WelcomeSaturday, November 26th, 2022
to trust or not to trust others' data?
So tonight I learned the hard way - don't trust somebody else's data at face value - NO MATTER IF THEY'RE A SURVEYOR TOO!!! The field crews make mistakes & so do draftsmen when it comes time to mapping things - I've made plenty of mistakes when I was in both positions previously. I'm not sure how this escaped everyone's notice until now (multiple engineers & surveyors including myself) but I'm sure glad I caught it before the precast plant started making manholes or I guess I'd have myself a very expensive precast fire pit in my backyard for sending plans out for construction. Luckily the design can be adjusted easily and keep things moving at a cost savings to everyone surprisingly. BUT- if that spot elevation is irking you relative to what their provided base map's existing info says on the utilities then just go out there & run some levels through it all. I can now go to bed with some peace of mind haha
It's a lot like headlines and captions under photos in the newspaper. The normal text may get reviewed three or four times. Headlines and captions generally do not get as much attention. That is how you get a photo of the Champion Hog at the county fair with a caption about a recent surge in interest in mudwrestling by women.
I like Ronald Reagan's old quote "Trust, but verify."
The problem is, every now and then the worst surveyor gets it right, and every now and then the best surveyor gets it wrong. The difficulty for us is knowing when.
I use that to TRY to inform newbies about assessors GIS sites, when determining current owners, the researcher needs to keep in mind how often the data in the GIS is updated (granted the Database should be pretty good, but I've seen that it doesn't necessarily correlate to the GIS). Seems like on of the local ones is only updated about once a year - I had at least four properties change hands on a project within six months that were not reflected in the GIS. Unfortunately one of our newbies (not my project, but my partner in crimes) checked the spreadsheet we keep as a link between the ROW mapping staff and the Acquisition staff, against the GIS, I don't know how many he changed because the GIS was not updated. I only found out when he asked me "How could XXXXX have so many of these owners wrong?"