The price of progress

Surveying has evolved over centuries, but the basics of trigonometry, levels and points have remained constants in some form or another. They have been honed and developed, but the end results – such as the creation of new structures, the collection of data and the generation of topographical or underground surveys – remain the same. But one potential downside of innovation is financial. Things are constantly evolving and adopting the latest innovations in the digital and built environment sectors come at a price. It might give you an edge by employing the very latest technology and data, but it often results in extortionate financial add-ons. As a result of this, it needs to be reflected in the pricing to customers. But this will be an added cost to already burgeoning budgets, as the price of everything continues to rise.

Quality surveyors

New technologies might make companies more efficient, but will they actually carry out the work any faster? The answer, at least invariably for geospatial surveying, is that it is only the data collection that is quicker – the processing will still take the same amount of time or in some cases longer as individual points are replaced with data dense point clouds. In this way, there remains a need to adopt new technology, where it is relevant, but also be conscious of diminishing returns. The experience, expertise and quality of the surveyor is more important. So, this needs to be kept in mind when choosing who is the most suitable work partner to engage with.

Building relationships

There needs to be a balance when it comes to keeping pace with the latest technological advancements. It’s more important to employ dependable, trustworthy companies with proven track records of reliability and success. Integrity, accuracy and experience are extremely important in the surveying profession and although good surveying companies may take these attributes for granted, it’s sometimes difficult to spell out to potential partners the difference having such qualities makes – both to a working relationship and the end results. Having the most relevant and recent accreditations and industry knowledge is often worth more than the latest gimmicks. Early adopters always run the risk of the latest technological development merely being a fad. It may give them an edge, but to what end and for how long?