I've been thinking a lot lately about sharing a story here on Land Surveyors United so that other land surveyors may learn more from me, because I realize that I have something to share.  I imagine that many of you might be in the same place with this.  Perhaps we have not yet begun to feel the crunch that will be involved when there becomes a scare and our industry is compromised due to fading into other technologies.  So today, I am going to make an attempt by writing a story about writing a story.  Namely, I want to write about what it means to mine my experience as a land surveyor and a member of this global community.

I see a day in steady approach when students of land surveying may be confused as to what they are actually trying to accomplish in the field.  I see a day when handheld technology will help the world to forget all of the underlying fundamentals and standards which gave birth to such contraptions. I see a day when the lines that delineate surveying and all of the accompanying geospatial sciences will have become so blurred that they are virtually indistinguishable from one another.  And like Justin, I see a day when we are all dead and if we do not prepare the future generations by providing a blueprint to our experiences, what they will be doing in their career will have become a splintered version of what we now call ours.

Many have asked "What is Happening to Our Profession?" and that is a very real and troubling question indeed.  We have forgotten the basic principles of communication and story telling.  We have forgotten that their are hundreds of thousands of professionals around the world that do the exact same job as we do because many of us have forgotten that the world does not rotate around our person.  We are not the axis upon which all things turn.  In the United States, in particular, there is a breed of "know it all" and "holier than thou" surveyors who seem to whole-heartedly believe that they drove the original stake.  These guys are anything but professional.  They destroy lines of communication.  They belittle their fellow surveyors for asking questions, yet provide little if any useful anecdote to support their opinion.   Every discussion seems to grind to a screeching halt.  We no longer stop to speak with one another; we just pass each other mumbling.  Where does this get us?  To a point of no return.

I realize that I have an opportunity to plant a seed here on LSU in the form of a story.  This seed may one day become a tree for someone brilliant to roost their career in.  We all have this opportunity for the first time in history to help turn on light bulbs that will never burn out.  

I have made it my personal quest to help every surveyor who wants to work find a job, no matter where they live in the world.  I, of course will never be able to help everyone, but the fact that I try a little bit every single day makes me feel like I am doing my part for this industry.  Because, like Scott Warner, I do what I do without pay and driven purely by passion, I know that I am doing something that will extend much farther than the my own personal reach and will help future generations of land surveyors have the stories that they want to share for the benefit of this profession.

So the next time I sit down at this chair to share an experience, I will look back at this post to remind myself of why I am sharing anything at all. It is because I have footsteps.  Some of those footsteps have been heavy and others too soft to follow.  The fact of the matter is that they all count and without both the soft and the hard, there would never be a trail for others to track if they chose to follow my example.

A few possible topics for my next story (or yours):

  • The Five Most Memorable Mistakes of My Surveying Career
  • Top Ten Things I've Learned in the Field that You Can't Learn in School
  • My Surveying Mentor and What I Learned from Him/Her
  • Why Data in the Field Does't Always Make Good Data in the Office
  • Why I Chose to Become a Land Surveyor
  • Who NOT to Follow by Example in this Industry
  • Historical Surveying Methods I Use Every Single Day
  • Why Sometimes It Can Be Better to Get Back to Basics
  • My Daily Life as a Party Chief
  • The Differences in Duties for a Rodman and an Instrument Man
  • 5 Gadgets I Take to the Field to Make Work Simpler and More Productive
  • 5 Classes That I have Taken That Changed My Career
  • How NOT to Record Property Lines
  • The Pros and Cons of Having Multiple Licenses
  • The Day I Discovered I was Doing the Wrong Kind of Surveying

Takeaway: No one else on Earth has lived your life, had your experiences, or seen the world through your eyes. Ask yourself what you can share from your unique story that will help other surveyors around the world remember what it means to survey.

This Content Originally Published to Land Surveyors United Network

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Subject Tags: experience, industry, sharing, social, stories, surveying, surveyors

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Reply by SurveyEarthinaDay on November 20, 2012 at 9:13pm

genius... i like 

My Surveying Mentor and What I Learned from Him/Her

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