GeomagicianBET ME!

There was a time when I agreed with the movement to include the Land Surveying profession under the overall geospatial envelope, where we would become “geomagicians” (ok, you got me, it’s actually “geomaticians”). In fact, weeven modeled the SurveyorConnect forum to accommodate this path. After watching for awhile, giving it all some thought, and listening to the concerns of my peers, I realized that we were slowly being assimilated into the geospatial universe. That’s what I wanted, right?

Wrong.

Well, at least that’s what I’ve realized recently. I originally thought, yeah, we should definitely get with the times and move forward. Just because it wasn’t going to be called Land Surveying anymore, didn’t mean it wasn’t Land Surveying. I realize now that the intent is really that Land Surveying would become a part of the geospatial industry. It wouldn’t stop being Land Surveying, but it would become moreobscure. Wehave enough trouble explaining ourselves to the general public as it is, but this makes it even more difficult.

But I can see how many of us would take that movement as a way to kill off surveying. That’s actually impossible, in my opinion, but I’m starting tosee why other surveyors might take it that way. And rightly so.

If you look back at our history, you’ll find that surveyors were highly-regarded back in the days of George Washington and into the early 1900’s. But you can see how our reputation and recognition has fizzled since then.

So then, how do we fit into the geospatial construct? Well, we’re certainly a part of it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t set ourselves apart. That may be a confusing statement, but I think you know what I mean. I don’t think we should stop mentoring, educating and just generally getting the word out to the world about what we do and why we are important. In fact, the times I have spent at high school job fairs showing off surveying stuff was an indicator of how much interest really is out there. Just in the last two weeks, while wearing a SurveyorConnect t-shirt, I’ve had two people stop me to ask about surveying and how to get into it. Both of them couldn’t have been more than 22 years old or so.

In a recent conversation with another surveyor, he shared some thoughts with me about how everyone seems to be concentrating on the technology and equipment. By golly, he’s right. Even the magazines have switched gears to incorporate more than just Land Surveying topics. I’m assuming that this is largely due to a lack of readership, so they had to reach out to other related fields to keep people coming back. One magazine even changed it’s name to accommodate that plan.

icon_114And then, one day it dawned on me. Why are we doing this? Why don’t we have a service that speaks primarily to surveyors? So I started RPLS Today and here you are, reading this article. Sure, we can cover some of that other stuff (and we do), but the primary focus is LAND SURVEYING. Imagine that.

Coming soon, we’ll have other surveyors posting articles for your reading enjoyment. They’ll include various topics but with distinct focus on Land Surveying because they’ll be written by Land Surveyors. Heck, you can submit articles to us, too.

Wendell Harness, PLS

Wendell was a Land Surveyor for 26 years, then moved on to building websites for his second career. But he never lost sight of the surveying community and the other disciplines related to surveying. He’s purposely stayed involved in the surveying industry because he has always been — and will continue to be — a Land Surveyor at heart.

View all posts by Wendell Harness, PLS

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