Message of the Director / Senior Deputy Surveyor General (Training)

As the Director/ Senior Deputy Surveyor General (Training) of the Institute of Surveying & Mapping, Diyatalawa (ISMD),  I am proud to present the first and foremost Surveying and Geo Informatics Training Institute of the country.

Institute of Surveying & Mapping is proud to have its services to the nation since its inception. The initiating idea of formal training for Surveyors was borne in the mind of Mr. G.Snider (1811-1833) when he was a Principal Surveyor in charge of Colombo district. He personally taught mathematics and astronomy for Apprentice Surveyors. The first formal training was started by Mr.W.C.S. Ingles on 19th October 1896. Those who successfully completed the training were given option either to join Survey Department, as Apprentice Surveyors or to pass the Surveyor General’s licensing exam and practice as Licensed Surveyors. With the introduction of first tertiary education establishment in the country, the Maradana technical college, training of Surveyors was handed on to Maradana technical college in 1908.

Surveyor’s trained at Maradana Technical College were given practical training at Survey Department and recruited as Trainee Surveyors. But this training process was found not up to standards and Surveyor General decided to continue the Surveyor General Training School. As a result the Surveyor General’s Training School was established on 1910 at uplands, Modara. As the building used as training school at Modara was in depleted condition a new location to be found.

Finally an ideal location was found for the training school, which was the deserted Boer war prisoner’s camp located in Diyatalawa. Accordingly, the Surveyor General Mr. A.J. Wickwar ordered to start the Surveyor General’s Training School in Diyatalawa on 1st March 1924.

It was necessary to introduce new technologies such as Photogrammetry, Electromagnetic Distance Measurements, etc. As a result, the Surveyor General’s Training School was upgraded as Institute of Surveying and Mapping on 21st of February 1967 with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme. Later Institute of Surveying and Mapping was incorporated under Parliamentary Act no. 21 of 1969.
With the rapid development of the Land Surveying, Geo Informatics, Satellite Positioning, Remote Sensing, Soft Photogrammetry and Geographic Information Systems, commencement of a Bachelor Degree Course in Surveying was very much in demand. The Institute of Surveying & Mapping commenced the first Bachelor Degree Course in Surveying in the country empowered by the Gazette no. 620/4 issued by the Higher Education Ministry on 24th July 1990.

Institute of Surveying & Mapping is serving to the nation as pioneering education in Geo Informatics, Land Management and aim to be the focal point in educational institute on Land Management and Geo Informatics in the Asian region.

W.M.S. Weerasinghe
Director/ Senior Deputy Surveyor General (Training),
Institute of Surveying and Mapping,