Dick McDonald is president of MAPPS (www.mapps.org) and director of geospatial services for T3 Global Strategies Inc. (www.t3gs.com), a surveying, mapping, photogrammetry, and GIS firm based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bridgeville, Pa. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the past several years, MAPPS has carried out an awareness campaign on the use
of the term “profession.” We believe individuals involved in surveying, mapping
and other geospatial services are part of a profession, rather than “industry.”
But what distinguishes an individual as a professional?
If there is a single issue that unites individual
surveyors and geospatial professionals in disciplines such as satellite and
airborne remote sensing, photogrammetry, aerial photography, mobile mapping,
LiDAR, building information models (BIM), 3D mapping, hydrography, bathymetry,
charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection
and conversion services, it is support for qualifications-based selection
The broader GIS, mapping, photogrammetry and geospatial markets, while certainly not robust, have not been hit as hard. In my 35 years as a licensed professional surveyor, I’ve seen my share of economic ups and downs. But this one is different, and it caused me to contemplate why.