No doubt many of you have already heard about the recent article that appeared on Bloomberg.com entitled “Land Surveyors Are Paying the Price of Progress” (“Paying the Price”).1 In case you missed it, Vizaline is a company founded in 2014 that, “uses public information to draw lines on a map showing property boundaries. They do this mostly for small banks who need to visualize the properties they are holding."2 That article goes on to say: “Since its founding, the company has grown to six employees in Mississippi. It operates in five southeastern states and provides its services to over 30 banks, mostly in Mississippi."3
The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors filed a complaint against Vizaline for practicing surveying without a license, in violation of Mississippi law. Vizaline filed a counter-complaint, supported by an organization called the “Institute of Justice,” for violation of Vizaline’s First Amendment free speech rights. I do not have the details of these complaints as of this writing, and the case will be litigated to some final resolution, but in the meantime, this case highlights some problems for both Vizaline and the surveying profession.