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Forum goes public

SITE INVESTIGATION

The FMGM instrumentation website is now up and running.

Elmo DiBiagio charts its development.

The idea of a geotechnical instrumentation website was first proposed at the International Symposium on Field Measurements in GeoMechanics (FMGM), held in 1999 in Singapore.

It was suggested that a website should be created where all kinds of information relating to field instrumentation would be readily accessible, including a discussion forum.

I volunteered to set up a general FMGM instrumentation site and to serve as its first webmaster. The idea was to have a neutral, non-commercial site, not dominated by any one individual or organisation, where anyone interested in field instrumentation could meet, exchange ideas, find useful information and communicate with others.

In February 2001 a draft version of the site was put on the internet for testing. At this time the site was not open to the public and so a user ID and password were required to access it.

An international review board was asked to review the contents and format, as were all major instrument manufacturers. Comments were then integrated into the site development plans. The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) purchased the domain name fmgm. no for the site and put it on its server.

In June 2002 the site was opened to the public, primarily to provide a channel for announcing the next FMGM symposium in 2003 and to provide a convenient and efficient means of distributing information about it.

The site is by no means complete. However, the contents and structure indicate how it will develop. Its sections include news and events, theory and practice, publications, discussions, links, and a glossary, as well as ways for visitors to give feedback and offer support.

Some pages as yet only contain a few comments to indicate what type of information will ultimately appear there.

Development of the site is based entirely on voluntary contributions, which have been limited to date, mainly because it has been closed to the public.

Now that the site is open to a wider audience, it will hopefully become a useful source of information for both users and suppliers of instrumentation.

There is no professional society behind the FMGM website or symposia. There is no secretariat, there are no sponsors and there are no funds. The FMGM family consists of individuals so interested in and dedicated to field instrumentation that they volunteer to do something just to keep the FMGM spirit alive.

It is hoped this website will do just that - help keep the FMGM movement alive and promote worldwide interest in field instrumentation and monitoring the performance of civil engineering works and facilities.

Feedback is welcome, either through the website or directly via email (edb@ngi. no). Those interested in helping can go to the 'I want to help' page and check the list of tasks to be worked on.

Help with any of these tasks, or any other contribution you feel is appropriate to the goals of the site, would be greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged.

The FMGM instrumentation website can be found at: www. fmgm. no Elmo DiBiagio is technical adviser in the instrumentation division of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.

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