Saturday, April 4, 2009

What's a Land Surveyor?

Good Morning All,..

I guess most people tend to think of the guys they see on the side of the road sometimes with the tripods, and yeah, that's us, but not totally, actually, most usually, those are the guys that work for me,.. except now, since the economy has tanked a bit, it's me again, lol,.. and it's truly where I'd rather be,.. as an RLS, when times are good, I run those guys, tell them where to go, what to do, and then take their data and crunch it, but for now, I'm that guy, I'm out collecting data, and bringing it back here and doing it all. Which is how I'd rather it be anyway, because, usually, when I have someone else collecting, I'm not always entirely sure what they shot and how they shot it. Shot is a term we use to describe the collection of one point. The points make up our drawings, and the little rod you see, well, you have to think of that as the pen. So, actually, what you see out there, and most people have this backwards as well, the guy running the instrument is usually the low man, most people go to him to ask questions and stuff, but, for the most part, he's the new guy or the least experienced one on the crew, we always say, we can teach a monkey to run the "gun",.. it's the guy with the stick who is the experienced one, he has the "pen" as we say. So, that's our pen in the field, and when we get that back here in the office, I'm the one that takes what they draw out there and puts it all together to make the localized map. That's basically what surveyor's do, in a nutshell, at least the practicing ones, we have a lot that do a lot of different types of surveying, and there are a whole ton of different aspects to surveying, but, that is the simplest form that I described, I think. We also survey from planes, boats, automobiles, four-wheelers, etc., etc., etc.,..

Just thought I would get that out there on the front end, in case anybody is listening and wondering what surveyor's do, in general, and me, specifically, what I do. Now, I'm Registered, which means authorized, by the State of Tennessee, to do a myriad of different functions, most usually, the guys you see out there, they work under me,.. except for now, of course, the guys you see out lately, if you've seen any, are liable to be corps guys, that are the least expendable, as it seems, ALL the survey companies, at least in this area, have had to lay off quite a few. We're down from 5 crews at one point to two now, and I believe we have historically been one of the busiest, best equipped and largest survey firms in this area. Times they are a changin', as they say.

Also, we go the other way, as well, and take drawings made in the office, and put them on the ground, this is called construction layout, more or less, in its simplest form. Just an FYI there.

And there are a lot of different types of surveys as well, for different purposes, all of them, most people would recognize the need to know where their property corners are, to discuss in laymen's terms, and that's another type of service that we perform, however, only a small part of what we do, as for the localized maps, we do those for the aforementioned property maps, and also we make topographic maps, hydrologic maps (being maps of water bodies), subdivision maps, where we'll take an area of property and divide it up into tracts or lots for whatever purpose needed. I think most people are at least familiar with that part, as most people live in some time of subdivision or another. There are also consulting surveyors, and one day, hopefully, I'll go that route, as that seems to be where the big money lives, it seems, teaching others to do what we do. I tend to think I could teach anybody how to survey in a short period of time, I've actually even had Ms. Grace out of a job before, and she was quite a bit easier to teach, it seems, than some of the guys I actually have working for me. I've also taken my son before, he's pretty intuitive about it as well, and is in school now at Tennessee Technological University, hopefully one day to become a Civil Engineer, and the family business will be born.

Okay, well, more later,..


RustyD said...

Just checking out your blog, good job, i don't know much about surveying but you write well and i'll check you out when i can. I am new to it as well, i have a very simple page, check me out if get a chance...Thanks

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