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Surveyors and the Challenges of Digital Surveying and Mapping Technology

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The advent of digitalization has brought revolutionary changes to the methods and instrumentation of surveying and it appears that the initial training and special qualities of the surveyor are no longer a precondition for the practice of surveying. Nowadays, many tools and techniques have been developed or improved upon for the acquisition of survey data with a high degree of accuracy, flexibility, simplicity, and cost reduction. This development poses new challenges for the traditional surveyor who needs to cope with the new trend. This paper discusses a very brief history of surveying. The innovations in surveying are discussed under the following headings: land surveying, remote sensing, hydrographic surveying, map-data processing, and data communication. Some important challenges facing the surveyor due to these innovations are highlighted. The paper also attempts to identify the responses surveyors could adopt. It is suggested in this paper that adaptive learning and retraining will help the modern surveyor but the best response will be "reprofessionalization".
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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