About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
Register to receive the Amerisurv Newsletter | Also See Our LiDAR News Newsletter | RSS Feed  
advertisement


Subscriptions
Rendezvous
Please Join Us . . .
At Historic Concord, MA
Visit Minuteman Park, Walden Pond, and the Old North Bridge.
Details:
SurveyorsHistoricalSociety.com
Rendezvous
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home   The American Surveyor     


In This Issue
• What's New  • Applying Knowledge  • Henry David Thoreau  • Winery Visitor Center  • JAVAD  • Civil Aviation   • Success  • Discussion
Articles    View Cover    Click HERE for the PageFlip full version of the magazine.
  iPad Enabled
 
RECENT AMERISURV UPDATES
INTERGEO – Where the Future is Within Your Grasp!
Dewberry To Lead Lidar Project Covering Six Areas in Northern California
RIEGL to Exhibit and Present at GeoSmart Asia 2017
Blue Marble Announces Global Mapper Certification Classes in Atlanta and Ottawa
RIEGL to Exhibit at Geomatics Indaba 2017
TerraGo Adds Topcon GNSS Receiver Integration to Mobile Data Collection Platforms
Trimble Creates Two New Divisions for Transportation
Dewberry to Provide Resilience Services for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
ArcGIS Experts, GEO Jobe, Celebrates 18 Years in GIS Software Development, Services, UAV Mapping
Woolpert Awarded Stormwater Contract for Richmond, Va.
TerraGo Partners with Western Data Systems for Field Data Collection
GeoSLAM Unveils Predictions for the Digital Future of Engineering
Construction Input Prices Plod Higher, Energy Prices Down, Says ABC
CompassDrone Announces CIRRUAS Drone Program for Public Safety Agencies
Two Milestones Achieved with eRecording Availability
Newport News Signs Woolpert to 3-Year Stormwater, Wastewater Contract
Alberta Registers 1,000th Land Surveyor
Deadline Approaching on Comment Period for Several GPS Public Interface Control Documents
Skyline Software Systems Releases PhotoMesh 7.2 with Full Motion Video Capability
TCarta Marine Changes the Way Dynamic Environments are Managed and Monitored with Introduction of Vector Shorelines
Woolpert Helps Provide Lidar Data Training for State, Local Officials
TerraGo and Laser Technology Partner to Integrate Industry-Leading Rangefinders with Advanced Field Data Collection Apps
Hancock Associates Announces Addition to Management Team
Nonresidential Construction Job Growth Softens in July, Says ABC
3DR Site Scan Processing Now Powered by Pix4D
TerraGo Adds New Advanced Features to Magic Apps
MAPPS Elects New Officers, Directors
Orbit GT Updates 3D Mapping Cloud with Oblique Imagery Support
EngineerSupply Ranks in the Top 300 of B2B Internet Retailer Magazine for the Third Year in a Row
Juniper Systems’ Archer 2 Used to Identify Dangerous Arsenic Levels in Peru
Geospatial Professionals Recognized with MAPPS Presidential Awards
Nonresidential Construction Spending Plummets in June, Driven by Public Sector
New Book: William Churton—Colonial Surveyor of North Carolina—His Life History
NOAA Picks Black Swift Technologies’ sUAS for Nighttime Fire Observation eXperiment (NightFOX)
FARO Introduces Focus S 70 Laser Scanner
National Construction Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.5 Percent, the Lowest June Rate on Record, Says ABC
INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS - Part of INTERGEO: Europe's Leading Trade Fair for Commercial and Civil Drones
KCI Expands Surveying Technology and Capabilities with Acquisition of LandAir Surveying
Congressman Doug Lamborn Addresses MAPPS Membership During 35th Anniversary Conference in Colorado Springs
Orbit GT Releases Oblique Mapping v17.1 with Cloud Upload Feature
The Savvy Surveyor Print E-mail
Written by R. William Glassey, P.L.S.   
Monday, 05 January 2015

Land Surveying: Are We Professional Enough?

“I spent a little time on the mountain
I spent a little time on the hill
Things went down we don't understand
But I think in time we will”
New Speedway Boogie – Lyrics by Robert Hunter 

I have enjoyed a long and storied career in land surveying, now over forty years. During this time, and presumably long before, land surveyors have been arguing and discussing the professionalism battle. Are we, as land surveyors, a profession or a trade? One of the ongoing arguments, supposedly to force professionalism on us, has been to mandate a four year degree prior to licensure. A few states have already instituted this in some form, with mixed success. I have followed the discussion, and generally support the idea of a four year degree for licensure, though absolutely not at the exclusion of non-degreed candidates! I think we are putting the cart before the horse, here. The required knowledge is the important criterion, not how or where it was acquired! It has become increasingly more difficult to bridge the gap between technician and professional, though capable candidates must not be cut off and discouraged. A degree is indeed advisable, though obviously not entirely necessary. On a personal note, I have in my resume four years of college studying math and science, though unfortunately no degree. Many of my mentors had no degree. None had a degree in surveying. What is really critical here is a genuine understanding and love of the game and a lifelong dedication to the discipline that is land surveying! 

Despite thinking about these topics over the decades and analyzing the talking points ad nauseam, I have finally gained some insight, which I wish to share. It is painful, and few, if any of us are going to like the results. During the majority of my career, I always believed land surveying to be a knowledgable and therefore learned profession. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but this was my belief nonetheless. I now believe that we land surveyors have been our own worst enemy, especially in the last ten years or so. I am reminded of the Pogo cartoon strip and the infamous quote, “We have met the enemy, and he is us…” 

A major aspect of land surveying that has always caused us grief is the constant focus on technology and softwares. To remain competitive, we must embrace new technologies, and incorporate them into our business. We must occasionally raise our rates to pay for these improvements in technology and efficiency. As a humorous, though truthful aside, I once recall overhearing a colleague state that we should still be performing our surveys with transit, chain and stadia, since we could realistically bill more hours. This is the mentality over which we continue to struggle! The ongoing evolution of technology simply brings us new tools with which to excel in our chosen craft. 

Softwares come and go, and are a passing thing. For any who doubt this statement, how many of you are still using PacSoft? How long have you been using your current software? Surely someone will pioneer something better than Civil 3D! (It’s for engineers, people.) How about soon, please! Again, a superior knowledge of mathematics, geometry, and an understanding of case law will go a long way toward professionalism. There will never exist a “professional button pusher”. 

This recession, commencing about 2008 and still at least partially in effect, has been especially tough on the surveying discipline. Our natural business ties to real estate, land development, construction and banking have all collectively ganged up on us, and these last several years have been extremely difficult! Many well established companies have gone under, or perhaps opted for early retirement. Meanwhile, every neophyte practitioner with a robot hung out their shingle and began low-bidding projects. It is impossible in my mind to remain a professional when colleagues are participating in, or at least condoning this “race to the bottom – Wal-Mart philosophy”! 

Lowballing, of necessity, takes several casualties, chief among them adequate research, proper field closures, sufficient checking and quality control in general. The public, whom we’re legally and “professionally” obligated to protect, typically doesn’t have the resources or sufficient knowledge to discern a good survey from a poor one, and simply opts for the lowest price. If this passes for “professionalism”, and this is what we continue to offer our clients (the public), then land surveyors themselves have finally answered the question en masse, and unfortunately, we are quite clearly a trade. Sorry! Is it too late to turn around? Ladies and gentlemen, it is up to you! 

In the end, we will be what we wish to be.

 
< Prev   Next >

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

GeoSLAM
Engineering Predictions

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
INTERGEO TV
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax