INTEGRATING SURVEYING AND GIS PREPARED FOR: WVAGP SEMINAR Jared D. Wilson Instructor of Land Surveying Glenville State College Glenville, WV SURVEYING & GIS • What is surveying? • Surveying is the art and science of locating points on, above, or below the earth’s surface • In essence, surveying is the collection and analysis of geospatial information • What is GIS? • Geographical Information System • A collection of geospatial data and the ability to analyze the data in a detailed manner As we can see, surveying and GIS are very closely related fields! Who Utilizes Surveying and GIS? • Governments • • • • NOAA FEMA USGS Law Enforcement Agencies • Private Industry • Construction • Mapping • Private Law Enforcement • General Public Again, the two disciplines share common usages. Features of Surveying & GIS Analysis • • • • • Data collection, entry, editing, validation Image analysis Map creation Data analysis and linkage Data storage The Surveying and GIS Relationship • Characteristics of the Surveyor and GIS Professional • Spatial data analysis and collection • Surveyors play a critical role in the supplying of geospatial data • GIS has roots in land surveying with regards to automated cartography • GIS, aka, LIS deals with land records and associated information • GIS knowledge is included on the Surveying exams Surveying Technology • Surveying technology has rapidly evolved within recent years • • • • • Computers (Portable) GPS Computer Aided Mapping Robotics Data Transfer (Cable and Wireless) • This increase in technology has drastically decreased data collection time and increased productivity • • • • Fully automated mapping Client Data Transfer On Demand Production and Analysis Global Clients A Slight Disconnect Within the Professions • What is the underlying factor that puts surveyors and GIS professionals at odds? • Accuracy! • Survey grade accuracy has always been the biggest obstacle within GIS and surveying • The “Boundary” • Surveyors are always aware when boundaries overlap or gap; however, GIS professionals are not usually land surveyors, they are data analysts • GIS, in its infancy, trended more towards a shotgun approach with regards to boundaries, but with its growth, more and more GIS boundaries can better withstand court challenges Part of the Solution • Robillard stated it best, “No matter the amount of precision involved in the data collection process, errors in surveying still occur” • The accuracy of survey measurements is becoming increasingly better; thus, data pertaining to boundaries needs to be relayed to GIS professionals • Good data in, equals, good data out • Historically, GIS boundaries were digitized from tax maps, which, are a “sketch” of what the property boundary should represent • Surveyors need to understand that they are responsible for preparing accurate boundaries and GIS professionals need to realize that if that data is needed, get it. • It is not public information! Another Part of the Solution • Training • Many of the surveyors practicing today do not have formal or informal training on the utilization of GIS technologies and may not fully be aware of the benefits that a GIS system can provide • GIS professionals need to utilize surveyors knowledge concerning data acquisition and potential analysis • Cross-Training • Should GIS professionals and surveyors work in close conjunction with one another, each should undertake cross-training on particular skills and work development of the other • This would provide an element of appreciation on what both can offer Data Integration – The Final Frontier • Fully Integrated Data System • Imagine a fully functional automated database that can deliver all project documents, deeds, field notes, and coordinate system transformation • Then take that functionality and translate the data into project location maps • Finally, further translate the project data into cost versus time GIS and Surveying are very compatible and with proper education, a full integration of surveying and GIS can be accomplished.