About ICSM

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) was established by the Prime Minister, State Premiers, and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in 1988.  Since that time the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand have joined ICSM.  The Australian Defence forces are also represented on ICSM.

Membership is comprised of senior representatives of surveying and mapping agencies.

Prior to 1988 a similar body, the National Mapping Council (NMC), had coordinated cooperative Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory mapping programs since 1945.  Although the NMC had been an effective forum, the changing operational environment of the late 1980s led to the cessation of the NMC and the formation of ICSM to cover both surveying and mapping issues, as they related to Government activities, to ensure continued cooperation in these activities on a national basis.

In 2002 ICSM became a Standing Committee of ANZLIC – the Australian and New Zealand Spatial Information Council.

ICSM meets every six months.  After each meeting ICSM releases two documents:

  • a brief summary of the proceedings of that meeting:   Perth, October 2016
  • the unclassified version of the Minutes from the previous meeting held:   Christchurch, May 2016
    (The unclassified version of the Minutes are a copy of the endorsed Minutes with confidential information removed - for example reports from external organisations.)

A Chair is appointed from the Committee every two years and an ICSM Executive Officer delivers secretariat and project support to the Committee and to Working Groups.

Within ICSM the following Permanent Committees and Working Groups currently carry out projects and research for, and provide advice to, ICSM in their special fields of expertise:

  • PCA – Permanent Committee on Addressing
  • PCPN – Permanent Committee for Place Names
  • PCC – Permanent Committee on Cadastre, which has two working groups:
    • ePlan – Electronic Lodgement and Transfer of Survey Data Working Group
    • DCDB – Digital Cadastral Database - Special Interest Group
  • PCG – Permanent Committee on Geodesy
  • GMIWG – GDA Modernisation Implementation Committee
  • PCTMSL – Permanent Committee on Tides and Mean Sea Level
  • PCTI – Permanent Committee on Topographic Information.

The Terms of Reference of these Working Groups are available as a .pdf file  (0.5MB)

Membership of these Working Groups come from key government, academic, and private organisations from within Australia and New Zealand.

ICSM Organisation structure

ICSM’s initiatives aim to:

  • avoid unnecessary duplication; and
  • provide a consistent and modern approach to surveying, mapping and charting for national development and defence.

ICSM produces benefits to both Australia and New Zealand.  ICSM is an important forum for the exchange of information and ideas in the national interest and for trans-Tasman matters.  As well, ICSM assists both countries fulfil their obligations to the international surveying, mapping and charting community.

ICSM is an unincorporated, not-for-profit business (ABN 33 830 643 298) and it has developed a set of rules which govern the conduct of its activities.  The complete ICSM Terms of Reference and Governance Charter can be viewed as a .pdf file.

Information About ICSM Activities

ICSM has published a booklet outlining our achievements over the 25 years from 1988 to 2013.

ICSM has produced a series of brochures which outline its activities in a number of different field of endeavour.   These are: