And… Geospatial

And is a powerful word.

Compare it to or. Few choices in life are as limiting as paper or plastic. When it comes to our professions, the services we provide, and the markets those services represent, it may be a bad idea to impose limitations on ourselves.

Perhaps we need to take a deep breath and embrace “and” a bit more

For instance, it is not only possible but fairly common for a practitioner to exercise the highest standards in professional judgement, and to be adept in high tech, and to be successful in business. None of these is mutually exclusive; often you find that practitioners who excel in one aspect are capable of excelling in all.

It is also possible for our professions to maintain a strong identity, stature, respect history (without becoming history), embrace technology, and adapt to new markets. As noted in the summary of the recent NSPS questionnaire undertaken to examine elements of the future of surveying (see FFOS, page 56), a great many professionals (among the 2200+ who responded) take an “all of the above” view of their profession.

And can also apply to the question of what could or should be considered as essentials for attaining professional stature–education, mentoring, experience, and verification (as in examinations): all of the above. xyHt will be examining each of these four elements, beginning in this issue with profiles of four excellent surveying and geomatics programs (with slightly different but very effective models).

I took particular interest in one of the schools people have described with, “it doesn’t teach enough surveying”. The profile certainly shows otherwise! We’ve added a profile of one of the largest and most lauded surveying and geomatics programs in the world: Curtin University in Western Australia. Readers should also find interesting the strict but sensible requirements for licensure in West Australia outlined in the same profile.

Our cover story, an introduction and case study of satellite radar interferometry, provides an example of new solutions and technologies that will definitely affect the monitoring, subsidence, and change-detection markets we traditionally serve: solutions we can become subject-matter experts in and bring to our customers before others do.

On a similar note, Jeff Salmon offers an account of a UAS “fly-off” recently held in Colorado. The event was organized by an engineering firm that invited companies that have added UAS to their services, plus UAS dealers and the Boy Scouts. Talk about outreach.

Technology and good professional practice are not mutually exclusive. I am old enough to remember the analog equivalent of “button pushers” and “low-ballers” in the pre-digital age. It’s possible to move forward and preserve professionalism. As MAPPS executive director John Palatiello notes in his thought-provoking article on page 48, we may need to “bury” (or at least be willing to shift emphasis on) some long-held ideas. Perhaps we need to take a deep breath and embrace “and” a bit more.

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