"[It is vital] for the surveying profession to be the ones leading the GIS/technology charge. It is the expertise, accuracy, and standards of surveyors that can make the partnership between surveying and GIS so powerful."

I just read your Editor’s Points column, “A Tale of Two Professions,” and I wanted to share our success with GIS.

Stanger Surveying Tyler LLC hired me two years ago. I had been teaching an Introduction to GIS class in the Tyler Junior College Surveying and Mapping Department part-time, and Stanger Surveying was looking to implement GIS in their business. Originally, I worked three days a week, and my primary responsibilities were to organize their in-house data into a GIS and provide GIS deliverables to clients when requested.

Our evolution as a surveying company has been that we are now not just a service provider; we are a solution provider. We recognize that there is a need to take static data and create dynamic data and our goal is to be the one of the leaders in front of that call. It should be the surveyors dictating how spatial information is collected.

Your column specifically references the evolution and trends currently taking hold of the surveying profession. There is a quote by Alvin Toffler that says, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn.” I believe that this is where we, as a profession, find ourselves to be. I’d say we are at a crossroads, but really that gives the illusion that we can choose to advance or not. There is no choice, really. Either your business evolves into the solution provider, implementing different forms of technology and leveraging existing technology to provide the best-fit service for your client, or you get left behind.

Coming from a non-surveying background and looking in on the surveying profession, I am humbled and consider it an honor to have been fortunate enough to have built relationships with surveyors across the state of Texas. The ethical responsibilities and the moral code of the profession as a whole is one to tout. I bring all of that up to stress how vital it is for the surveying profession to be the ones leading the GIS/technology charge. It is the expertise, accuracy, and standards of surveyors that can make the partnership between surveying and GIS so powerful.

--Laura Crook, Texas


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