The new point of beginning for land surveys is orbiting the earth at 5,000 miles an hour 12 ½ thousand miles up in the stratosphere and has been there for a very long time. That’s correct and I suppose I owe my fellow professional land surveyors an apology for my participation in the changes we have been going through the last 20 years (see the POB cover article attached). The fact of the matter is the PLS’s of this country have had our exclusive provenances invaded by all manor of non-surveyor professionals and others. In the state of Florida it is not “Professional Land Surveyors” it’s “Land Surveyors & Mappers” just how the aerial mapping guys of the world got included in professional land surveying by my state’s professional board is a big question to me. Now professional engineers are allowed to sign off on elevation certificates. However what’s coming next will change the profession for ever.
GPS, Mobile Lidar and other technologies are doing the land surveyors job of collecting field data at rates that are truly amazing (and that’s coming from someone who has been involved in this technology for more than 2 decades). A Mobile Lidar device can collect more point data in 30 minutes than a bus load of land surveyors could collect in a month using optical instruments. The optical surveying equipment manufactures have been scrambling to try to maintain their position in this industry for more than 10 years. My fear is that they too are about to be overrun by technology. And the survey data want2bes are giving away imitation survey data and calling it real property line information.
The question for the profession is can we or do we even want to be part of this revolution? Judging for the response I have had to your POB article from some of the PLS’s in my markets the answer is “not as long as I am alive”. Taking into consideration the lack of political power land surveyor’s posses within their own state’s professional licensing boards; is there any will for you guys to get involved in keeping our profession in the field data collecting processes?
John W. Veatch
239 282 9170