Editor’s Desk: The Shape of Things to Come

Red Pages has been an annual resource with two parts: a directory of companies and organizations contributing to surveying and related professions, and a series of articles with a yearly focus—last year’s was education.  

Outlook is entirely different.  No directory, no standard articles.  Outlook is what the title implies—it’s about the future.  

Like nearly everything now, the worlds of precision measurement and location are transforming at lightning speed due to exponential advances in technologies, from within our industry and outside it. We’re hearing from professionals in nearly every field that the exact direction of this change may be hard to predict, but what’s certain are tremendous advances in:

  • opportunities through hydrographic and marine surveying
  • the affordability of laser scanning
  • the rapid spread of UAS internationally
  • the precision of GNSS through growing constellations
  • the usefulness of BIM
  • the movement of GIS from desktop to cloud
  • an acceptance of Precise Point Positioning

This is why we created Outlook.  Outlook ’14 maps out what advancements have taken place in 2013—and where leading thinkers believe these changes will take us in the future.  No one has a magical crystal ball, but we have remarkable visionaries in the surveying profession and related industries.

We’ve brought them together in this annual magazine to help make sense of progress happening right now and to reveal what the next few years may look like—and how those changes may affect you.

The first section of this issue recaps how we covered the above topics in our 2013 publications, provides updates on those topics, and provides forecasts on how these changes might affect you in the next few years. In the second section are visionary statements from industry leaders about the future of their products and services—where they are leading us.  

This issue is a keeper.  At least, until next year’s Outlook ’15!   

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