1983

The year that Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft’s Word® are first released. The Conference agenda reflects an industry increasingly leaning towards the private sector and towards commercial and industrial market needs. A whole half-day was devoted to papers reflecting changing times, one of the papers being a resume of Ordnance Survey’s strategy for funding and operations, including the end of direct military involvement in its management.

A paper from Thailand, the first from a non-Commonwealth country, described their land titling project. Delegates from nine non-Commonwealth countries attended.

The attention of the delegates was drawn to the fact that the Directorate of Overseas Surveys (DOS) would soon cease to be part of the Overseas Development Administration, to become the Overseas Directorate of the Ordnance Survey (ODOS). DOS had organised the Conference since 1951, and it could not be assumed that ODOS would be able to continue with the role. In the economic climate of the time, searching questions regarding funding, benefits and costs would need to be addressed. The delegates strongly and unanimously supported the continuation of the Conference and it was left to the Standing Committee to find appropriate ways of organising and funding it. This was clearly the most serious challenge the Conference had ever faced.