Born 1927 and passed away in Tel Aviv in August 2015. May his memory be for a blessing.
Born in Warsaw, Poland. Moved to England during World War II to serve in the British Army's Surveyor Unit. Completed undergraduate studies in Geodesy at the University of Reading, 1953; Master's degree in Photogrammetry at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1963; PhD from the Technion in Haifa, September 1970. Doctoral thesis dealt with Geodetic Simulation and was considered the first of its kind in Israel, possibly in the world.
Ron Adler emigrated to Israel on September 15, 1953 and was hired by the Government's Department of Mapping. He worked for eight years in the Photogrammetry division, initially in graphical updating of maps and then after operating Photogrammetric devices and implementation of quality assurance of maps.
He worked on a series of topographic maps at a 1:50,000 scale, and was involved in the preparation of a photo-cadastral map series at a scale of 1:10,000.
Dr. Adler was involved in the writing of specifications of the first photo-cadastral map series, production planning and execution. In 1961 he left the Photogrammetry Unit to study at Ohio State University and returned to MAPI in 1963. Upon his return he was appointed director of the Plotting division, which he renamed the Topography division. The department dealt mainly with producing maps for engineering development projects (building and road construction). In 1965 he was appointed to the position of chief cadastral engineer and was responsible for managing three divisions: Topography, map auditing (currently – mutation plans auditing) and cadastre. In 1968/9, after a year of teaching in the United States, Dr. Adler was appointed as Deputy Director for surveying and cadastre.
On September 1, 1971, Dr. Adler was appointed Director of The Israel Survey Department. During his tenure (1971-1992) the Survey Department changed its name and status twice: In 1977, during the transition from the Labor Ministry to the Construction and Housing Ministry it was renamed The Mapping Agency of Israel (MAPI) and in 1988 the Hebrew name was changed to Survey of Israel (SOI) to emphasize its status as the official government agency for surveying and mapping.
Upon taking office, Dr. Adler led several changes to the Survey of Israel. He closed the school of Surveying in Holon and worked to create a Department of Geodesy and Cartography at the Tel Aviv University. The new Department replaced the Surveying school in 1974, fulfilling Dr. Adler's vision to transform the education of Surveyors into full academic status as it is customary in other countries. In the process, Dr. Adler also took over the professional responsibility for training Surveying technicians in a one-year course at the "Winick" institute of the Mikve Israel agricultural school .
Another change Dr. Adler instituted was to stop production of a series of topographic maps at 1:20,000 scale and topocadastral maps at the 1:10,000 scale. Insufficient manpower required to keep these maps up to date made them outdated and obsolete. This reallocation of resources enabled faster updates to two series of topographic maps at scales of 1:100,000 and 1:50,000.
Dr. Adler developed international connections with mapping agencies around the world, including the exchange of information, ideas and opinions and collaboration on Surveying and Mapping.
Throughout his tenure as Director, Dr. Adler focused on equipping MAPI with the most advanced technology. He purchased modern distance-measurement tools like the Gravimeter, which pioneered gravimetric measurements in Israel; Computers and accessories like Digimeter (graphical area measurement device); etc.
Dr. Adler paved the way for the current technological era of SOI, which is based on satellite measurements and computerized geographic databases. During his tenure, the first GPS devices were purchased, and preliminary proof-of-concept studies were conducted using GIS (GIS - Geographic Information System). The education and transition process to full digitalization of all aspects of mapping was a long process which continued well after the end of his term.
Dr. Adler retired in 1992 after 21 years as Director of SOI and resumed his academic career. He published numerous books and articles, mainly on Geodesy, was a visiting professor at universities around the world, and was an associate professor at the Technion.
Dr. Adler continued to promote the field of Geodesy in Israel. His ongoing scientific research at SOI earned him the Distinguished Contributor Award (the only one to receive this award to date). He continued to lecture at the Technion, and was active in the Association of Certified Surveyors. Dr. Adler represented Israel in many international forums, including the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG).