Step up and get in the Public Eye - 04/09/2014

Do we sell ourselves short in the public’s eyes? Chris Preston, chair of the Geomatics Professional Group Board reflects on a summer of sport in which surveying and measurement played a major role.

The past summer period in the UK was marked by several international sporting events and although I did not see “La Tour de France” starting in Leeds, I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I went to see some of the athletics and was pleased to see a total station being guided to measure the length of the throws in some of the field events. It struck me as to who had the better job: the official using the total station or those who were driving the radio controlled cars to bring the thrown device back to the athletes? I think I know which one I would have chosen.

However, this does raise the question in my mind: do we as surveyors sell ourselves short in the public’s eyes by not publicising our part in this type of event? After all, engineering surveyors would have been involved in setting out the track & field stadium and the track, and are then surely involved in the actual staging.

Get into a Class of your Own

With some meetings not being held in the summer months it allows time for a little more reading. Having read the London & South East Surveyor journal I was pleased to see a whole page inspiring report explaining about “Class of your own (COYO),” set up by a land surveyor Alison Watson, to engage school children with the built environment using the moniker for the programme of “Design Engineer Construct.” Moreover the success of this concept needs inputs from all of us, to encourage our businesses to support and sponsor or “adopt” schools in our local area. Further details can be found on www.designengineerconstruct. The RICS is also happy to “match make” as over 80 schools have indicated they want to take part. Of course such activity is also great for clocking up time for your CPD.

Continuing on my reading theme, it was great to see one of our number recognised in the RICS magazine Modus, Nigel Casswell working on the Crossrail project in London showed others within RICS what a diverse range of skills our Geomatics members have.

Step up Southern Surveyors

The International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) is now out for consultation and really does seem to be an important document that will be used all around the globe, judging by the number of organisations getting involved. The consultations though have been marked by a reluctance to get involved by land surveyors in some parts of the globe, notably the southern hemisphere. So come on you Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans, how about some input from you too? After all, this standard is likely to be the guide that all property measurements globally will be based upon in the future so please add your views to the melting pot.

For those of you still trying to gain a few hours more CPD try searching out the Business skills podcasts available on the RICS website:

Apps for Surveyors

I know that many of us now use iPads for our work and leisure pursuits and I am always amazed by the range of apps that are available. I have seen the following recommended for surveyors:

  • Plan Grid for viewing and annotating drawings on site.
  • CamCard for getting business card details into MS Outlook.
  • me for unsubscribing to e-mails.
  • Planimeter for measuring boundaries and areas of plans.
  • OMTrack for snagging site works and marking up drawings.


I am sure there are plenty more so why not share your favourites with your colleagues via GW?

This article was published in Geomatics World September/October 2014

Last updated: 30/03/2020