Automation and/or new technology always seems to be putting someone out of a job – at least that has been a common complaint since the Luddites of England smashed the infernal machines which threatened their livelihoods. The reality is, however, that new technology does not make us poorer; it makes us richer – as is always the case when productivity increases. More goods and services made with fewer hands is the key to wealth creation. Those who strive to turn back the clock would only impoverish us.
The advent of machine-controlled grading has a few surveyors worried. I will hasten to point out that many of these same surveyors use GPS and robotics to increase productivity and eliminate new personnel in their own businesses. Oh, the irony.
Smart surveyors will embrace new technology and use it to their advantage. New = opportunity. Houston Neal at Software Advice, a website that reviews heavy construction software, has some good ideas how surveyors can win in the automation environment by embracing their obvious roles as experts. Take heed, my friends.