GIS for Surveyors
By William Brown, Hennepin County Surveyor
On October 31, 2006, the Minnesota Association of County Surveyors (MACS) sponsored a seminar in St. Cloud titled “GIS for Surveyors.” The program was presented by Mr. Donny Sosa, Survey Industry Coordinator for ESRI, and Lisa L. Schaefer of Pro-West & Associates. Sosa and Schaefer offered a seven-hour program that was a blend of theory and practical application designed to inform land surveyors of the unique opportunities that GIS offers that are not present in traditional surveying software.
William Brown, Hennepin County Surveyor, closed the day with a demonstration that showed highlights of a new data layer appearing on the county’s interactive web map. The new map displays the location of legal boundary surveys performed by local land surveying firms and gives the name and project data enabling viewers to contact the originating company. The boundary data is provided by local land survey professionals in exchange for access to Hennepin County parcel data. Brown has titled the new program the “Land Survey Resource Collaborative” (LSRC).
“GIS for Surveyors” is the second in a series of events that MACS has developed to raise the awareness of surveyors to the role they must play in defining the spatial relationship between property boundaries, imagery and other mapping elements within a GIS. These activities are consistent with the broad definition of land surveying that was recently incorporated into the model law by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) in September of this year. The International Federation of Surveyors has also identified surveyors as critical players in the management of spatial data through Commission 3.
Future events will include the formation of a special interest group (SIG) within the Hennepin County GIS Users Group to facilitate the development of policy and data for information sharing between local government and surveyors in private practice. The SIG is intended to promote activities of LSRC and serve as a model for similar programs that MACS hopes to develop throughout Minnesota.
For more information, contact William Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see the MACS website at: http://macsinfo.us/ and find information about ESRI’s ArcGIS Survey Analyst Extension software at: www.esri.com/software/arcgis/extensions/surveyanalyst/index.html.