Pamela Nobles, PSM, PLS, SP, is president of Diversified Design & Drafting Services Inc. (3DS), a full-service land survey firm based in Tallahassee, Fla., that takes on projects mostly for design engineers working for state and local governments.
The innovations that impact the geospatial profession don’t just raise questions about tool relevance; they raise questions about people relevance. Photogrammetry is just one example of a geospatial specialty that is becoming simplified due to automation in hardware and software.
Today, there is a disconnect between the reality of educational instruction, required competencies, workplace activities, and many state licensing laws in surveying; however, we are headed in the right direction to produce qualified geospatial professionals with up-to-date skills and expertise.
One example of open data advancement is a project mandated by the Washington State Legislature in 2015, which involves the collection, processing and sharing of LiDAR data with the public by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The goal is to cover the entire state.
There is so much potential and there are so many needs on so many levels with respect to open geospatial data that still need to be addressed. It will require some serious forward thinking to make the data as meaningful as possible.
According to USGS, coral reefs serve as useful indicators of the health of marine environments, but they are declining in many parts of the world. Geospatial data acquisition methods are providing a basic data layer from which to better understand how coral reefs are structured and function.
An international team that includes the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology and other research and academic institutions, is surveying the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea, where thousands of years ago large areas of land were inundated as the water level rose following the last Ice Age.
Examples of locational data enrichment in geospatial applications include forestry mapping that can now include analysis of trees and ground cover, topography, and even soil composition and moisture content.
Face it: sometimes your accuracy just hits the iceberg. We have seen error reports within 0.011 of a foot and we’ve seen them crest near 0.080 of a foot. The key to obtaining LiDAR accuracy is understanding the components.
Evolving technologies and expectations have blurred the traditional distinction between surveying and GIS. As a result, surveyors should expect to be asked to provide more GIS-ready data and GIS professionals should plan to provide positions with higher accuracy than previously required.