In the 1980’s Land Surveyors created a week to promote our profession. So here is our shameless plug to promote the profession that we love so much and work so hard every day to honor:
Often, Land Surveyors will tell you that three of the four faces on Mount Rushmore were Land Surveyors. Recently, an old-timer told me that Teddy Roosevelt led a mapping expedition through the Amazon where he mapped a large portion of the Rio! So, depending on how much of the legend is true and exactly how we look at it, all four faces could be included in the Land Surveyor fellowship!
Either way, it is so humbling to think that every day as Land Surveyors, we follow in the footsteps of surveyors like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
Land Surveyors in those days were as much explorers as they were very educated master craftsmen. They had to be courageous and adventurous as well as incredibly adept at geometry, trigonometry, and art. Imagine what survey parties back then would encounter on a daily basis while they were mapping the Florida swamps, the Texas badlands or the Rocky Mountains!
We still literally follow in the footsteps of the surveyors who have gone before us. Their maps and their monuments are the basis of all of the amazing land development that we have seen over the last 250 years. It is always amazing to me when we look at a map over 100 years old and are able to go right to an old stone, pine post or brass disk, exactly where the map says it should be. We feel like treasure hunters!
Today, most of the Land Surveying work is performed in or near neighborhoods and commercial sections. Even though much of the adventure and peril has been developed away, we still get to see our fair share of wild snakes, alligators, deer, raccoons, possum, and rats, but more often, we encounter wild cats, dogs, and humans. Whatever we encounter, it can still be very exciting and every day is certainly different.
As technology quickly evolves, and we are finding amazing ways to measure, capture property images and store data, the role of the Land Surveyor is more important than ever. We need to make sure that the new technological methods can produce accurate and repeatable results, but the real value of the Land Surveyor will continue to be their ability to combine science and art. We must take scientifically accurate measurements and apply that information properly on top of the arts of law and history, and we must have the integrity to make determinations that protect the public even if it has to be at the expense of our customer.
This week, we are hoping that we can help everyone appreciate Land Surveying a little bit more. Maybe we can help the public appreciate that finding, uncovering, and measuring between survey monuments on a given property and its surrounding parcels can be challenging (especially when some have been destroyed.) Likewise, when Land Surveyors are deciding where a boundary should be placed, there are times that it can be as much of an art as it is a science. Mostly, please remember that Land Surveyors are not appraisers or inspectors, but even so, determining the property boundary and showing the exact parcel on a map with all of its improvements is just as important (if not more) when helping someone achieve the American Dream of homeownership. (Sadly, when a Land Survey runs into a big legal problem, it can be financially catastrophic to the buyer. Knowing the problems that we uncover and solve every day, I would never allow anyone that I care about to buy a parcel without first getting a Land Survey.)
Lastly, if you know anyone interested in Land Surveying as a profession, there are many good resources out there, but I would suggest pointing them to the Professional Land Survey Society of your state or the National Society of Professional Surveyors (http://www.nsps.us.com/). There are lots of great scholarship opportunities out there! If they want to start on the ground, please have them call us because we are always looking for good people at Exacta!
Especially this week, Exacta is honored to represent our important and historical profession, and humbled to serve our clients while we protect the public! Thank you for helping us celebrate National Land Surveyors Week!