Think about the Generations That Will Benefit from These Improvements

student essay | by Jesus O. Melendez Mateo

SPECIAL ESSAY SECTION: The Future of Surveying

Student Essay Finalist

Every time there is a project, surveyors are the first to enter and the last to leave the project site. It is our duty, basically, to gather information and provide it.  That information is needed to build, locate, or define something. 
 
The moment I started thinking about the future of surveying, thinking about the past gave me a clue about what to expect.  A good example would be the 1800s with the industrial revolution. There was a need for information to build railroads, roads, canals, and buildings. In that era, the main focus was the industrial progress that gave opportunities to many surveyors. 
 
If we think about the present time and what is happening today, we can relate surveying to many things.  My favorite is about this hunger to discover what is out there in space.  In a near future there might be robots doing our job on a distant planet far away from home taking measurements. Robots might have an important role in collecting information on missions due to the extreme conditions in some planets or in space. This information can be used to locate a planet or to know its dimensions. 
 
I believe that in the future the field of surveying will expand and increase our knowledge about the world we live in and what surrounds us. As the days go by, technology gets better, and instruments can be more precise. I can see myself helping fabricators in the development of these accurate instruments that will open a new window for surveying, a window that will change the way surveying will be applied in our daily lives.
 
Using better instruments will not only be the start for the creation of new ones, but, also, the way we do things in the field will change.  Part of this future that we expect so much brings efficiency on the project site because the way we work will change.  All of those changes immediately make me think of one challenge: The acceptance of the implementation of new methods and equipment to do the same labors that we do today.  Most of the time, it is very difficult to replace something that is working or change the way people are used to doing their jobs. 
 
To make this future more of a reality it is clear that the need for an education in surveying that focuses on new methods and technology is essential. Even with challenges like this one and others, what really motivates me to seek this future is to think about generations that will benefit from those improvements—not only with knowledge but even with the construction of better buildings that everyone can enjoy and have a better quality of life.

Jesus O. Melendez Mateo provided one of many fine essay entries we received from students in the surveying program at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. Jesus is also a member of the student chapter of the Institute of Surveyors (CEIA-UPRM).

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