IAG Newsletter



Ole Baltazar Andersen

IAG Central Bureau, Department of Geophysics, Juliane Maries vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

e-mail: iag@gfy.ku.dk; Fax: +45 3536 5357; URL:http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/


The IAG Newsletter is under the editorial responsibility of the IAG Central Bureau. It is an open forum and contributors are welcome to send material (preferably in electronic form) to the IAG Central Bureau. These contributions should complement information sent by IAG officials or by IAG symposia organizers (reports and announcements).

Each IAG Newsletter includes several of the following topics:

I     general information

II.   reports of IAG symposia

III. reports by commissions, special commissions or study groups

IV. symposia announcements

V.   book reviews

VI. fast bibliography


Books for review are the responsibility of:

Christian Tiberius

TU Delft, Faculty of CEG,

Dept. of Mathematical geodesy and positioning

P.O.Box 5030 - NL 2600 GA Delft - The Netherlands

Fax: (+31) 15 27 83 711

E-mail: c.c.j.m.tiberius@geo.tudelft.nl


General Information.


The IAG Travaux 1995-1999


The IAG Travaux 1995-1999 is now available in printed version from the IAG central bureau.

A copy of the IAG Travaux at the price of 50 US$ can be ordered  by contacting the IAG central Bureau at the following address:

      IAG Central Bureau, Department of Geophysics, Juliane Maries vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

      e-mail: iag@gfy.ku.dk; Fax: +45 3536 5357

Electronic version is available on CD-rom from the Central Bureau, and an online version is accesible from the following URL: http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/



In Memoriam.



Joseph F. Dracup (1920-2000)


Joseph F. Dracup, one of the most outstanding members of the American geodetic surveying community, died 16 January, 2000, at the age of 79. His career at the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and its successor agencies spanned almost 40 years. He retired in 1979 as Chief of the Control Networks Division of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), the last of a series of preeminent geodesists--Lansing Simmons, Charles Whitten, and B. K. Meade--who set the standards for geodetic control surveys in the U. S. before the GPS era.

Dracup possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of horizontal control surveying, including field work, instrumentation, data analysis, and adjustment theory and practice. During his government career he authored more than 60 papers and presentations on these topics. He was especially concerned with the application of higher geodetic surveying practices to local surveys, and directly addressed numerous state and local surveying organizations on coordination of lower order with higher order surveys, and modernization techniques. In his later publications he recognized the potentialities of Doppler surveying and VLBI, and he contributed to the planning and execution of the North American Datum of 1983.

Education and history were his particular specialties. He was instrumental in setting up and conducting a series of workshops cosponsored by NGS and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), disseminating NGS geodetic control procedures to general working surveyors. After his retirement he started research on a comprehensive history of geodetic surveying in the U. S., installments of which were published in the Bulletin of the ACSM over the past several years, and which he finished just before he died.

Dracup participated in many international meetings,and made numerous friends in the worldwide geodetic community. He was especially active in ACSM, where he held several key offices. He was chosen as a founding Fellow of ACSM in 1971, and in 1983 he received the rare distinction of Honorary Member. Honors bestowed on him during the course of his career included the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and the NOAA Public Service Award. In 1988 the American Association of Geodetic Surveying started an annual scholarship in his name. It remains to insert proper mention of him in the otherwise comprehensive history he just completed.


Bernard Chovitz




R C. A. (Joe) Edge (1912-1999)


Raymond Cyril Alexander Edge was born on July 21 1912 into a family, whose associations with India reached back to the Mysore Wars against Tippu Sultan in the 1790s. He died on December 30 1999 aged 87, after a long illness. This obituary of him is compiled from those in both the Daily Telegraph of 14 January 2000 and the Times of 25 January 2000, supplemented by details of his professional and geodetic career by Major-General John Kelsey.

He was educated  at Cheltenham, Woolwich and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1932. He was a Prize Cadet at Woolwich. In 1936 he was posted to India and, while stationed at Kirklee was prompted to develop an interest in mapping rather than languish with the Training Battalion. This resulted in his transfer to the Survey of India, which at that time was mapping the Himalayas. His first task was to survey the Garhwal and Kumuaon areas, to which he went with a party, which included Sherpa Tensing, later to become famous as one of the first two men to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest.  Kumuaon is one of those areas that George Everest had incorporated in his survey work of the mid 1800s but was unable to continue further north, because of the inaccessibility of Nepal at that time.

Edge was hit with frostbite and snowblindness but managed to make the first ascent of Uja Tirche (20 350 ft). With Lieutenant (later Brigadier) R A Gardiner, he also made the first crossing of the Gupt Khal Pass (18 990 ft) and over the Dhaull and Alaknanda watersheds. This he later followed with projects that included mapping the jungles of the Deccan and an air survey of the North West Frontier.

After the outbreak of war in 1939, Edge was moved to more mundane duties in Delhi until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour when he was posted to 3 Field Company to establish hurried harbour defences at Colombo in Ceylon and in the Maldive Islands. After which he was posted to 14 Army in Burma as Assistant Director of Survey in XV Corps.  At the outbreak of war there was an acute shortage of reliable maps of Burma, which affected the British and Indian units withdrawing to India in 1942. This was an area that Edge resolve to improve in time for any offensive against the Japanese.He headed the Survey Branch of Lieutenant-General Sir Philip Christison's XV Corps in the Arakan offensive of December 1943- February 1944, which met fierce resistance from General Seizo Sakurai's 28th Army. In the

Japanese counter-offensive across the Chindwin, Edge narrowly missed capture and saw his small survey team emerge safely when the HQ of 7th Indian Division was overrun east of the Ngakyedauk Pass in February 1944. He later witnessed the Japanese surrender ceremony in Rangoon on August 27 1945 and also that in Singapore.  The return to peace saw him back among the unrest in the North West Frontier Province as Director of Survey and then after partition in 1947 as officiating Director- General of the newly established Survey of Pakistan. During the turmoil of partition, the safety of his local Hindu and Sikh surveyors was a constant problem, especially as he had the onerous task of determining disputed boundaries. On one occasion he saved a shot down Indian pilot from a lynch mob by putting the pilot in his own open truck and driving him through the howling mob.

In 1949 Edge returned to England and worked in survey at the War Office and in BAOR  before being posted to Ordnance Survey as Deputy Director, Geodetic Control in 1954 at a time when the Retriangulation and Third Geodetic Levelling of Great Britain were nearing completion and there was a change to the Universal Transverse Mercator grid, necessitating a complete reissue of military mapping.

From this period Edge was very active both nationally and internationally in the professional and geodetic fields. This was a period of rapid scientific development with the introduction of the geodimeter and tellurometer which were revolutionising measurement of distance, and he directed research at the Ordnance Survey into these fields and published papers at professional meetings and in journals in the UK and abroad. He wished to ensure that the Ordnance Survey played an active part in international organisations such as the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), where for the period 1957-67 he was chairman of Special Study Group 19 into Electronic Procedures for Distance Measurement.

In 1958 he left the Ordnance Survey for military duties and was posted to Cyprus as Deputy Director Survey, Middle East, which encompassed Malta through to Pakistan and from Aden south to Central Africa. Many parts of his area were subject to varying degrees of unrest. From 1958-61 he was Director, where a key feature of world mapping was co-operation with the United States forces and the survey department. In 1961 he returned to the Ordnance Survey at Chessington as Director of Field Surveys. He directed research into the results of the Third Geodetic Levelling, which gave inconclusive evidence of the relative movements of land and sea level and indicated the possibility of systematic errors in the levelling procedures. Changes in mean sea level were a matter of great public interest following the disastrous floods along the East Coast in 1957 and he ensured Ordnance Survey participation in international studies in this field, which included a connection of the Ordnance Survey level network to the United European Level Network, in conjunction with the Liverpool Tidal Institute.

He was active in the Royal Society, where he chaired the Geodesy Sub-Committee and published in the scientific journal Nature a new value for the velocity of light, derived from geodimeter and tellurometer measurements on the Ridgeway baseline, which agreed closely with a later determination by the National Physical Laboratory. Such electronic measurements of sides of the Primary Triangulation were revealing hitherto unsuspected errors in that network and he instigated a system of routine testing of resulting errors in Ordnance Survey mapping at 1/1250 and 1/2500 scales and insisted on publishing such data with an openness and honest attitude, which had possibly been lacking previously.

His period as Director of Field Surveys and subsequent promotion to Director-General of the Ordnance Survey in 1965, coincided with geodetic measurements to artificial satellites and he became very active in this field, chairing the Western European Sub-Commission of the International Sub-Commission for Artificial Satellites. He attended General Assemblies of the IUGG at Lucerne in 1967 and Moscow in 1971. To the latter, he headed the UK Delegation of which Brigadier, (later Major-General) John Kelsey was a member at a time when he was Director of Military Survey and heavily involved in highly classified subjects, of which General Edge had no knowledge. Kelsey received lengthy briefings by the Security Service, so that he could avoid being trapped into compromising situations, but the Russian Intelligence applied such attempts to Edge as the more senior officer, such as offering various temptations by late night phone calls, which he was  able to resist by his well known skill in diplomatic courtesies. During this period he also supervised the move of the Ordnance Survey from Chessington to new buildings in Southampton.

From 1969, when he retired from the Ordnance Survey, he continued to cajole and persuade a group of authors, who were compiling a history of the Ordnance Survey, to complete their work and also to overcome the bureaucratic system used by HMSO in publishing such scientific books. The History was finally published in 1980 and serves as a fitting memorial to his organising ability and keen scientific mind, which enabled him to make such a significant contribution to geodetic matters during his service at the Ordnance Survey.

He was awarded an MBE in 1945 and mentioned in despatches. In 1968 he was appointed CB.  He served variously on the Land Surveyors Divisional Council of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) from 1962-72 being its President 1969-72; he was chairman of the Field Survey Association 1968-69; and was a sometime member of the council of the Royal Geographical Society, of which he was a Fellow.

In 1971, shortly after his retirement, he joined the Secretary of State for the Environment's panel of independent inspectors responsible for inquiring into large engineering projects, such as the proposed Winchester M3 bypass, the M11 Cambridge bypass and the M42. All these, he recalled, were interesting, controversial and noisy, and, on one occasion, he attracted considerable media attention by having the Headmaster of Winchester College ejected from the meeting. In 1979 he organised the centenary celebrations of Rorke's Drift in Hatch Beauchamp, where Colonel John Chard, VC, Royal Engineers, one of the heroes of the action, is buried. In his youth he was a keen all-rounder particularly at rugby, tennis, sailing and riding. He was always ready to listen and learn. He was a lover of music and latterly  took up chess.   He was endowed with a keen sense of humour, which proved invaluable in meetings especially when noisy objectors sat with their backs to him. His ability to remain friendly and calm under pressure made him liked and respected.

Edge married in 1939, Patricia McKee. She died in 1982 and in 1983 he married Audrey Muers-Raby (neé Richardson), who survives him with a son and daughter of his first marriage.

J Kelsey



Book review


Hansen, V.L. Geometry in nature, A.K. Peters Ltd., Welles ley, MA 021811993, USA, ISBN 1-56881-005-9


Any geodesist experiences „geometry in nature“ by the contact to the Earth surface. Accordingly she or he will enjoy additional natural geometrical structures outlined by the author. The prelude by geometric forms in nature tells stories about Czar Peter the great for the helicoid construction of the Round Tower of Copenhagen („ruled surface“), the spirals and the wonderful snail („logarithmic spiral“, the „helix“ and the twining vine, the shortest path in particular (levorotatory-dextrorotatory), the magic world of soap films („Plateau´s problem“, Möbius strip, Jenkins-Serrin´s graph: the 1936 Fields Medalist Jesse Douglas: the proof that „Plateau´s Problem“ has at least one solution provided singularities are allowed), the minimal surfaces in architecture ( the German Pavilion at Montreal in 1967, the roof constructions of the 1972 Olympic Stadium in Munich and others). Enjoy the great Möbius strip „generalized“ by C. Escher. A great highlight of the text is the classification of closed surfaces like the Earth. The Classification Theorem for Closed Surfaces states that every closed surface is topological equivalent with one of the surfaces of type sphere, torus (g copies of ²) and projective space ( g copies of P²): an elegant introduction into catastophes, into the geometry of the Physical World and finally into Geometry and Modern Physics. The author has proven a great talent in illustrating complicated geometrical features. For the geodesist  the wonderful classification of closed surfaces like the Earth will be most fascinating. From my side I like also to recommend the author´s remarks on „Newton and Gravitation“ as well as on Copernicus, Tycho Brake, Kepler, Maxwell, Minkowski and Einstein. You, the reader, follow Plato´s advice: Be not ignorant to Geometry, brother of Geodesia. And enjoy this wonderful, illustrated book.

                                                                                                            Erik W. Grafarend, Stuttgart




Gareth, Rees, The Remote Sensing Data Book, Cambridge University Press, UK, ISBN:        0-521-48040-X, 1999.


The Remote Sensing Data Book forms a compact and comprehensive dictionary on various aspects of remote sensing, containing more than 700 alphabetically ordered entries with extensive cross-referencing on 260 pages. It includes keywords and explanations on fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation and sensor technology, remote sensing satellites as well as on remote sensing image processing techniques, including many formulae, abbreviations and acronyms. National and international space agencies and commercial operators are also included. The book was published in 1999, but seems to be at an actuality-status of 1998.

The dictionary is mainly oriented towards spaceborne optical remote sensing systems and seems to be rather complete in this aspect. Unfortunately, the growing field of airborne remote sensing, including recent topics such as imaging spectrometry or airborne SAR, is not covered. In addition, the book focuses on remote sensing satellites on long-term missions, leaving many interesting short-term missions beyond consideration. Therefore, interesting modern concepts such as three-line cameras are missing. Being a photogrammetrist, the reviewer did also not like the somewhat unfortunate attempt of explaining photogrammetry.

The given explanations are concise but relatively sparsely illustrated. Instead, the book gives many links to web pages. These links (as long as they are valid over a longer period of time) can be considered as a valuable completion of the book. At the same time, the WWW forms a strong competitor to a dictionary on remote sensing: There are thousands of pages covering all aspects of remote sensing on the web, including tutorials and dictionaries; these pages are usually well illustrated, they have the potential to be more up-to-date than a book, and they are free. Nevertheless, being compact and well-organised, the book forms a valuable reference for the newcomer in the field of remote sensing (although it can of course not replace a textbook) as well as for the scientist and practitioner. The competition between a book and the web in such a rapidly evolving field remains open. While the book is 'static' but reliable, the web is dynamic but often chaotic and unreliable. The user has to weigh these advantages and disadvantages and might decide to use both.

Hans-Gerd Maas, TU-Delft


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Meeting Calendar.

An electronic version of the IAG meeting calandar is available from the IAG homepage. Please provide corrections and announcements directly to the IAG central in order to keep this list up to date.




Name of Conference 



25-29 April 


Millennium Conf on Earth, Planetary and Solar System Sciences, 25th EGS assembly

Nice, France


1-3 May


 6th Conf. on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments 

Charleston, USA


2-6 May


International Workshop on "Perspectives of Geodesy in South-East Europe"

Dubrovnic, Croatia

Contact: Prof H. Moritz - TU Graz

22-26 May


FIG working week and XXIII General Assembly

Prague, Czech Republic

e-mail mailto:e-mail%20geodeti@csvts.czz, Web site: http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/www.fig2000.cz

30 May - 3 Jun. 


AGU Spring Meeting

Washington, USA

Web Site: http:www.agu.org/meetings

May 25-27


AGILE 2000

Helsinki, Finland

Agile 200 web page

5-9 June


PACON 2000

Honolulu, Hawaii

contact http://hawaii.edu/pacon

18-23 June


Mathematical Geophysics 2000 - Extreme Earth Events

Villefranche sur mer, France

contact http://www.unice.fr/cmg2000

22–24 June


EUREF 2000

Tromsoe, Norway

Web Site: http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/www.gdiv.statkart.no/Euref2000

27–30 June


 2000 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting

Tokyo, Japan

Web Site: http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/www.agu.org

14 - 26 july


19th ISPRS Congress and Exhibition 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


16-23 July




web : http://cospar.itodys.jussieu.fr/

31 Jul - 4 Aug. 


Int. Symp. on Gravity, Geoid and Geodynamics 2000

Banff, Canada

Conv  Prof. Dr. Michael G. Sideris, E-mail:  mailto:sideris@ucalgary.ca 

28 Aug  - 1. Sep


14th International Symposium on Earth Tides 



18-22 Sept


10th General Assembly of the Wegener Project

San Fernando, Spain

Wegener Homepage

28-29 sept


Int. Org. for Standards (ISO) 11th Plenary of TC 211 "Geographic Information/Geomatics"


Bjornhild Saeteroy email: mailto:%20nts-it@tbl-nts.msmail.telemax.no

11-13 Aug


Intergeo 2000 and 84th Geodätentag. 

Berlin, Germany

Contact: e-mail intergeo2000.berlin@t-online.de Website: http://www.intergeo.de/    

2-6 oct


51st IA - Space: A tool for the environment and development 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website: http://www.iafastro.com/ 

16-20 Oct


ERS/Envisat Symposium 2000

Gothemburg, Sweden

Contact G. Kohlhammer, ESRIN gkohlham@esrin.esa.it

9-11 Oct


Dynamic evolution of Active Faulting in the Mediterranean Region


contact: K. Yelles 

15–19 Dec.


AGU Fall Meeting

San Francisco, Calif, USA

 http: http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~iag/www.agu.org



International Congress on Geodesy and Cartography 

Caracas, Venezuela

<BLINK>POSTPONED </BLINK>Contact: IAG Central Bureau</TBODY>





Name of Conference 



3-5 Jan


3rd International Workshop on Mobile Mapping Technology

Cairo, Egypt

Contact: Naser El-Sheimy; e-mail: mailto:%20elsheimy@ensu.ucalgary.ca

21-23 Feb


IAG sponsored symposium, Vertical reference systems

Cartagena, Colombia

Contact: mailto:lsanchez@igac.gov.co

2-6 April


EGS - 26th General, Assembly

Vienna, Austria 

Website http://www.mpae.gwdg.de/EGS/egsga/futurega.htm

6-11 May


FIG working week and XXIV General Assembly

Seoul, Korea

Contact: Organising Committee; fax + 82 335 335 0853; e-mail juhkim@kcsc.co.kr

10-18 July


8th Sci. Assembly of IAMAS

Innsbruck, Austria

contact iamas@uibk.ac.at

2-8 Sept


IAG Scientific Assembly 

Budapest, Hungary

Contact: IAG Central Bureau

18-30 Aug


IAGA-IASPEI joint sci Assembly

Hanoi, Vietnam

Contact: mailto:%20iaga-iaspei@fpt.vn

27 sept - 2 oct


42nd Australian Surveyors Congress. 2001


Website: http://www.isaust.org.au/members/confs.html.

1-3 oct


Optical 3D measurement techniques

Vienna, Austria

Website http://info.tuwien.ac.at/ingeo/optical3d/o3d.htm

21-28 oct


2001 An Ocean odysseey 

Mar del Plata  

website http://www.criba.edu.au/2001_ocean</TBODY>