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January 17, 2017 


Version November 2016

1. Introduction

Technical Commissions (TCs) are hosted by Ordinary Members. Members wishing to host a TC should submit an application to ISPRS according to the instructions given in this section. Council will welcome applications from two members to jointly host a TC, or for separate hosting of TCs, but joint organisation of Symposia. Members making an application must be fully conversant with the responsibilities of hosting a TC and of the responsibilities and the duties of the Technical Commission President (TCP) and the Vice-President of the Commission (Vice-TCP) as set out below.


2. Major Responsibilities of Technical Commissions

The responsibilities and the main tasks of a Technical Commission are defined in Statute XIII and Bylaw XIII of ISPRS.

The member organisation will have complete financial responsibility for all expenses incurred by the work of the Commission. When submitting an application to ISPRS for hosting a Commission, the member must demonstrate that the necessary resources are available.

Technical Commissions are expected to host a Symposium between Congresses.

The TCP and the Vice-TCP should be able to spend considerable time on Commission work, especially du­ring the months prior to the Symposium and the next Congress. TCP and Vice-TCP agree on how the work load is to be shared. The overall responsibility for running the TC rests with the TCP.

It is essential that the Commission be provided with English speaking secretarial assistance. About 30% of the secretary's time will be needed for Commission affairs. The tasks of the Commission Secretary should be undertaken by a person who can work in close cooperation with the TCP.

The TCPs and the Vice-TCP must be free to undertake international travel.  Once of them is expected to attend ann­­ual joint meetings (JM) with the ISPRS Council be­tween Congresses. They will also be expected to attend a planning meeting of one or two days immediately after the Congress and all applicants must plan their travel schedules to allow for this possibility. In addition, it may be necessary to hold Commission Board meetings with Working Group officers. All travel expenses of the TCPs and Vice-TCPs must be financed by the host member(s).

The host member(s) will be required to sign a contract with ISPRS. This will set out the responsibilities of both parties. A model contract is provided in appendix 1.

3. Applying to Host a Technical Commission

Members wishing to host a Technical Commission for the next four-year period shall submit an application to the ISPRS Secretary General at least four months before the Congress. The application shall contain the following information:

  • name(s) of Ordinary Member(s) making the application;
  • names of the proposed Technical Commission President (TCP) and Vice President (preferably from another Ordinary Member) and the Scientific Secretary (max. one each):
  • a provisional plan for financial and management  arrangements;
  • a provisional plan for technical meetings (Symposium, contribution to Geospatial Week, workshops etc.);

Before the General Assembly of ISPRS decides to allocate a Commission to an Ordinary Member, the proposed TCP shall present to the General Assembly the details of the proposal as set out above.

In electing the Ordinary Member or group of Ordinary Members to be entrusted with the responsibility for the work of a Commission, the General Assembly shall take into consideration all relevant factors, including in particular:

  • the various candidate Ordinary Members willing to undertake the responsibility;
  • the scientific and technical ability available to each candidate;
  • the professional standing and ability of the persons proposed as TCP and Vice-TCP;
  • the ability and willingness of each Ordinary Member and other organisations in its country to support the Commission;
  • the programme of Commission activities proposed by the Ordinary Member(s) and in particular the Working Groups, their officers and the events contemplated.

Council will review the applications for hosting a Technical Commission and may interview applicants in person or by telephone conference prior to the Congress, in order to clarify aspects of the proposal and to ensure that their proposals meet the expectations.

Elected TCPs will be required to attend a joint meeting with Council immediately after the Congress. Applicants will be notified of the dates of that meeting before the Congress.


4. Symposia

Technical Commissions are required to hold a Symposium between Congresses (see appendix 1). TCPs are encouraged to consider joint Symposia with other TCs and to consider whether the Symposia can be organised together with a regional event.

The subject matter is to be related to the field of the Commission(s).

A technical exhibit may be arranged, preferably within the scope of the Commission.

The financing of the Symposium is the sole responsibility of the Ordinary Member hosting the TC. Registration fees may be charged as appropriate. An ISPRS surcharge equivalent to 10% of all paid Symposium registrations will be imposed to contribute to the costs of running the Society and improving ISPRS activities.

The schedule of all Symposia is approved by Council at the post Congress Joint Meeting. Council requires a draft programme for Symposia and major workshops to be presented and approved at that Joint Meeting which will be held in the autumn of the Congress year.

Each commission shall publish the scientific and technical contributions submitted to the Symposium. Both a review process based on submitted abstracts and a full-paper double-blind review process are to be offered to the authors. Abstract reviewed proceedings shall be published in The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences,contributions accepted after full-paper double-blind review shall be published in theISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. Instructions for publication are given in appendix 4.

ISPRS Council has signed a contract with Copernicus GmbH to assist organisers of ISPRS events to facilitate the management of their event through three service Packages called A, B and D. Service Package A includes management of abstracts, full papers and their inclusion in the Archives and Annals. Service Package B provides support for registration of delegates, name badges etc. Package D covers the publication of camera-ready pdf-files of all papers on the ISPRS Web page. These papers need to be formatted according to the ISPRS Guidelines for Authors (see appendix 5); TCPs are responsible that the guidelines are followed.

The use of Package D is mandatory for all organisers of ISPRS events, including Congress and Symposia, to ensure consistent publication of ISPRS proceedings. Use of packages A and B is optional. A separate agreement must be established between organisers of each ISPRS event and Copernicus GmbH. The agreement permits considerable flexibility in content to satisfy specific needs of each event.

5. Working Groups

Once elected, TCPs are responsible for the preparation, planning, management and reporting of the Commission's work for the following four years. Much of this work is carried out through Working Groups (WGs).

Each WG may have a 'Chair', one or two 'Co-Chair(s)' and a 'Secretary'; these are the WG officers.  Preparation for selection of WG officers and the determination of Terms of Reference (ToR) must commence at the Congress at which the TCs have been elected, taking into consideration the Resolutions approved at the Congress for the Commission, and preferably in consultation with the outgoing TCPs. The selection of WG officers and WG ToR must be finalised for presentation and approval by Council at the JM of TCPs and Council in autumn following the Congress.

All candidates for WG Chairs and Co-Chairs must sign a letter (see end of this section) accepting these guidelines as conditions of appointment by Council for a period of four years.

TCs should take advantage of the inter-disciplinary nature of ISPRS scientific activities and the resulting opportunities for enhancing the activities of their Commission by encouraging their WGs to include researchers from related inter-disciplinary areas. Inter-disci­pli­nary keynote papers and/or sessions should also be included in Commission Symposia. TCs should also en­courage joint activities with other WGs and with other cognate organisations.

WG officers should be selected on the basis of:

  • recognition of their talents and scientific achievements;
  • their ability to manage and direct the activities of the WG for the four year period;
  • their ability to independently fund the operations of the WG, including holding WG meetings during the years between Congresses and Symposia;
  • their acceptance of the requirement to attend the Symposium of their Commission, The Geospatial Week and the Congress during their period of tenure of the WG and to present papers on the topics of the WG;
  • an inter-continental representation.

WGs will be numbered according to their Commission in Roman numerals, followed by the WG number in Arabic numbers. For example, WG II/6 refers to Working Group 6 in Commission II.

Intercommission (IC) WGs may be approved if considered useful by Council; in this case the responsibility for the management of the ICWG must be taken by a nominating TC. the number of this TC will come first, e.g. the responsibility of IC WG IV/I is with TC I.

In the process of approving the plans for the WGs, Council will take into consideration the overall structure of the WGs, their ToR and the selection of WG officers according to the above requirements. The proposed WGs, modified where appropriate, will normally receive Council endorsement at the JM following the Congress.

TCs shall review and evaluate the activity of each WG and report to the Council annually. TCs may replace, in consultation with the Council, any WG officer who has not been active and who has not contributed to the work of the Commission. TCs may also reorganise the WGs in consultation with Council.

6. Geospatial Week

The ISPRS Geospatial Week (GSW) is a combination of workshops organised by various ISPRS Working Groups and possibly other parties active in areas of interest of ISPRS. It is convened by a local organisation, led by the GSW Director, at a common location. The GSW is held biennially in odd years, preferably in the September/October timeframe; for more details see Appendix 10.

TCs are expected to contribute to the programme of the GSW but helping to attract scientific papers and by encouraging their WGs to organise workshops as part of the GSW.

7. Reporting and Communication

TCPs must attend the annual JM of the Technical Commissions and the Council to report on Commission activities and problems that may arise in the operation of the WGs, and to coordinate plans for the Symposia and the Congress. If necessary, the Vice-TCP can attend the meeting in place of the TCP.

TCs must report on the implementation of the Resolutions of their Commission at the JM held in the year of the Symposia.

TCs are required to contribute to the Biennial Report (see appendix 6), and are to ensure that summary reports of their Commission and WG events are submitted promptly for publication in ISPRS eBulletin.

8. Publications and ISPRS Home Page

The proceedings of the Symposia must be published as a Volume of The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (for submissions accepted based on abstracts) and/or the ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (for submissions based on full-paper double-blind review), see also appendices 4 and 5.

The TCP and Vice-TCP are expected to seek high quality scientific papers suitable for publication in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the ISPRS International Journal for Geo-Information at their Symposia and WG meetings, and provide, in consultation with the journal Editor-in-Chief, papers for at least one theme issue on topics related to their Commission during the four year period of their tenure.

TC and WG officers are expected to collaborate with the journal editors in publicising the journals at Symposia and workshops and to assist the participation of the editor in these meetings.

The TC and WG officers are expected to submit news items for publication in the ISPRS eBulletin to the Secretary General, who edits the ISPRS eBulletin. TCPs are entitled to place up to five free advertisements of their Symposium in the ISPRS eBulletin.

TCs are required to develop and maintain their own home pages, see appendix 7 for details. The provision of links between Commission, potential WG home pages and the ISPRS Home Page, and vice versa, must be coordinated with the ISPRS Web Master.


9. Recommendations on ISPRS Awards

The ISPRS presents major awards at each Congress, including Young Author Awards for authors of papers at the Congress who are younger than 35 years of age, the Best Poster Award and The President's Honorary Citation to WG officers for outstanding performance during the four year period.

TCPs are expected to propose recommendations for candidates for the major awards in accordance with the ISPRS Awards documentation provided at the following link: www.isprs.org/society/awards/awards_policy.aspx

TCPs are required to assess papers submitted for the Young Authors Awards, to select best posters per Com­mission based on presentations during the Congress and to nominate candidates for The President’s Honorary Citation, for details see the ISPRS web page.


10. Resolutions for the Congress

TCs are responsible, in cooperation with the First Vice President, for the compilation of scientific and technical resolutions that are presented to the General Assembly at the Congress for approval. The TC shall organise a Commission Resolutions Committee in cooperation with WG officers and prepare draft scientific and technologic Resolutions for consideration at the last JM before the Congress. TCs shall submit a final draft of Resolutions to the First Vice President in due time for review by the ISPRS International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) prior to the Congress. The format and schedule for the preparation of the resolutions are outlined in appendix 8.

11. Other Responsibilities of TCPs

TCPs are to keep the Secretary General promptly informed of all address changes of officers in their Commission and its WGs.

ISPRS Council and Honorary Members, the Chair­person of the Financial Commission and the editors of the ISPRS Journals are entitled to register at TC Symposia and WG meetings free of charge.  It is expected that free accommodation will be provided to Council during the TC Symposium.

One of the TCs is expected to invite Council and TCPs to convene a Joint Meeting in conjunction with its Symposium. These meetings are normally scheduled for the last Symposium in the year and last for three to four days. Reports on Symposia, assessment of the per­formance of the Commissions and planning for the forthcoming Congress are important items of conside­ration at that JM.

TCs are responsible for ensuring conformance by WG officers to the "Guidelines for Conducting a Working Group", see below.

The TC II President, or a Council designee, will be an ex-officio member of the CIPA Committee, and as such will be required to attend the biannual meetings of the CIPA Committee.


Working Group Officer Commissioning Form

Working Group Responsibilities and Tasks

ISPRS Working Groups (WGs), under the direction of the respective Technical Commissions, are responsible for the scientific work of the Society. Chairs and Co-Chairs of WGs are expected to lead the activities of the WG according to its Terms of Reference, which have been approved by the ISPRS Council.  Responsibilities and tasks of WG Chairs and Co-Chairs are described in the ‘Manual of Operation for ISPRS Technical Commissions and Working Groups’ (Orange Book). They are summarised as follows:

  • organisation of the scientific work of the WG according to its Terms of Reference;
  • development and coordination of WG programs of study amongst interesting parties, covering the areas of interest of the WG, such as defining specific topics of research, preparation of tests, detailing case studies or distribution of questionnaires on issues relevant to the WG;
  • communication with people who have a strong interest in the activities of the WG, and an ability to progress its scientific work;
  • distribution of ISPRS news to people interested in the WG, e.g. by forwarding the ISPRS eBulletin;
  • regular communication on the activities of the WG to the TCP, including the submission of WG contributions for ISPRS Biennial reports;
  • attendance and active participation in the technical sessions of the Symposium of the relevant Technical Commission, the Geospatial Week and the Congress, incl. review of submitted abstracts and full papers;
  • organisation of WG workshops including management of abstracts and papers according to the contractual arrangements made with Copernicus GmbH, if possible in conjunction with one of the two Geospatial Weeks being organised in the odd years of the inter-congress period.

Signature of Agreement

All candidates for the WG positions of Chair and Co-Chair are requested to sign this Commissioning Form prior to their appointment by the Council. By signing this form, candidates demonstrate that they are aware of the responsibilities and tasks of the office, as detailed in the Manual of Operation for ISPRS Technical Commissions and Working Groups, and are willing to undertake these responsibilities and tasks to the best of their ability.


Name of WG officer : ……………………………………………………………………………………………

Current Position : ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Nominated ISPRS Working Group Position (Chair/Co-Chair ): ……………………………………………

I have informed myself of the responsibilities and tasks of ISPRS WG Chairs and Co-Chairs as detailed in the ‘Manual of Operation for ISPRS Technical Commissions and Working Groups’ and hereby agree to serve in the above WG position. 


Signature…………………………………………………   Date: ………………………………………

I attach my biographical details , incl. name, full postal address, phone number, fax, e-mail, nationality, education, professional positions held and a brief summary of work undertaken in the area of the WG.  A more complete CV may also be attached.