a letter for Council to send to Ordinary Members on advertisement of the ISPRS Journal.


5.2 ISPRS Highlights

Presentation by MA

Each edition is costing $15,000 and ISPRS is currently making a loss of more than $40,000 per year. MA reported on the content of the previous editions and the schedule for publication.

Expenses for 48 pages are $13,000; for 64 pages the costs are the same for ISPRS, because the additional costs are funded by 3 pages of advertisements by SELPER. Extra mailing costs are $2,000 to $2,500 per issue. A 44% reduction in mailing costs with TNT has been negotiated.

Itemised expenses are:
$3,800 mailing
$2,100 editing ($40 per b/w page, $80 colour)
$3,400 printing
$1,700 fixed costs
$3,000 Honorarium
$14,000 total per issue or $56,000 per year

Income from advertisement is $15,415 per year. SELPER is paying an additional $12,320 per year for 3 pages per year.

1000 extra copies are being printed for SELPER, making a total of 3,200 copies.

Web Page involvement in ISPRS Highlights was discussed with MA, but no progress has been made.

Action 97/90: LF to draft letter to MA regarding Council decisions on the production of ISPRS Highlights.


5.3 Home Page

Sustaining Member profiles and ISPRS Highlights reports should be included on the Home Page for 1 year. To place images on the Web Page, thumb prints should be available for calling up on request.

Action 97/91: JT to send Web file on Inter-Organisational Relations to Council and MA.

6. Amsterdam Congress Plans

Content of Congress

There should not be too many parallel sessions, specialisations should be reduced and the program should be more structured. This will need some top-down direction from Council. A scientific committee in Netherlands has been established, and it should include an international group to select subjects of papers and keynote speakers in joint sessions. The purpose is to build bridges between related Societies, such as those listed in the table of responsibilities. The agricultural industry and soil science people should also participate.

The Earth Observation portion of the research plan for Space Station is still open. The year 2000 would be ideal time for planning research programs, and hence the Congress would give researchers an opportunity to develop projects.

The High Resolution Imaging Space Industry will require self regulation. ISPRS could provide a forum for this process. It is not too early to act now. The session could be steered towards a resolution. The Queen of The Netherlands could be invited to attend the Forum


The suggestion of covering political issues (See Items 7 and 8 of the JM Minutes) in the Workshops would give ISPRS a good opportunity to include review sessions on UNISPACE III. The World Bank could be involved in these sessions, as well as the topic of Global Climate Change.

General Assembly

GA schedule was determined as follows:

Monday      17 July - Proposals for Congress and Commissions
Wednesday   19 July - Election of Congress and Council
Thursday    20 July - Election of TCPs (from 1330 to 1530)
Saturday    22 July - Resolutions
Parallel business meetings for preparation of resolutions will be held after the GA on Thursday 20 July from 1600 to 1730. Inter-Commission resolutions will be determined on Friday 21 July.


Requests were made by Council for the scientific and national exhibits to be free. This requirement is not explicit in the Guidelines. It was agreed that it should be provided free of charge subject to satisfaction of display quality standards. Congress organisers should therefore develop guidelines for the preparation of quality scientific displays. Preference will be given to interactive displays.

The organisers wish to publish the Archives on CDROM, with 50 hardcopies printed on paper. It was suggested that a certain number of extra hardcopies could be printed beforehand based on pre-sales. CDROM readers may be provided on hand at the Congress.

KB will develop proposals for new dates of submission of abstracts and their acceptance for presentation at the Congress.

7. Council Activities Reports

Reports were presented to the meeting.

8. Review of Technical Commissions

8.1 Working Groups

A list of activities of the TC and WGs since April 1997 were tabled.
Items raised at the meeting were:
  1. WGs I/4, II/5, VII/4 are considered as inactive, while WGs V/2 and V/4 require stimulation. Annual reports will be required by December, when Council can decide on whether action needs to be taken.
  2. There is no guaranteed continuity between each 4 year period of the activities of each Commission. A mechanism needs to be developed to ensure smooth transition.
  3. It is noted that all WG officers are expected to give papers at the Symposia. This requirement should be included in the "Orange Book".
  4. Guidelines should include a timetable for preparation of the Symposium, such as the announcement and call for papers, approval of abstracts etc.
  5. All Commissions need to distribute the calls for papers for the 1998 Symposia as soon as possible.
  6. The geographic distribution of WG officers was considered, but it was emphasised that WG officers must be appointed on the basis of their ability to develop the scientific activities of ISPRS and availability of funding to participate. Without funding researchers cannot take on major roles in WGs.
  7. The name TC "Secretary" was considered inappropriate, since it is a scientific position rather than an administrative role. Council should consider a better term.
  8. ISPRS should strengthen links with Associate and Regional Members and regional meetings could be co-sponsor by ISPRS. For example, the EARSeL General Meeting in Enschede in May 11-15 1998, the EARSeL October 1998 meeting in Tunisia on UN conventions, and the AARS Conferences could be co-sponsored by ISPRS.
  9. It was suggested that TC VI should be managed differently, so that it can promote interaction in activities across the Commissions.
  10. Council plans to attend Symposia:
    Commission    Council Attending
       I          LF, JT, KB, SM, HR, MB
       II         LF, JT, KB, SM
       III        LF, JT, KB
       IV         LF, JT, KB, SM, HR
       V          LF, JT, KB, SM, HR
       VI         LF, JT, SM, HR
       VII        LF, JT, KB, HR, MB 

8.2 Symposia, tutorials and other meetings

Planned meetings of Commissions and WGs are included in the Calendar of Events.

9. ISPRS Membership

9.1 Ordinary Members

Indonesia's Commitment to Commission VI

Mr Klaas Villanueva has informed Council that he has tendered his resignation as President of Commission VI to the Indonesian Surveyors Association (ISA), and that the resignation has been accepted. A letter was sent by President Lawrence Fritz from Rio de Janeiro on 9 September requesting an immediate response on whether ISA would continue to honour its commitment to ISPRS to manage Commission VI, fund the activities of the Commission, and hold the Symposium in Indonesia in August 1998 as planned.

In reply, ISA indicated that it would continue to support Commission VI, and recommended that the new President should be Dr Teuku Lukman Aziz, who is a Senior Lecturer from the Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB). ISA also requested that the 1998 Symposium be held in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, as originally proposed in Vienna in July 1996.

Council has endorsed the appointment of Dr Lukman Aziz as the new President of Commission VI. In reply to the letter from ISA, President Fritz wished to thank Mr Villanueva for his contributions to Commission VI in establishing its directions in the crucial first year of operations. He requested that Dr Aziz arrange a meeting with Secretary General Trinder in Sydney, Australia, before 15 October 1997, to familiarise him with the activities of ISPRS and Commission VI, to arrange a smooth transition from Mr Villanueva and to determine plans for the Symposium. In addition, Dr Aziz will be requested to attend the Council meeting on 28 February 1998 in Bangalore.


MB will investigate a potential replacement Ordinary Member in Mexico, following the resignation of the current member.

Action 97/92: MB to investigate a new Ordinary Member for Mexico


The Ordinary Member of Zimbabwe will have new officers and a new address.

Action 97/93: HR to provide new address of Zimbabwe to JT


SM informed Council that Laos has formed a society, and will join the Asian Association of Remote Sensing. Bangladesh, Singapore and Uzbekistan have also joined the Asian Association of Remote Sensing. Council should continue actions to encourage new members to join ISPRS.

Action 97/94: MB will again write to Latin America members that are still in debt.

Action 97/95: SG to verify whether Venezuela has communicated with ISPRS since 1990.


9.2 Associate Members

The ballot for the application of Agustin Codazzi from Colombia to become an Associate Member has been sent to Ordinary Members.


9.3 Sustaining Members

Three new Sustaining Members, ERIM Conferences, Getty Conservation Institute, and Core Software Technology have been admitted.

Aerial has paid for 1997, and hence remains a member.

The Indian Remote Sensing Agency has downgraded its membership to category D.

There are now 39 Sustaining Members.

The suggested agreement between Core Software Technology and ISPRS was rejected. The Guidelines for Sustaining Members will be modified to allow the essence of the Core Software Technology proposal to be provided to all Sustaining Members.

Action 97/96: JT prepare new statement in Sustaining Members Guidelines regarding benefits to ISPRS


9.4 Regional Members

ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, covering the Hindu Kush and Himalaya) has expressed an interest in joining as a Regional Member. KB is a Board Member of the Centre.

Action 97/97: JT to provide an application form to ICIMOD

10. Policy Discussions

10.1 Education Program

The document prepared by the Education Opportunities Task Force (TF), led by MB, has been updated and approved by Council. It is necessary to determine new addresses of education centres, since the UN document is out-of-date. MB has assigned this task to INPE, for completion by March 1998. The Task Force will not establish a fund. Instead, it will facilitate programs. ISPRS publications should be used to advertise these programs. Pre-selection of candidates is in the hands of education centres, which will need to define appropriate criteria.

The question was raised as to how the education centres would work with military organisations in the Latin American countries, but it was decided that this would be a matter for the training centres to resolve. An MoU should be signed between ISPRS and the education centres.

Council should send names of potential members of TF to MB by the end of January. ToRs for TF members are on page 5 of the document. Final selection of Task Force members will be made at the Council meeting in March in India.

Action 97/113: Council to nominate members of the Education Opportunities Task Force

The long term future of the Education Program is important. Council must ensure its continuity after 2000. A submission to UNESCO should be considered to maintain its operations.

The pilot education program to be supported by INPE will start immediately. An additional 3-5 fellowships will be made available by INPE to Ordinary and Associate Members in this program. Selected pages of the document can be sent to interested parties.

South Africa Centre for Remote Sensing needs details of the curriculum. Typical curricula are available from OOSA.


10.2 ISPRS Headquarters

There were considerable discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a permanent ISPRS Headquarters, following the offer of the Austrian Society to fund the Headquarters in Vienna. However, it is unlikely that a decision will be made until towards the end of 1998.

Prior to making the decision, Council will hold a strategic planning meeting tentatively planned for Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 March in Phuket, Thailand. Gottfried Konency has been asked to serve as facilitator. A final draft document from the meeting should be prepared by July 1998, so that input can be obtained from TCPs at the Joint Meeting in Stuttgart.

Action 97/98: JT to coordinate Council schedules for planning the date of the Strategy Meeting by 31 October.

Action 97/99: JT to inform Austrian Society of status of decision on Headquarters.


10.3 Awards

Awards Policy
Council discussed the draft ISPRS Awards Policy prepared by SM. It was agreed that to maintain the value and respect of ISPRS awards, the purpose of all new awards as described in their terms of reference shall not overlap the purpose of existing ISPRS awards.

Fagundes Award
The draft of the Fagundes Award was considered, but since it will not operate until 1999, approval has been postponed till then.

Helava Award
Regarding the proposed terms of reference of the Helava Award, there were a number of items that were unacceptable to Council, including overlaps with the terms of reference of the von Gruber Award, the review process, and the composition of the jury. Elsevier will sponsor 50% of the cost of the award, the remainder is open to another sponsor. Potential donors were discussed. There will be an additional 4 minor awards comprising free subscriptions to the Journal for 1 year.

Action 97/100: SM to coordinate with EB to develop a new proposal for the Helava Award.

It was concluded that the proposed award for Web Home Pages can be covered by President's citation.

KB should include details of Young Authors awards in Congress program. SM indicated that he can obtain funds for 10 Young Authors Awards for the Congress, at Swf 2,500 each.

Action 97/101: KB to include announcement of Young Authors Awards in Congress Program


10.4 Other


11. Inter-Organizational


Contributions for the Background Papers for UNISPACE III have been requested in the Minutes of the Joint meeting and action items 97/72 to 97/75. Drafts should be submitted to SG by the end of October, and final document by the end of November. There is also a need for ISPRS participation in the preparatory UNISPACE III workshops. The applications oriented Commissions I, II, IV, VII and perhaps VI, according to the MoU between OOSA and ISPRS, are expected to include UN sessions in their Symposia, which could be typically a workshop or a UN special session. Contact with COPUOS is through SG, who should write to Dr Abiodun immediately to determine the areas of interest of the UN. The UN may provide $25k for a UN sponsored workshop.

Action 97/102: JT to write to OOSA regarding UN session at Commission Symposia


11.2 CIPA

Council reviewed numerous candidates and appointed Ordinary Members to represent ISPRS to the CIPA Committee.

Action 97/106: HR to write a letter to Lettelier about ISPRS recommendations for CIPA Committee


11.3 CEOS

MB provided the Minutes of the CEOS plenary meeting in Canberra November 1996 and details of CEOS WGs. He also provided details of a Task Force, IGOS, for planning new initiatives for the future of CEOS. MB will send Paulo Serra to the IGOS group.


11.4 ICSU

See Item 8.2 in Minutes if Joint Meeting

Action 97/107: JT to send ICSU document about data access to RH for comment and action.

Action 97/108: JT to initiate application for full membership of ICSU



Parts of the booklet describing UNESCO, including the commitments of NGOs were reviewed.

The issue of applications for funding from UNESCO via UATI/ICET is covered in item 7.2 of the Joint Meeting minutes.

Action 97/115: LF to prepare consolidated proposal for UNESCO funding


11.6 Standards

LF will provide information to TCPs on CCSDS and request participation by TCs I and II. JT to select persons for Standards Committees where there is no representative.

Action 97/116: LF to request participation of TCs I and II in CCSDS

Action 97/117: JT to select persons for Standards Committees


11.7 Others (UN, IUSM, GSDI Conference)

Comments on the Resolutions of the UN Cartographic Conference in Bangkok, February 1997
Resolution 10 - Standardisation of digital databases - is being covered by ISPRS.
Resolution 11, item 2 - Global mapping forum - is being studied by WG IV/6 (Dr Tateishi) and Dr Shibasaki .

Comments on Resolutions of the Sixth UN Regional Cartographic Conference of the Americas
Regarding Resolution 9 (page 37 July 1997 ISPRS Highlights) there are several avenues for ISPRS to take. Commissions IV and VII should collaborate with OOSA and UN DESDNRM to set up some regional workshops. A separate letter should be send to OOSA on this issue.

Action 97/103: JT to write to OOSA proposing ISPRS collaboration to conduct workshops/seminars

Regarding Resolution 3, a meeting is planned in Mexico on the establishment of a Permanent Committee for GIS Infrastructure for the Americas (PCGISIA), similar to the one recently formed in Asia and the Pacific.

Action 97/104: LF to contact Mr Santiago in Colombia regarding association with UN activities in the Americas.

Following considerable discussion, Council decided to withdraw from IUSM, but it will pay the subscriptions for 1996 and 1997. All WGs have been disbanded, the GIS/LIS WG being disbanded without discussion. IUSM is serving no useful purpose for ISPRS.

Action 97/109: JT to draft letter to the President of IUSM informing him that ISPRS intends to withdraw from IUSM immediately.

Action 97/110: HR to pay 1996 and 1997 dues to IUSM

EIS initiative and with the Emerging Global Spatial Data Infrastructure
ISPRS involvement with the African EIS initiative and with the Emerging Global Spatial Data Infrastructure were discussed, but no consensus opinion or action was decided.

12. Financial Affairs

The very detailed accounts submitted by HR were reviewed, especially in regard to the countries in arrears.

Following recommendations from the Treasurer, Council determined that the ISPRS account should be transferred to the UBS Bank in Zurich. In addition, it agreed that ISPRS should diversify its currency holding, and to open a parallel $US account.

Action 97/111: HR to transfer account from UBS Bank in Lugano to UBS Bank in Zurich.

Action 97/112: HR to diversify the currency holdings of ISPRS to a $US account.

Action 97/113: JT to send copy of Minutes with original signatures to HR for change of bank to Zurich

13. Other Business

It was noted that FIG has established a database of courses on the internet. ISPRS should attempt to compile its own database for Higher Education in its areas of interest. CEOS or DLR may be able to assist in its preparation

Action 97/114: HR investigate setting up a database on Higher Education courses around the world, for display on the Home Page.

14. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in Bangalore, India from 28 February to 1 March 1998. A sightseeing tour may also be organised. All six Council will attend the Commission I Symposium.

J. C. Trinder
Secretary General

This is a true record of the Minutes of the meeting of the Council of ISPRS, held in Brazil from 7-12 September 1997.

Lawrence W. Fritz      John C. Trinder
President              Secretary General 



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