Is Geospatial Surveying the new Land Surveying?

15 November by


In the RICs Land Journal (Nov/Dec 2017 issue) Brian Coutts, Senior Lecturer in the School of Surveying, University of Otago, argues pretty convincingly for a name change in Land Surveying. 

Coutts argues that from the 16th to the 19th century, not a lot changed in the basic tools of the land surveyor; "Optical theodolites, hand-cranked calculators and steel and cloth tapes were the basic tools of the land surveyor in the 1970s". 

However, in the last 40 years there has been such a rapid development of technology, Coutts believes that 'Geospatial Surveyor' would be a more accurate description and I can see his point.

The tools of the land/geospatial surveyor now includes; geographic information systems (GIS) using satellites, remote sensing and photogrammetry using drones, as Coutts says; "The tools available in 2017 could barely have been imagined in 1970".

The term 'geomatics' which was used in Canada to try to describe these great leaps in technology failed the capture the imagination, however geospatial surveying seems altogether more descriptive, and it may be time to have a rethink!

Read 'Redefining the land surveyor' by Brian Coutts

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