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Editor's Points: Moving at the speed of life.

April 1, 2010
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I’ve had some interesting discussions with surveyors lately regarding POB’s coverage of technology advances.


One reader recalled how 30 years ago, an instrument-mounted EDM was the latest and greatest technology and how his dad’s predictions of one-person survey crews seemed far-fetched. “Now GPS even seems old-hand next to scanners and GIS,” he said. “I suddenly feel very old.”

Others have commented that there’s way too much coverage of LiDAR and laser scanning in all of the surveying publications in general. “Whatever happened to real-world surveying stories?” they ask. They believe many of the new technologies are far too expensive and not nearly accurate enough to be practical.

Then there are those who are actively seeking information on upcoming trends in order to stay ahead of the curve. Allen Nobles, PLS, president of Tallahassee, Fla.-based Nobles Consulting Group Inc., and an early adopter of laser scanning, is one example. Nobles understands why so many surveyors are skeptical when it comes to scanning technology. “It’s expensive, and a substantial amount of creativity is required to successfully integrate it into surveying projects,” he said. “But we have to recognize that it’s the future, whether we like it or not. And it’s not even the future--it’s today. If we’re not learning about the technology and finding ways to implement it, we’re going to get left behind.”

Wait a minute. Read that quote again, but travel back in time about 15 years and replace the word scanning with GPS. Sound familiar?

I can sympathize with the naysayers. I still remember when proofing an issue meant reviewing bluelines (photographic proofs from negatives in which all colors were shown in blue), and making changes required physically stripping a line of text into the proof using an X-ACTO knife and rubber cement. I can remember driving two hours to drop off files to the printer because overnight mail wasn’t fast enough and other alternatives didn’t exist. But neither did real-time Web site updates, social media networks, blogs, e-newsletters or mobile tags (check out pages 8, 12 and 23), much less iPhones and iPads. In every industry and every profession, technology races ahead, irrevocably changing the way we do business. We can’t stop it.

But then again, why would we want to when every change brings new opportunities?

So, yes, POB will continue to cover whatever new trends and technologies come down the pipeline. We’ll also continue to cover business tips, problem-solving strategies, and legal and educational issues. Our mission is to provide you with information that can help you succeed as the market changes. And thanks to technology, you’ll have easier access to this information--wherever the trends take you.

P.S. Be sure to check out our mobile show at www.mobileshow.pobonline.com for all the latest conference news and product announcements. (Snapping the mobile tag on page 8 with your smartphone will take you right to the page.) If there’s a specific topic you would like to see covered in a future issue of POB, or if you’re interested in submitting an article, please let me know.

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