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The Misunderstood Profession: A Look at AI's Lack of Understanding of Land Surveying

AI seems to know quite well what an image of a doctor looks like, or a warrior or a princess.  However, Artificial Intelligence seems to have absolutely no idea about what a land surveyor should look like.  

old land surveyor generated with AI using DALL E

what AI thinks a land surveyor looks like..

sometimes it invents things it doesn't understand

inventing instruments for land surveyors

Granted, I doubt many out there are trying to use Stable Diffusion or other AI tools like DALL-E to generate images of land surveyors doing this and that.  However, I have.   Mostly because I am curious about how much the public actually knows about what a land surveyor is or does.  For example, if you run a prompt like "a photorealistic painting of a professional land surveyor in the future using a total station instrument to measure a mountain holding a plumb bob and gammon reel" you'll get something like the image above.  Here are a few others that might make someone wonder whether AI knows any more than the general public about the importance of Land Surveyors.

AI generated Land Surveyor ArtAI generated Land Surveyor ArtAI generated Land Surveyor Art

 

As technology continues to advance, artificial intelligence (AI) has become more prevalent in various industries. However, the field of land surveying seems to be an exception in the AI world. Despite the crucial role that land surveyors play in the development and maintenance of our communities, AI seems to lack an understanding of what a land surveyor actually is.

 

AI generated Land Surveyor Art

This reflects the fact that, unfortunately, most of the general public has little to no understanding of the importance of land surveying. However, it is essential to recognize that land surveyors are the ones responsible for providing any and all accurate measurements and data that form the foundation of our built environment, which society relies upon. They ensure that boundaries are properly marked, maps are up to date, and construction projects are completed to meet local and national regulations.

The field of land surveying is more complex than just measuring and mapping land. It requires a thorough understanding of geometry, mathematics, geodesy, and laws related to property rights. Land surveyors must also possess strong communication and critical thinking skills to effectively work with clients, design professionals, and government agencies.

The lack of understanding of the role of land surveyors has led to the undervaluation of their work and the misconception that their skills can be easily replicated by AI. However, the reality is that AI cannot replace the human touch and expertise that land surveyors bring to their work. The accuracy of land survey data is critical for ensuring public safety, protecting property rights, and promoting sustainable development, and only a licensed land surveyor can provide the level of precision required. 

Is AI Useless to Land Surveyors?  Absolutely not.

All of this may seem like "preaching to the choir" inside a community for land surveyors.  Nevertheless, there are many ways that land surveyors can use AI to improve their businesses. 

A professional land surveyor can use AI in several ways to enhance their work, including:

  1. Automated data processing: AI can be used to process large amounts of survey data quickly and accurately, reducing the need for manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors.

  2. Enhanced mapping and visualization: AI can be used to create detailed, high-resolution maps and 3D models of the land being surveyed, allowing surveyors to visualize and analyze the data in new ways.

  3. Improved accuracy: AI can be used to improve the accuracy of land surveys by analyzing multiple sources of data and combining them to create a more complete and accurate picture of the land.

  4. Automated survey design: AI can be used to generate optimized survey designs based on factors such as survey area, terrain, and equipment availability.

  5. Predictive analytics: AI can be used to predict potential issues or challenges that may arise during a survey, allowing surveyors to proactively address them before they become problems.

  6. Streamlined report generation: AI can be used to automate the creation of reports, including generating charts, graphs, and other visualizations to help communicate the results of a survey.

 

As you can see, there are many opportunities for Land Surveyors to both use and improve AI.   In conclusion, it is crucial to raise awareness about the importance of land surveying and the valuable role that land surveyors play in our communities. Let's work together to educate the public and dispel the myths about this important profession.  Surveyor Podcasts like The Geoholics and Mentoring Mondays are helping to pave the way.   If you want to learn more about land surveying, take a listen.

 

 


Are you trying to wrap your mind around AI, ChatGPT or generative art in general?  Let's talk about it...

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Survey Legend

Justin Farrow - Creator of Land Surveyors United

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Thoughts

  • Survey Legend

    This wasn't so bad..i wonder where i can get my hands on this new equipment!

    Land Surveying Art generated with AI using DALL E

    Land Surveying Art generated with AI using DALL E

    I love how he is holding the monument or some is he? Land Surveying Art generated with AI using DALL E

    Try using the prompt "Create a scene of a land surveyor using a Trimble to check the verticality of a building column." and as you can see it is now getting a little better

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