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Letters: Professional Topography - November 2009

January 27, 2010

In "Dumbing down surveying," it would seem that you only qualify EDUCATION as being acquired from a public source. It was not that long ago that engineers were able to obtain licensure with merely experience. Are those engineers/surveyors who obtained their license from experience after meeting the minimum requirement and passing the test the first time less qualified than the college graduates who took the same test and passed it after the fifth try?

Yes, we all need to do a better job of training and preparing our technicians, but I have more confidence in a technician with 12 years of field experience than in a geomatics graduate with two years of experience. Also, the graduated geomatics student has a very limited understanding of establishing or retracing boundary lines, even after two years of experience. The few times that I have been to court to testify for one side or the other, the argument has not been about the measurement process or the understanding of it; it has been about the placement of the boundary. That is where I feel surveying has been dumbed down. Geomatics is more about the math and less about the boundary. Establishing the boundary is the core of land surveying.

-- Kevin Douglas Hinkle, PLS, Alabama


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