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News & Press: MSS News

Real Surveying?

Friday, March 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mitch Sanders
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"How often do you ask yourself, “What is land surveying?” Is land surveying a narrow field of specific expertise or a wide expanse of overlapping skills joined together in a common cause? Is a surveying license the only way to demonstrate competency, or can one have skills that lie outside the commonly tested criteria?


More to the point, have you heard other surveyors say (or have you even said), “If it isn’t boundary surveying, it isn’t really surveying”? Do you need a license demonstrating your proficiency in boundary surveying to be considered a “real surveyor,” or is that answer much broader in scope?

To answer this question, xyHt has solicited the responses of surveyors and professional surveying societies and associations from across the United States and internationally. A sign of how contentious this discussion can be is that some of the panel asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.

We live in a time of stark contrasts in the world of surveying. The number of new licensees declines in some areas of the globe and increases in others. Some surveying tasks have been automated and crew sizes have been shrunk, yet at the same time, the amount of surveying (and in many instances the overall numbers of practitioners) increases with rapid growth in urbanization and a global infrastructure boom. 

Is it the time to ask: “What does it mean to be a land surveyor?” That answer will vary from state to state and country to country. Some regions seem to have a definitive answer, but for many, it is a tug-of-war between traditional practice and the ever-shifting lines of capabilities fueled by technological innovations."

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