This special features comes via the American Surveyor Magazine , Nov. 2012
Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to do research while in the field?
Surveyors often need information from existing records while in the field. Existing records for things such as surveys, control points, land ownership, floodplain, and others are needed while in the field in order for a surveyor to help plan and execute a survey project. What things are available, where things are, how they fit together with other things on the ground, and other relevant bits of information regarding these things, such as who owns the property, what a property corner is made of, the elevation of a nearby benchmark, etc. are examples of the types of existing information that a surveyor may need while in the field. For example, to start a boundary survey for a property, the surveyor must find where the property is located, go to it, know what the dimensions are supposed to be, find the property corners if any exist, and find nearby corners. Therefore, all surveys begin with a bit of research into the existing records, making copies of those records, and interpreting those records to understand where the survey is located and oriented in the world as well as how things fit together.
Whether existing records are in paper or other hardcopy form or digital, taking records into the field typically requires making a copy (either paper or digital) prior to leaving the office. Sometimes records are missed or forgotten or other information may become apparent while in the field which requires additional research. Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to do instantaneous research while in the field? With smartphone technology, teamed with web services and GIS, mobile access to information is now feasible and fairly simple to set up and implement. Smartphones can access the World Wide Web wherever phone service is available. Additionally, the location of the phone can be used to tailor information services appropriate for that location.
Rj Zimmer is a geomatics consultant and professional land surveyor in Helena, Montana.
A 622Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE