In our little world here, we strive every day to ascertain just what will resonate with our audience. For media types, this is what drives, confuses and generally obsesses us.

Just about when we think we’ve got it figured out, the collective you out there will stand up and boot us right back to the start … and that’s a good thing. It keeps us honest.

When Brian Mayfield and the good folks with his Alabama-based firm Atlantic reached out to us with an article idea, we agreed it would be information our readers would both want and need to see. For comparative reasons, Atlantic had utilized LiDAR and traditional topographic survey on portions of the same project and, reflective of the company’s progressive ways, was willing to share the results with the profession as a whole. Spend a little time on Atlantic’s website at www.theatlgrp.com and you quickly realize this private organization values professional leadership and education, even to the point of pulling back its own doors when appropriate.

Mayfield, the company president and chief operating officers whose youthfulness almost belies his CP, GISP, SP, GIS credentials, wrote an in-depth article for our July print issue that detailed the two portions of the project and compared the accuracies, time spent and costs. “So,” he wrote as a follow-up to the data shared in chart form, “can high-density survey from the air replace traditional survey? Not always. Some survey is necessary to support LiDAR accuracy, but overall LiDAR can produce similarly accurate measurements that have many advantages over traditional survey methods.” These include speed of data collection and not having to put staff members in risky conditions on the ground. “This comparative analysis does offer proof that LiDAR technology has progressed to the point to at least greatly supplement traditional topographic surveying for large projects,” he concluded.

Strong article. Strong response.

Not only did some fellow attendees point out Mayfield’s piece during our great time at the MAPPS Summer Conference in Sunriver, Ore., the clicks it generated on our www.pobonline.com website quickly moved it to the top spot for any article posted since I fell into the editor’s chair here. As I write this, the numbers continue to rise.

Correspondingly, Mayfield’s article has generated positive feedback on social media, including in our LinkedIn group. “In my experience,” wrote Jamie Sardelli, PLS, “it’s not the validity of the data we need to overcome. It’s properly educating the end-user on the positives and negatives of both. It’s another tool for mappers, but not meant to replace the traditional surveyor. Really, great article! Thoroughly enjoyed the read.”

What does this mean for us trying to keep up with what you want and need? It seems clear the surveying, mapping and geospatial professionals who have long read POB truly want to never stop learning. We applaud that … and promise to strive to continually provide pertinent content.

Never stop telling us what works and what doesn’t, though. We had a feeling Mayfield would hit one out of the park; we didn’t know it would be a grand slam.


Share your thoughts on this column at pobonline.com or rpls.com. To contact any POB editors, send an email to andersonmd@bnpmedia.com.