I have heard and seen a lot of things relative to surveying and the land surveying profession over these many years, but one thing I have heard constantly and one thing that I have not heard bother me the most. The one thing I have heard from the start of my career is the land surveyor’s lament that we, as a profession, are misunderstood by the public and even other professionals we deal with. That people don’t understand what we do, how we do it or why we do it. Maybe it bothers me even more that, collectively, we’ve done little to nothing about this. That’s what I haven’t heard.
My observation over a career spanning nearly 40 years is that this profession hasn’t put into a few words a statement that capsulizes the essence of land surveying. We don’t have a 30-second sound bite that explains why we do what we do and why the public needs us. Maybe because we don’t know why ourselves. Another observation that I’ve made over the past decade traveling across this grand country of ours is that there is a great deal of diversity of opinion over just what it is that we are supposed to be doing, how we are supposed to do it, and the conversation is almost devoid of why we do it.