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News & Press: MSS News

GPS, surveyors and politics — a 2018 refresher

Friday, March 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tim Burch, PLS
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The role of the surveyor has not been considered political even though several significant U.S. presidents were surveyors in their early careers. Surveyors aren’t particularly known for their public personas, much less their political prowess. Other than states that still have county surveyors, rarely do practitioners stray beyond local municipal government. One is more likely to see a professional engineer or architect as an elected official than a surveyor, but that doesn’t mean the issues we face are any less important.

My current position is a professional land surveyor with a full-time job overseeing a department in a multi-discipline office in a major metropolitan area. Besides being a contributing editor to GPS World through these articles, I also voluntarily wear many hats within our state association and the national surveying society. Several of these hats are government affairs positions at both state and federal levels, as it has become a full-time operation to keep a watchful eye at all governmental levels. From changes in regulations, budgetary revisions and threats to our professional by outside entities, government affairs take a small army of people to keep abreast of all situations.

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Tim Burch, GPS World’s co-contributing editor for survey, is director of Surveying at SPACECO Inc. in Rosemont, Illinois. He has been working as a professional land surveyor since 1985, and is the secretary, Board of Directors, National Society of Professional Surveyors.


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