When We Are All Dead...will Surveying be with us?

When we are all long gone from this earthly plain, there will still be droves of ambitious new surveyors entering the industry, many without even the slightest clue about the origin of ideas, reasoning behind practice or history of method. Those surveyors will most likely find themselves Googling their questions and concerns only to find your brilliant solution on our network, having been answered years before by some dead guy who really knew what he was talking about. Having seen and admired your post he'll read more about you and your contribution to surveying and become inspired.  He may ask to add you as a friend, but he can't because you are dead.  All he has to learn more from is what you took the time to share before you left.  Your explanations and detailed descriptions of life challenges as a surveyor inspire him to take his practice more seriously,sharpen his axe a little finer and find a tighter close in future loops. He'll know that land surveying isn't just a bunch of construction workers on the side of the road playing with lasers (as my girlfriend would say). It will start to become apparent that without the art of surveying, there would have never been anything that could be called a surveying science. Without some sort of personal theory regarding the importance of what we are doing, we're just turning angles and crunching numbers.  Our responsibilities begin much earlier in the morning than the first H.I. of the day. It is our job to gather clues and combine them with clues found by those who came before us, pursue a path to greater precision, produce tangible data which in the end is only as accurate as those clues we chose to work with. What will the surveyors in the future have to work with or work off of? Precisely what we give them....and not much more.

 

Sure, you can replace a 5 man crew with a $35k robot, but how would robots feel if we went about this in reverse?Oh,that's easy.  Who cares?  Robots can't feel anything (yet).  They can't get frustrated when they realize that for the past 25 years they gave every ounce of passion, energy, soul  and time to 'job' that required at least that much from them, paying less than half of what the work and time is worth, all the while archiving them along with the current tools they use. Robots have no passions to spend time and energy on or a soul to store the data Its probably a good thing that robots cant realize they're being used.  They probably would become too human. We'd have to replace them too.

 

 

Speaking of replacing tradition...check out this thing i came up with

A One Page Surveying Newspaperless Wall

In another experiment, I made a one page LSU News Wall, which dynamically displays the latest activity in all categories all in one place. I made this out of a plain free google sites template!    Attached to this page is a simple introduction mini-site which explains many of the various aspects, goals and features on our network.  Feel free to pass it on or even send me suggestions on things that you think should be added to it.  Like I said, its an experiment.  One day i'll be a robot.

 

 

This Content Originally Published by a land surveyor to Land Surveyors United Network

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Reply by Lalith Senanayake on October 29, 2013 at 9:12am
Got it my dear Justin
Reply by DAVID C. GARCELON on March 23, 2013 at 8:37am

Consider this:  The one priviledge I envy of the first surveyors of the United States is that they established the first boundaries with their monuments. They laid out 10's of thousands of  lots (today we call them subdivisions). Up until they began their work there was no ownership of title and location of title problems. The other amazing thing (to me at least) is that a very small percentage of those boundaries were ever contested. Consider Boston...the laying out of its original lots was begun in the early 1600's and by the time the United States came into being (1783) Boston had 10's of thousands of "lot lines" and tens of thousands of monuments. It is a very interesting anomaly to me that most of those boundaries were never contested until the mid 1900's when we surveyors, who could not find the original monuments, began to call building walls, fences, etc the only evidence of original boundaries. That, along with an  arrogance we developed with our more accurate measuring instruments and tools, made us decide we knew where the boundaries were...and justified it by saying "the first surveyors used compasses and chains" (More times than any of us would want to admit, I bet). We fail to remember that surveyors in those days were well aware of the inaccuracy of their measuring tools  AND SO THEY SET MONUMENTS....DO WE FORGET THE ORIGINAL MONUMENTS CONTROL? Measurements to the nearest second of arc and hundredth of a foot will never replace the original monuments, they simply define the mathematics of those monuments better.

I admire and envy the Colonial surveyors. They set the Original Monuments!!

David C. Garcelon

Reply by J. Anthony Cavell on March 22, 2013 at 11:47pm

The writer is to the typewriter

as the surveyor is to the tape measure.

Typists may have a harder time finding employment today

button pushers will likewise find themselves less in damand.

JAC

Reply by ⚡Survenator⌁ on August 6, 2012 at 6:44pm

still  one of my favorite all-time posts!

Reply by ⚡Survenator⌁ on May 10, 2011 at 1:36am
whoa...this is heavy...
Reply by Charles W Browning Jr on February 5, 2011 at 9:59am

Exactly! This is so true on many levels and we aren’t even dead yet. I asked a few of the younger guys that I am currently working with if they had ever performed a Solar Observation. All of them said no, what is it? So I began to explain that you use the sun along with a time piece to clock the movement of the sun and you are able to determine a bearing between two points. They said I was crazy! Then said we just get the GPS out and then we know. That is so wrong on so many levels.

Reply by Jaybird on December 29, 2010 at 11:13am

Thank you Deward.  It is nice to have someone as opinionated and appreciative of theory as I around the network.  No one else has ever taken the time to give this to surveyors, who have given the world so much.  I appreciate you as well.

In other news..I outdid myself above with the following late night experiment:

Make This Netvibes Page Your Home Page

I have created this handy one page site on netvibes which has all of the latest po....   On this page you can see everything that is occurring across the surveying globe right in one place.  By switching tabs you have access to helpful tools for Surveyors online (many which also come with the toolbar) such as weather, mapping, to-do lists, communication, email, etc.  Simply visit this page and set it as your browser homepage if you like.  From then on you will have a dynamically updated source of information and tools everytime you open your browser.  In any case, you might like to bookmark it for quick reference.  It will change and become even more useful as time goes on.

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on December 29, 2010 at 8:11am

Justin I have to say that I am simply stunned by your energy and passion. I am aware of your constant work behind the scenes to make this site better and to smooth the content to a more digestible form. Land Surveying has never been about math or technology although these are an integral part of it. A good Land Surveyor is proficient in these areas but a great Land Surveyor can communicate with the dead and explain the inexplicable. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. I for one intend to take advantage of it.

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