In some circles Paradigm Shift has lost its descriptive edge in defining changes in themes. Thomas Kuhn was the first to use the term Paradigm Shift all the way back in 1962. But what does it mean? Kuhn coined the term to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. Kuhn confined his definition to hard science, but to borrow from another buzzphrase, its zone has been expanded over the years.
The Surveying and Engineering Summit for 2010 retained its pro forma title. But in 2011 it conjoins with the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping for a joint event. There is certainly a lot of buzz about exactly what that means. It leaves little doubt that there has been a change at least in perceptions if not assumptions.
The reality of it is that Boundary Surveying and Engineering was never a marriage made in heaven. It has been fraught with problems over the years. Introducing the term Geomatics only served to add further confusion to the dialog. Boundary Surveying and Mapping have always been a much more natural fit. There is also that controversy over what four-year-degree is best for licensure requirements.
By all appearances we are approaching a fork in the road. Two rather distinct camps are forming in spite of the putative unity in the title of the event. It is difficult to predict how all of this will turn out. But some changes are inevitable. All of us need to prepare and participate.