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Howdy, friend!

I read a stat this week that was pretty shocking — it said that over 33% of Americans started a side hustle since the pandemic began. And even more surprising, almost half of those reported that it was profitable.

Want to read the article that made the claim? Check it out here.

There’s no doubt the economy is changing. Getting a job out of school, going into the office every day, working yourself up the ladder, and retiring with a pension is not as common as it once was — yet that’s the route I was taught as a kid not so long ago.

So what does that mean for surveyors and the surveying industry?

  • With so many more independent surveying businesses, the value of standing out and being found through search could become harder and a lot more valuable.
  • Having more choices will allow potential clients to find surveyors that meet their needs more specifically or closer to home.
  • However, with more independent non-surveying companies being established, this could potentially increase the need for surveyors.

Some of these things are exciting, and I can see a lot of opportunities for the surveying industry to thrive. Of course, some of them are a bit scary, too. But that’s the thing with change — it’s rarely all good or all bad. It’s a mixture of both opportunities and threats. In the end, change will force some people to close up shop and disappear, while others will seize the opportunity. The biggest difference between the two might just be the realization and recognition that the change is happening.

What are your thoughts about this? How has the pandemic changed your view of yourself, your business, or the industry as a whole? I’ve started a thread, linked below, where you can share your thoughts and read what other surveyors have to say about it.

What do the pandemic and moonlighting have in common?

🔥 Inside the forums

Fed up with foresters

This morning I received a telephone call from prospective clients about a neighbor’s forest cutting plan. Their land has been marked by orange flags and they do not agree. Would I be able to survey their boundary to determine if the orange flags are correct?

Board of Control

Just finished a formal Board of Control meeting. From all the hearsay I was expecting a huge protest from the audience.

Bearing rotation stake out error

After I shoot in my found points, I rotate my data in the field to match the plat. I have been doing this for months with no problems. All of a sudden, when I rotate my bearings, my stakeout points are off as much as my rotation.

Indiana test advice

I’m prepping for the Indiana State exam this spring and thought I’d send out a feeler here to see if there is any good advice on what to study for the state specific test.

Building layout issues

I work for a general contracting company in Canada. We have an in house position within the company doing foundation related layout, anchor bolt placement, quantity takeoffs…..

Norwegian folklore

In Norwegian folklore, a deildegast is a type of ghost connected with the sanctity of boundary stones, and what happened to those who dared to move them. The term derives from deidl for stone and gast, having the same meaning as ghost.

Static GPS discrepancy

I have been getting a consistent 0.25 foot discrepancy in elevations between my total station and my static GPS for the past year. I need to run some more structured tests and see if the RTK is having the same issues but thought I would put it out there.


I’ve been assigned to the pipeline project team. I’m pretty inexperienced in that field as land surveyor. What might be expected of me?

Connecting to network

I had to start using a new phone, transferred everything from old phone, now I can’t connect to network using mobile hotspot. How do I set up my TSC3 to connect to new phone, using mobile hotspot?

Magnetic locator recommendations

I’m in the market for a new locator to replace my 37 year old Schonstedt. Just because of the longevity of my Schonstedt I’m leaning towards buying another.

Survey truck inventory

What’s in your survey truck? What supplies do you keep in stock at all times? What hand tools? What other pieces of gear?

Payment terms

What are your typical payment terms? Do they vary by the type of job? By the client? Do you demand partial payment upfront?

🧠 Ask A Surveyor

We often receive questions from property owners and other members of the general public. Here’s your chance to possibly help them out!

How to hire a Surveyor

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🦺 From the marketplace

STOLEN: Base Trimble R8S, Satel Radio, 2 new tripods, antennae, battery, cables
For sale: GeoMax Zenith 40, (2) GeoMax Zenith 35’s, Carlson Mini Surveyor, Juniper Archer 2, Mesa 2 data collector
For sale: Leica DNA03 Digital Level, Leica (Nedo) GPCL2 2-Meter Barcode Rod, & Nedo Stiff-Leg Tripod
Want to buy: Leica 360 prism
Want to buy: HP41cv survey manual operators booklet
Position available: Chief Surveyor (City of Arvada) Colorado

📰 In other news

This 1882 surveying error saved a patch of forest from logging

In northern Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest, the expansive stands of majestic birch, aspen, maple, and pine trees look almost timeless. But looks can be deceiving. Today, much of the famed “Northwoods” are made up of trees that are less than a hundred years old.

Much of the United States’ northern forests were clear-cut in the late 1800s and were only reforested decades later. But thanks to a surveying error, a rogue patch of old-growth forest was left untouched by loggers in Minnesota.

Read the article at National Geographic

👋 Before you go

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Simple go to our Subscription Management page, enter your email address, and you’ll be sent a special access code. Once you’ve entered the code, you’ll be able to see your current subscriptions. From there, you can edit or delete them.

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Happy traversing,

Wendell T. Harness