And now in THIS corner......GIS takes another stab at lowering the bar II (Not click bait...)
Because this is playing out across the national discussion and view point of the GIS community,I wanted to include it here, cleaned up for content only, removing the peoples names and addresses etc as they aren't relevant. The message is the GIS community and the way they perceive the Surveying Boards, and the profession in general. I don't believe this is political, but if no one else is participating, and at least not listening to the outside opinions of this field, then we are doomed to whatever complacent results occur. To be sure, this is the 1600 people whom participate in the GISP online forum that I also belong to, and read and peruse as it is still an area I work in within my weird job duties. Take it for what it is.
The _____ Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) has been monitoring state legislation for amendments to land surveying licensing laws that broaden them to include tasks and functions that we and other professionals are able to perform with the newer technology. This does not mean that traditional functions like establishing or retracing property boundaries to establish their exact, legal location doesn't still require a state licensed surveyor. It does not matter how accurate your GPS is. But some states have looked to expand virtually any operation that involves establishing location, no matter the purpose, to be land surveying and therefore require a license. Many states now, or are trying to, include photogrammetry and remote sensing under the definition or surveying.
For example, if you wanted to capture the location of fire hydrants or water meters that would have to be done under the supervision of a licensed surveyor according to some of these expanded definitions. Some would even extend to locating trees.
One bill we are following in Pennsylvania, HB 609 is the third iteration of legislation in that state that is in reaction to a lawsuit against the licensing board who took action against a company doing facility inventory for a power company as part of their asset management program. The way HB 609 is written that work could be interpreted as requiring a licensed surveyor.
To be clear, there are functions that are the domain of licensed surveyors and we aren't trying to erode or invade that. What we are concerned about is a state extending its licensing requirements into areas where that isn't required and impacts GIS professionals. For a discussion of professional boundaries see the URISA white paper.
Thanks for your attention to this important issue, G____, and for this update, and for the reminder about the White Paper.
It's heartbreaking that this issue persists after nearly 30 years. Surveying and GIS are allied professions, with separate and valued skills sets. Surveyors are skilled in determining legal boundaries and points and GISPs are skilled in compiling those boundaries and points with other, referential, data to analyze and visualize data relations. It's simple, yet some insist on making it difficult.
I sure do agree with her.
Agree 100%. This issue seems to persist for reasons I've never understood and recall discussing with my GIS students as far back as the late '90s. As you note, GIS Professionals and Surveyors are working in complementary disciplines that in many cases, particularly for legal boundaries, rely on and support each other.
Nonetheless, the issue continues to pop up from time to time as some sort of power grab or protecting of turf that is wholly unnecessary in my opinion.
I think the real question is, what is to be done about it? 30 years is a long time to be debating and (sometimes) fighting about this between professions when in fact we are doing quite well in the vast majority of contexts where the survey and GIS communities work together quite effectively. It seems there's just a small, and vocal minority that insists on continuing to proposes policies and legislation to protect their turf every once in a while.
Education is a big part of it, but curious what else we can/should be doing (collectively) as professionals in these disciplines to move past it.
What is the end purpose of the information?
Hey, Bob, to find my house go up Murphy St. until you see a McDonalds on the corner, then turn right, etc.
The McDonalds in Asbury is about a quarter mile north of Asbury High School on the northeast corner of Murphy St. and Ryan Avenue.
The main entrance into the McDonalds which is generally located in the northeast quadrant of Murphy St. and Ryan Avenue is at state plane coordinates, Northing 143,539,173.028765; Easting 783,989.776876 (or lat/long such and such)
The fire hydrant located in the northeast quadrant of the Murphy St, and Ryan Ave. intersection has a flow capacity of XXXX, etc.
The fire hydrant at state plane coordinates Northing 143,539,173.028765; Easting 783,989.776876 does not encroach into Lot 17, Block 85 of Happy Porcupines Addition to the City of Asbury as the state plane coordinates of the nearest point of the south line of said Lot 17 is at state plane coordinates..........................
What is the absolute need for the information being massaged? What happens if that information is too crude and what is the definition of too crude?
We had a small town city superintendent who wanted to collect data on the precise location of every water meter connected to their water system. His criteria was then anyone just hired to read meters could find them all using a handheld GPS unit. He couldn't understand that the handheld unit he was using normally provided a plus/minus of 10 feet in any direction which didn't help much in finding one that had a two-wheel trailer parked above it.
two most recent (like, this week) personal GIS driven ratf*cks:
1. final plat can't be approved (after almost 3 years of jumping through various changing ordinances, jurisdictions, jurisdictional requirements...) because... the GIS manager's software offsets the lot labels by some factor that places one of the lot labels over a common lot line. i told him i didn't have any other place to put it due to his 19 colleague's requirements for easements and accompanying labels. he wouldn't budge. so now in order to get a final plat approved in this county one must submit a CAD file that complies with all GIS manager's ESRI import settings as he doesn't have- nor can use- any CAD software himself.
2. fire drill survey on a large site up in Dallas tail end of the week before last as a site plan and zoning change request was reliant upon it, except nobody had remembered to order the survey. so i get well paid to do an emergency as-built on what turned out to be a 12.5 acre tract that was entirely two rectangular warehouses surrounded by concrete and perimeter fences. easy field work, iow. drive back home, draft the survey, write the metes and bounds, problem solved for monday morning submittal... DEFCON-5 emails monday morning at like 5 a.m. that the description and survey were wrong, that it was only supposed to be 8.657 acres or whatever. "Hmmm..." i wonder. site plan and zoning description were based on- guess what? now, in the end, the intention was to sever the tract between the two warehouses, but using that as a directive we got 8.315 acres- still a 15,000 s.f. difference. so i was told i was wrong a second time. those cats ended up spending three full days revising site plans, applications, dedications, reservations, etc, etc, etc because they'd built the entire house of cards off the city zoning GIS. i went ahead and billed them for another full day of work after all the time i had to spend on the phone and email explaining the results of why i was hired in the first place.
I don't see a major problem. How long will it take for the states to set up licensing boards?