There is a lot to think about when it comes to being a professional in the field of spatial science and understanding how things work may only apply for a short while. So many changes in technology, understanding, and legal standards add to and erode the concepts of being a PLS and spatial engineer on such a regular basis that understanding and finding applications is difficult when former pillars of income and work are removed for one reason or another. With such chaos, many concepts and possibilities are available but only a few are really going to work. Using this as a foundation, the basics can be broken down into three parts:
Here is where information is created. Field crews using total stations, scanners, photogrammetry, and GNSS systems create the basic usable information that people can buy, sell, and apply. Doing the groundwork in putting out physical, visual cues such as flagging also are handled here.
After data is produced, it must be turned into something usable. A scan may show an entire city block in great detail, but what the client needs is just where the cracks in the cement are or location of a single lot. Management also deals in the storage and inventive application of this data. GIS is a good example, where the more accurate the base information the better (and more valuable) the results become.
The single most important asset in our line of work is experience, and Consulting is where years of experience, books of certifications, and the professional approval from peers and former clients comes in. Someone may have the data created and edited, but without an explanation on how to use it it’s still too much for most people. With the myriad of choices now available, having someone to point out the easiest path is invaluable and as the entry barrier lowers being able to explain the necessity of things will separate the players from the pros.
This is my view on what every Geomatics firm should provide, and what I intend to try. Surveying companies mostly fall within the production side of that triad, but certainly can enter into the other two fields. I’ve spent the last two months putting together a list of projects that falls under each of these three categories, and will be posting the results of bringing my ideas into reality and hopefully success.
The one thing I don’t have is the ability to consult, so please feel free to share your wisdom below.