Among the many great things my colleagues at BNP Media do is continually touch base with you — the very people we strive to serve. Of course, right? All companies do that, don’t they? Well, you would hope so, but actually…

Perhaps it’s best to save that for another time.

Back to where we were heading, POB readers are regularly asked, gauged, chronicled and profiled by BNP’s own market research division and our sister company Clear Seas Research. Whether the subject is salary and benefits, use of laser scanning, GIS integration, capital goods investment or determining just exactly who you are, we gather your feedback in order to both inform the market about itself and to ensure we are providing you with the products and information you need to do your jobs as best as possible.

In this issue of POB, we share results from our most recent market study on 3D surveying trends (see Page 14). As always, the data gathered paints an honest picture of the complexity that is the surveying, mapping and geospatial business. No one shoe fits all, and the answers to the questions posed are never quite what one would assume they’d be.

What particularly caught our eye is a market shift to partnering with companies that are adopters of 3D technology, as compared to companies directly investing fully in the technology themselves and keeping everything in-house. The last time we asked, 34 percent of respondents were using 3D tools for their work in LiDAR and photogrammetric applications. This time, the use slipped to 25 percent of respondents, but the slack was pretty much entirely picked up by an increase from 30 to 37 percent in the companies having partnerships to share 3D tools. A trend? We’ll see.

It brings us to another piece found in this issue of POB. In the second part of his three-part series on The Future of Surveying in the United States (see Page 27), veteran surveyor Milton Denny observes how “scary” it is that technology accelerates each time a new discovery is made. “The survey chain lasted for 300 years, the steel measuring tape for about 100 years, and the Electronic Measuring Device for 25 years,” Denny writes, “when GPS has since all but taken over. GPS is not the final step.”

And maybe, just maybe, that sums up why companies would prefer to partner with an early adopter and/or ground-level expert in an emerging technology, rather than invest in that technology directly. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? From the back storage room at your office that is stacked with hardcover catalogs, to the neighbor’s house with a garage full of unused rotary phones, you’ve undoubtedly seen examples of people buying in “too much, too soon.”

What do you think? More importantly, what are you doing? Are you more likely to go into a new area of business headfirst, or might you catch a ride with someone else venturing in early? As always, we’d love to know. Drop us an email to or, better yet, give us a call anytime at (248) 244-6464. In the meantime…

I’ll reach over this catalog to answer the powder blue rotary phone. With any luck, it’s our good friend Milton on the line.

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