Outside of trade magazines and courtrooms, land surveyors have few occasions to explain how the profession serves the greater good of the public. When given the chance, standing in the doorway of a weary homeowner, most surveyors' words are often either gravely misunderstood or completely taken out of context. To paraphrase an old saying: When opportunity knocks, it rarely knocks twice. But when it knocks for surveyors, it is usually a total knockdown.
Take, for example, the recent boundary bust up that made national news in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine — a hamlet of a town that most people have probably never heard of until now. As reported by the Bangor Daily news, the story goes something like this: One neighbor, fed up, takes a Sawzall through another neighbor’s garage to get the structure off his property. This after consulting with two land surveyors on the boundary demarcation.
Soured friendships, death, destruction — I won’t go into the full details of the matter; you can read that online if you must. But our columnist Jeff Lucas had a pointed response: “Sometimes guns are involved.”
Although the dispute has since been resolved (for now), the story represents a larger problem about the definition of surveying in a technologically shifting world.
In an effort to continue this conversation in the pages of POB and beyond, we recently made the decision to assemble our first-ever editorial advisory board of surveyors and geomatics professionals. If you’re a regular visitor to POBonline.com — and you absolutely should be by now — then you’re already familiar with a few of these faces. If not, you will be soon enough. We are proud to say that their work and thought-leadership will play a pivotal role in helping us educate and inform what it means to be a surveyor today and tomorrow.
To be an editor is to always be looking toward the future, a tomorrow you never get to fully realize. Your focus is always on what comes next, what comes after that and after that. So when I called up longtime xyHT Magazine editor Gavin Schrock to ask why he was now leaving the publication, he didn’t have to say much for me to “get it.” Schrock is stepping away from the future to live in the now through his survey work, an opportunity he calls a return to his passion. At POBonline.com, you will find the type of conversation that is rarely captured between editors of two “competing” publications. But when opportunity knocks … you know the rest.