Editor's Note

Surveying heroes

Although Webster and others may have spent painstaking hours defining all the words in their tomes, we can formulate our own definitions for many words based on our experiences. I, for one, associate the word “hero” with a vision of my grandfather saving my leg from the relentless grind of a riding lawnmower blade in my early childhood. Most likely, another person’s definition of hero is quite different. Perhaps it is branded on one’s father, uncle, godparent, sibling, teacher or coworker.

And although there may be many different definitions of hero to the readers of this page, one thing can probably be agreed upon: a hero is someone with courage, diligence and nobility.

This issue of POB highlights many individuals with these traits who have taken on challenging surveying jobs to rebuild, to revisit and to rescue. We hope you enjoy it.

On page 18, you’ll read a story about vital surveying work done at the World Trade Center site in the wake of the September 11th tragedy. Much of the surveying efforts were anything but routine. Despite the obstacles, surveyors aided the recovery process and provided crucial safety for the other workers on the site.

The story on page 22 tells of the heroic efforts of surveyors on the site of a 600-foot collapsed section of the I-40 Bridge in Oklahoma. These outstanding endeavors allowed for speedy reconstruction of the bridge within two months. Beginning on pages 30 and 50, you’ll find reports of the rescue of nine miners thanks to the hard work of some ground surveys and pointed GPS work, perhaps in the nick of time.

“Redrawing the Line” on page 34 tells the story of a group of surveyors in North Carolina who honored some very prominent surveyor heroes of the late 1800s. These men, with their own outstanding qualities, paid tribute to surveying greats of their homeland.

These stories contain elements of intrigue, challenge and hard work by surveyors in this dedicated profession. New technology is often used, but the work of the people is what is to be credited. And although these experiences may be classified as “high-risk” and “extraordinary,” they are stories of courage and industriousness.

Not all workdays include such high profile aspects as these stories do. This does not discount the work done on a standard plot of land, a homeowner’s property or a cell tower. This does not mean that the work done in an “average surveyor’s day” is any less heroic or admirable. A hero—and a heroic action—is whatever you consider it.

After all, my grandfather only saved my leg; he didn’t save the world. But he’s still my hero.

To contact the editor, send an E-mail to or mail to 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Ste. 1000, Troy, MI 48084.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to POB

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

HxGN Live

More than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries attended HxGN Live, the annual Hexagon AB user conference, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 3-6. About 450 keynotes and panel discussions were held, and several companies from around the world exhibited their geospatial products. Here are a few snapshots from the event.


POB March 2015 Cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of POB, we take a look at how a dam project's field work becomes complicated with a river and lush vegetation. Also, read about Williston, North Dakota's population boom due to unprecedented oil exploration and drilling activity.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Is Work Better Today?

Surveyors, how has the newest technologies available to the profession affected you? Compared to five years ago, work today is …
View Results Poll Archive

Point of Beginning Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\POB\epubsite\Statues-pic-large.gif
Surveyor Statues

The perfect gift or award for any special occasion.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logoRPLS small logo

Google +

Geo Locator

Buyers Guide

The #1 buyers' guide for land surveyors and geomatics professionals. Search listings for software and equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and professional services. CLICK HERE to view GeoLocator.