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HYPACK Chooses Ellipse-D Inertial Navigation System for UAV-Based Surveying Solution: NEXUS 800
GRMC Announces “Your Facility on Your Desktop” Webinar Using SLAM Technology for Indoor Mapping
Springfield Hires Woolpert to Conduct Airport Master Plan
3D Laser Mapping Marks 800th Anniversary of King John’s Passing
Woolpert Signs Contract with NOAA to Map U.S. Coastal Regions, Great Lakes
LandWorks Upgrades Web AutoMapper Online Mapping Service...Now Includes USLandGrid
MAPPS, NSPS Announce 2017 National Surveying, Mapping & Geospatial Conference
Arithmetica Appoints point3D as North American Reseller of SphereVision 360 Imaging Software
5th GPS Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment Workshop
Thiess Invests in Maptek I-Site Laser Scanner for Oyu Tolgoi Project in Mongolia
Tractor on Track to Driverless Future?
Best Practices for Leap Second Event Occurring on 31 December 2016
Construction Input Prices Begin to Trend Higher, ABC Says
Fuyao Glass America Celebrates Growth, Collaboration at Grand Opening
RIEGL and RIEGL USA to Exhibit and Present at the Commercial UAV Show 2016 and Commercial UAV Expo
Kathryn Fenstermaker Joins Company as Business Development Consultant
INTERGEO 2016 – Smart Geoinformation Shaping the Future
Contractor Confidence Dips in First Half of 2016
Metcam Announces Release of TramBed 2.0, the World’s Most Helpful Commercial Truck Bed Extension
GEO Jobe Pleased to Participate as Sponsor of Fourth Annual Mississippi Geospatial Conference
USIBD's Version 2 of the Level of Accuracy (LOA) Specification Version 2.0 Published
Topcon Announces MAGNET Construct 2.0 App for Connectivity with More Instruments
Arithmetica Launches Pointfuse V2 at Intergeo
Eos Positioning Systems Announces the Arrow Gold High-Accuracy iOS/Android GNSS Receiver
Hemisphere GNSS Announces New Eclipse P328 OEM Positioning Board
Maptek NA Operations Move to New Location
Topcon Announces New MAGNET Software Solutions for Increased Integration, ROI
Topcon Announces Release of Deformation Monitoring Solution
East View Brings Iranian Cartographic Data Online via New Digital Platform
RIEGL Debuted the New miniVUX-1UAV and the New VQ-1560i at INTERGEO and Announced Launch Customers
Eco3d Vice-President to Serve as Master of Ceremonies at USIBD Conference
RIEGL with Broad and Impressive Product Range, New Products at Intergeo 2016
TerraGo to Showcase Collaborative Geospatial Solutions at INTERGEO 2016
InterGEO2016: AltiGator and YellowScan Unveil a 5.6kg Survey-Grade LiDAR UAV All Integrated System
Teledyne Optech Announces New Efficiency Enhancement for ALTM Galaxy Wide-Area Lidar Mapping Sensor
Teledyne Optech Unveils the Ultra-Light Maverick for Mobile Asset Mapping
Brand-New Optech Polaris Terrestrial Laser Scanner Launches at INTERGEO 2016
Teledyne Optech Doubles Scanner Speed with Lynx HS-600 Mobile Surveying Solution
DotProduct & Elysium Announce InfiPoints DP On-Tablet Feature Extraction for DPI-8
Applanix Announces POSPac MMS 8 Featuring Post-Processed Trimble CenterPoint RTX Service
Surveyor 2.0 - The Next Generation Print E-mail
Written by Joe Sass   
Friday, 03 August 2012

Note: This article originally appeared on the Machine Control Online website and is the result of a presentation made at the recent Esri/ACSM Survey Summit in San Diego.

The profession of land surveying has constantly evolved. Basic principles of trigonometry are still at the foundation of land measurements, but the roles of a land surveyor, the tools that are employed and the governance surrounding land divisions have been a continuous story of change. Today’s successful land surveyor has found a way to survive the changes to his business that have come with the automation of machines. He’s not building muscles by pounding hundreds of stakes in the ground, but instead marking property lines and locating various infrastructures. Three-dimensional digital drawings are driving the machines that used to rely on operators being guided by wooden stakes that were placed there by a land surveyor. This recent evolution within land surveying requires the surveyor to embrace the changes that have come with our digital world. Surveyor 2.0 must possess skills beyond land definition, planning and measurements. Weaving data from various sources into a cloud based resource is the new trend.
The idea of Surveyor 2.0 is not mine. I heard it at a recent conference where the concept was presented by Mr. CheeHai Teo, the director of FIG (Fédération Intenationale des Géomètres). FIG is the oldest continuously operating organization devoted to the affairs of land surveyors worldwide. His ideas caught my curiosity and I could easily relate his comments to the current state of affairs with surveyors I know myself. Mr. Teo stated that Surveyor 2.0 must Measure, Model and Manage.

What does this mean today on the modern construction site? For a surveyor, it’s not about staking points and alignments anymore. The machines can cut the lines and trim the elevations to match the digital models without a lot of wood in the ground. It has become more about establishing control and setting property lines. According to Tim Smith of Professional Land Surveying Inc. in Southern California, the modern surveyor has lost an intimacy with the land on many construction projects. He may see a project in the very early stages and then not again until it’s almost completely built. Now his decisions must be based on data and not experience. The data are not just his measurements, field notes and property descriptions; data cannot always be analyzed with maps and spreadsheets alone. Visualization of the data while applying a variety of filters is one method of bringing the data to life. This allows the data to be manipulated in new and useful ways.

The sources and the tools for analyzing data have been evolving alongside Surveyor 2.0. A familiar example of this is Google Earth. Virtually any place on the planet can be viewed from an aerial perspective and many places are even accompanied with ground based photographs that can be sewn together. Several surveyors I know today are using Google Earth to get an idea about the terrain surrounding their project site before they visit it in person. But Google Earth is not limited to imagery. There are various overlays that can be applied. Street names, public transportation corridors, bodies of waters, civil boundaries and other layers can be viewed on top of the satellite images.

For Surveyor 2.0, these additional data layers include all of the data and meta-data from his previous surveys, active and passive monument information surrounding his project areas, inventory of available tools, licensing requirements, employees availability, customer schedules, finances, change orders, etc. As you can see, some of these layers are related to geography while others are related to resources or administration. Surveyor 2.0 must manage and integrate these layers into an efficient machine that allows him to access all of the data he needs to make informed choices in real-time. What does this look like and how does a company get there? The road is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. Many surveying firms have found that the Esri suite of software products can help them achieve these goals.

In a perfect world, Surveyor 2.0 has all of his historical work digitized and organized. He is able to locate the field notes for any particular survey within seconds or minutes without the necessity of digging though old log books and paper maps. He can filter his search to look by date, location, customer name, type of survey, etc. He can graphically display his projects on a live interactive map. The projects can be displayed through various filters so that trends over time or topic can be revealed. For instance, Surveyor 2.0 is able to state what percentage of his business is devoted to construction surveys. He can dig down and identify key customers and regions within these construction surveys. The financial aspect of the construction surveys is another layer so that determinations based on profitability can be intelligently made. Surveyor 2.0 does not waste a lot of time reconnoitering job sites because he can easily and quickly recover all of his field notes and control points from previous surveys surrounding the current area of interest. He accesses public data from the cloud for proximal surveys done by others and integrates all of this information into a virtual project.

Surveyor 2.0 is connected to the world in real-time. He is spatially enabled. His decisions are based on information that is up to date. Digital drawings are shared on the web so that change orders and other adjustments can be updated constantly. Surveyor 2.0 is now charged with providing analysis and advice to his customers based on this live and ever changing world. While historical experience is advantageous in the decision making process, Surveyor 2.0 must have access and be able to analyze many sources of data and then weave them into a digital realization so that the machines can go out and move dirt into the right places.

Surveyor 2.0 is a GIS professional….. This statement will probably cause angst among many licensed land surveyors. It shouldn’t. The task of maintaining and controlling these survey layers is very similar to what many GIS managers do with other data layers. Surveyor 2.0 is licensed to ensure the highest levels of precision and accuracy within the survey layers of data. Surveyor 2.0 has become a specialized GIS analyst that is authorized by his government to make decisions about land divisions and boundaries. The GIS and Surveying industries have been trying to “Bridge the Gap” for many years and Surveyor 2.0 is closer to this bridge than ever before. Surveying firms that have adopted this model are doing so because this is what it takes to stay in business in their markets. They need the competitive edge that accompanies access to data. Their GIS, their way of managing their business is helping them make more money.

Is Surveyor 2.0 a prequel to MachineControl 2.0? Or is it already here? Data sources and access to them will continue to grow. Live, interactive, real-time visualization tools will become more intuitive and useful. Connectivity is exploding; a connected globe is coming. MachineControl 2.0 is holding hands with Surveyor 2.0 as the new paradigm is being defined. Complexities of the systems are being reduced making the user interfaces much easier to navigate. Manufacturers of hardware and software are working together to engineer the next generation of solutions. Thin clients, cloud computing, live streams of data and enhanced visualization techniques are emerging as the dominant trends. Surveyor 2.0 will be there working with MachineControlOnline.com to bring you useful information that can help you run your business more profitably. 

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