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When do you let it ride

Discussion in 'Surveying & Geomatics' started by Williwaw, May 17, 2017.

  1. Williwaw

    Williwaw 4-Year Member

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    Twice in the last week I've done work in separate subdivisions and run in to 'complications'. The first one done by a surveyor I know and respect, every curve return I recovered appeared to be off by 8-9' and I can only assume that he used a 30' radius in laying out their positions when the plat calls for 40'. Since I know him well ( use to work for him years ago) I felt comfortable giving him a head's up and sending him my data. Better he hears it from me than someone with an axe to grind.

    The second incident involved a recently recorded subdivision done by an out of town surveyor I'm not familiar with. Long story short I ended up having to scale all of his plat dimensions by 0.9983 to get anything to remotely fit and even then it was a bit sloppy. All of these corners fell under canopy (fairly dense spruce) and I could see no evidence of any cut lines or control points anywhere and surmise it was done with RTK and my guess is his grid to ground was double scaled, inversely. That and some bogus curve data made it a rather 'fun' job.

    So you run into things like this, it happens. I hesitate to give the second surveyor a friendly 'heads up' call. Seems the right thing to do, however I have no skin in the game other than accomplishing the mission I was originally tasked with.

    What sayeth you?
     
    Brad Ott likes this.
  2. Holy Cow

    Holy Cow 7-Year Member

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    Might be an opportunity to make a new friend in the business. Approach the situation in such a way to indicate you are questioning your own abilities in matching his work because of this apparent difference. Mention the variety of things you have double checked already. Then, maybe, just maybe, you invite him to meet you to double check a few points with you. He should start to notice why you can't agree with what's on the plat because he can't do it either, now.
     
    eapls2708 and Nate The Surveyor like this.
  3. Daniel Ralph

    Daniel Ralph 3-Year Member

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    Down here we are required to file a record of survey map in both cases where I explain the situation that I found and my reasoning for the outcome that I decide. These maps get forwarded to my peer and I wait for a phone call or reply of some sort. We have 90 days to file these maps which gives the original surveyor time to respond. If they don't, you have put the public on notice and helped the next guy out. If they don't reply, it is a violation that your board may want to know about. Friendly or not.
    You are fortunate that both surveyors are still around albeit one out of town. Which can be a long way in AK.
     
    NorthernSurveyor likes this.
  4. FrozenNorth

    FrozenNorth 2-Year Member

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    Easy for me to say since I'm not involved, but I'd recommend giving the second surveyor a friendly heads-up. I get your reluctance, as it sounds like he just plain didn't do a professional job (RTK only, messed up scale factors, no control, bad curves, oy!), so it's not likely that he'll want to now...but on the other hand, maybe he put too much faith in an employee, or was early in the learning curve of GPS and would love the chance to fix his own mistake.
     
    eapls2708 likes this.
  5. Nate The Surveyor

    Nate The Surveyor 7-Year Member

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    Another thing... If you contact him, get info from him as to where he set his base.
    This would allow you to 100% match his data... If he used an autonamous base, and geodetic north, but blew the csf... Now you and he could get on the identical data... It's the goal of retracement.
    Just a brg and dist from a point on his survey would do it.
     
    David Kendall likes this.
  6. Nate The Surveyor

    Nate The Surveyor 7-Year Member

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    It would "match his data.." ie, what he meant to do...
     
  7. thebionicman

    thebionicman 3-Year Member

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    Unless we run into bad stuff from the same guy over and over I start with a call. Most things are framed as a 'difference' to start the conversation. It may be his crew chief had liquid lunch that day and the problem isnt evident yet. Might even be I screwed up.
    Start easy and progress as needed. Take it as far as you have to in order to clean it up.
     
    eapls2708 and Nate The Surveyor like this.
  8. Williwaw

    Williwaw 4-Year Member

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    Oh, I matched his data alright. Had to warp things pretty good to get there though. I'm just going to email him and let him know what I found and it's up to him since it's his stamp on it and not mine. If something with my name on it wound up being all goobered up, I'd sure want to know about it before it became an issue for someone. I'll just call it a friendly 'heads up' and leave it at that. Easier to just let it ride, but not the right thing to do IMHO.
     
  9. Robert Hill

    Robert Hill 7-Year Member

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    Since there isn't a 'dislike' button, l'll
    reply. I really don't like the suggestion to try some ploy to get the surveyor on notice.
    By being a professional, one would be factual and up front with them with respect to the profession.
    The old Golden Rule applies too.
     
  10. thebionicman

    thebionicman 3-Year Member

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    I dont think he is advocating a lie. My read (and opinion) is that a touch of humility will go a long way.
     
  11. Holy Cow

    Holy Cow 7-Year Member

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    Sure, I like to assume that what I'm doing is absolutely correct in every way. I would like to think the other guy operates on the same assumption about his work. If he was calling me, I would hope he would do as I suggested above and indicate that he can't get his numbers to match mine and suggest getting together to figure out what is going on. If he calls me up and tells me I must be some sort of Neanderthal with my head up my rear, I'm not going to think very highly of him. It's just as likely that he is the one making the mistake, not me. If we can cooperate to find out where the error lies, things will be better for everyone. There is no lying involved. I might be wrong. He might be wrong. We simply don't know which one is wrong.

    It's mighty awkward calling someone up and informing them of the fact they made an error. I have made errors in the past and probably will do so again. I want to be absolutely certain it is an error before I give them a reason to view me as some arrogant ass who must push himself up by pushing others down.
     
  12. eapls2708

    eapls2708 6-Year Member

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    I don't see it as some sort of subterfuge. Most people, especially surveyors will be less likely to be cooperative if they get a call out of the blue from someone they don't know telling them how they f@(%*d up a job. And, if it turns out that you overlooked something and made the same mistake each of the 3 or 4 times you checked your own work, even if it's minor compared to the mistakes made by the other guy, you end up looking like a turd for criticizing his work when yours may be less than perfect. That can happen to the best of us.

    Even if you were very careful with your checks, you're certain your work is correct, and indeed, it is correct, approaching the matter as if there is at least the possibility that there might be something you overlooked while not hiding the fact that you are pretty sure as you've checked and rechecked before calling, you don't come off as an egotistical prick calling to point out someone else's faults while holding your own work up as the model of technical perfection.

    The point is to keep it friendly yet professional, letting them know you think that there is a problem in their fieldwork while leaving open the possibility that since you're human, there could also be a mistake in yours contributing to the discrepancy.
     
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  13. Robert Hill

    Robert Hill 7-Year Member

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    Good reply
    I was simply struck by the notion that if you called me and weren't upfront about the reason that you were calling that somehow my intuition would kick in and wonder why you were being coy about the situation. But maybe that just me.
    Just feel it is better to be straight up.
     
  14. A Harris

    A Harris 7-Year Member

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    I always welcome a call from another surveyor.
    A group of professionals that has the time to communicate with one another by some means is healthy for the profession and the individual people involved.
    To open the line of conversation and have a meeting of minds is never a wasted of time.
    The events that waste our time are the ones that get dismissed and left unattended by not making contact with the very person you have questions for.
    Whether any good comes from your efforts can not be guaranteed, the success is in sharing your findings with another surveyor.
     
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  15. NorthernSurveyor

    NorthernSurveyor 7-Year Member

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    Williwaw, read the statutory requirements for a record of survey in Alaska. If you find substantial differences from record you need to file a ROS.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. Williwaw

    Williwaw 4-Year Member

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    As a professional courtesy to the other surveyor, assuming they're alive and active, I believe it to be in everyone's best interest that I at least make them aware of a potential issue before taking that step. I wouldn't want another surveyor to file a ROS involving my work without first attempting to make me aware of a potential issue so that I would at least have the opportunity to resolve it.
     
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  17. Mike Marks

    Mike Marks 6-Year Member

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    I once called a firm (out of area engineering outfit I wasn't familiar with) with some minor questions about their recent survey (the usual "searched, found nothing, set rebar" where I was uncovering original monuments). Asked for the grandfathered engineer who signed the recorded map, and was told (by the receptionist) he was deceased. Poked around a bit and discovered he'd died two years prior (at age 87) but the map was only a year and a half old! Contacted the Board; turns out the engineers used his stamp and forged his signature, possibly starting long before he died. Needless to say they were disciplined, though not as severely as one would think; their position was that the survey in question was performed with him in responsible charge prior to his death, by a few months. Older surveys, the forgery couldn't be proven. Later learned a lot of their LS work was fraught with errors.
     
  18. Tom Adams

    Tom Adams 4-Year Member

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    I've seen it before, when one surveyor thinks of himself as superior and approach everything they disagree with as someone else's mistake.
    We have a guy in this state who will find a problem with someone's "monument record" and send it to the State Board to report the error. When that guy that gets reported finds an error in this surveyor's work, he will also probably retaliate in kind. If you discuss it with the guy first, they have a chance to fix it and also treat you with respect in the future. Having good relationships with other surveyors also helps with sharing information and research in an area you are surveying.
     
    eapls2708 likes this.
  19. Williwaw

    Williwaw 4-Year Member

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    I got ahold of the surveyor that did the work and it is entirely possible that an error on my part may have contributed in some way but my checks say I'm tight. Potentially looking like a fool is an everyday hazard with this line of work, but I trust my instincts and they told me something wasn't right here. I'd tied roughly a dozen monuments and noticed a pattern that indicated a bad scale factor had been used when setting them. Turns out they did RTK in all of these corners using a ground localization, "under canopy". I sent them my data and it is now out of my hands. I didn't do it to 'lift myself up by pushing anyone down', but to sincerely try and help them uncover a problem that might otherwise get repeated if nobody ever bothered to give them any feedback. It was a gorgeous, very well done plat btw, but I think they were pushing RTK to the limits in this case and something went wonky with their localization. If the tables were turned I would hope someone would bring it to my attention and I would be open minded enough to take a hard look at what I did.
     
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