The surveying, mapping and land information management industry in both the government and private sectors in Australia has increasingly promoted the export of its expertise to developing countries during the 1980s, particularly in the land administration area. This activity has brought the industry in closer contact with organizations such as the World Bank with a view to increasing Australia’s share of the international consulting market. As a consequence of these developments and the extensive expertise in land management within the World Bank, in both the operational and research areas, the author spent six months undertaking research in land information management in developing countries in the World Bank during the latter half of 1989. This paper summarizes his impressions and experiences from this period but in particular highlights the role and importance of surveying, mapping and land information management as perceived by the World Bank. A major conclusion of the paper is that the surveying profession together with its institutions, systems and technologies is ‘alive and well’ and has a very sound and important future in the developing world.