Point of Beginning

Letters to the Editor

October 2, 2003
POB readers sound off on topics from recent issues of the magazine.

Viewpoint

August 2003
Amen! He’s (Bill Beardslee) right on. [I] enjoyed the article. Over the years I have heard many of the same comments that Bill spoke of. For the most part, here in Vermont we’re looked upon as a trade and the sad part is this perception is shared by many of our peers.

Peter Chase
via E-mail

I enjoyed reading your article in the August POB. Regretfully, your words have been said before, and surveyors have not heard the call. They have argued about definitions, and the horrible term “geomatics” has emerged. Over the years I have written about professionalism in surveying and mapping.

In the 1950s I was a member of a three-man task committee of ASCE charged to report on two questions: a.) What parts or activities of surveying and mapping are professional and which are not and b.) Which parts or activities of surveying and mapping are engineering and which are not?

The S&M Division and ASCE did not follow through with our recommendations, and you know the current status. At 88, I am no longer active as a surveyor, but my interest in the professional status of surveyors remains the same. Good luck on your campaign and let me know if I can be of help.
Al Quinn, PE, PLS
via E-mail

Congratulations on an excellent column. The only thing I would add is, “don’t forget to pass along any savings we generate through advanced technology, better education, less manpower, and of course working more hours for free, to the client.” Perish the thought that we would want to reward our employees with a pay raise.
W. Phil Orsborn, LS
Woodbridge, Va.


Professional Topography

August 2003

Mr. Paiva’s suggestion for surveyors to get into crime and accident scenes is a good idea; in fact, I knew a surveyor who made a very good living at that years ago.

Unfortunately, now, that is another form of surveying that is being done by non-surveyors. The law enforcement agencies in California are doing their own crime/accident scene surveying with their own total stations. I recently went to a Cyrax scanner demo in which they included an accident scene. One of the attendees mentioned accident scene use so I talked to him later as I was surprised that a surveyor was doing this type of work. Well, he doesn’t do the work; he was there because he wants to sell these units to law enforcement agencies.

Maybe it is time for the surveyor/ attorneys to challenge these crime/ accident scene portions of court cases on the basis that the police officers collecting the survey data are not educated in surveying, and therefore cannot be considered expert witnesses. I hate enacting more laws, but as long as non-surveyors keep nibbling away at various parts of our profession, we need to do something to protect the profession before it becomes extinct. If anybody can do it, then it is no longer a profession. Attorneys protect their profession by keeping the “legalese” in tact; we need to protect our profession as well.
W. Tom Foster, PLS
Santa Ana, Calif.

The ideas and opinions expressed by our readers do not necessarily reflect those of POB.

Send your thoughts to the editor at brownl@bnp.com or mail to Letter to the Editor, POB magazine, 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 1000, Troy, MI 48084.