Andrew, I am surprised that you never discussed your Q at university!
What does a state gain by deregulating a profession like ours ?
Catching up with the real world !
The only portion of surveying requiring regulation is the licensing of surveyors to perform boundary identification and re identification surveys. Here in South Australia the government guarantee inadvisability of title. Here we have a co regulatory system between government and profession. Basically where the profession through the surveyors board attends to the education and training of surveyors, raising its funds through registration and licensing fees and a plan lodgment levy around $ 80 on all certified plans of survey lodged in the Lands Titles Office. The government. is responsible for the Surveyors Act and associated regulations and the central Lands Title Office functions. This means that there is assurance for the Government, and client that the holder of the license has acquired the minimum university education, post graduate training and completed the Board's assessment requirements to become a boundary surveyor. For all other forms of surveying discipline the graduates gain registration in their chosen field. Again indicating a minimum standard of achievement that indicates suitability to practice in that field.
I suggest he biggest problem for US surveyors is that the current licensing system is so BROAD, where by the holder of a surveyors license is actually not an implied master of ALL. That alone has probably damaged the professional image.
Today every field of surveying is specialized. Sure I could come to the US and measure, just as you could travel here and measure, both using the same orbiting satellites, however we would both be in the same dilemma in knowing how to process the data so that the resulting out put met the local standards. It is called specialization.
In the 21 century it is almost insane to say that some of the fields of surveying require a boundary surveying license because data is magically fixed to a boundary. Your business concept plan of scanning is but one example. In reality the only time a licensed surveyor would be needed when using a scanner would be when scanned items are required to be located specifically in relation to boundaries.
In the 21 century it is insane that a university graduate education is not a prerequisite to becoming a qualified US surveyor.
Sorry, but America needs if necessary, to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world of surveying, with both sweat and articulation learnedly combined.
VALUE ADDING SURVEYOR