Imagine for a moment a totally deregulated land surveying profession. It’s not hard to do given some recent events. The Texas Board of Professional Land Surveyors was almost defunded in April and continues to face the prospect of consolidation with other state agencies. In Florida, legislation to totally deregulate land surveying (a.k.a. “surveying and mapping”) was only just narrowly averted. Perhaps by the time this goes to press, other states may have followed with similar moves of their own. Why would states want to deregulate land surveying?
The symptoms may vary from state to state, but the underlying cause will be the same. There is no perceived value in land surveying, so why should states spend their precious time and resources on it? Of course, this begs the immediate follow-up question: Why isn't land surveying perceived as valuable? The answer to this question isn’t hard to find. I read about it almost daily as I go about my business, and I’ve been putting out the warning for years although it appears to largely fall on deaf ears. The root problem is two-fold: We don’t believe our own foundational principles, and we are addicted to math and measurements to the exclusion of common sense.