National Surveyors Week is Coming Up

05 Mar 2018 2:12 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)
National Surveyors Week is Coming Up

By: Frank Lenik, NSPS

The theme for this year’s National Surveyors Week is communication. 

A few years ago, then NSPS vice-president Cavell placed National Surveyors Week under the charge of the publicity committee, understanding then that the purpose of NSW is to get the word out. That the land surveying profession is vital to a stable democracy where land ownership is the basis for most family wealth accumulation. He never directed how it should be done, only that it become a part of the bigger picture of how the National Society of Surveyors engage with our constituents and the public.

There are many ways to address surveyors in general and the public and we have continued in those tried and true veins. NSPS is again working with NOAA and the National Geodetic Survey on how to improve the geoid models for elevation so we can move towards better elevations from our instruments and migrate our data, both vertical and horizontal in 2022. This is a call for more GPS on Benchmark observations. We have done this for years but it is still an important educational tool for surveyors and the public. Many of you are already alerting the public and political entities in our regions through displays, news articles and proclamations. But there is more work to be done.

I often hear surveyors lament about how GIS has negatively affected our profession. This is a misunderstanding of the problem caused by a misreading of the symptoms. GIS was perhaps the second major event caused by the democratization of technology in our field. The hand-held calculator was probably the first but I expect this will cause many discussions (steel tape, edm, etc). The development of hand held computing devices coupled with GNSS antennas has placed the ability to locate oneself on the earth at everyone’s finger tips. Everyone now has an answer, but few know where it comes from or how it was determined.

This is an opportunity for the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and every state society to stake our claim as the experts in mapping points on the Earth. We can do that by opening our umbrella a little wider and reaching out to all those organizations who are using mapping tools in their work. This means departments of transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geological Survey, the Department of the Interior, universities and technical schools, construction companies, geographic information systems purveyors, drone operators and others who may possess the tools but not the understanding of accuracy and precision. It should be an educational effort not a prescriptive effort, using our knowledge as doorway to attract new members and perhaps even new customers.

This is a call to arms that each one of you speak with, call, write or email someone in your circle and invite them to participate in National Surveyors Week. Remember that we are following in the footsteps of your forebears, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and so many others. Rise to the challenge and make a difference.


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