SURVEY: What is the size of your typical survey field crew?



What is the size of your typical survey field crew?

  • 2 People (1-1/2 workers and one useful eye) (54%, 34 Votes)
  • 1 Person (production of 2 workers, talks to itself a lot) (30%, 19 Votes)
  • 3 People (2 workers and one useful eye) (14%, 9 Votes)
  • 4 People (a small village) (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 63

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I'm only half kidding with the comments I placed within the parenthesis in the survey above. The one useful eye bit refers to the person running the transit; although if I had room I would also have added the usefulness of fingers, too.

Don't get me wrong, the person running the transit does a very important job. It's just so labor intensive for the given results. With GPS and Robotic Total Stations, pointing the instrument, reading angles and distances (or just standing by the instrument to hit enter on the data collector), manually setting zero, just seams very outdated and old fashioned now.

Bureau of Land Managment-BLM Office: OrigonTechnological advances have allowed for the reduction of in-the-field workers over the years, yet I see many field crews still with three, and sometimes four, people in them. Recently I was speaking with a colleague at a Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors (RISPLS) meeting who was trying to expedite a large survey by assigning four field workers to the project.

I am unconvinced that the work of four is that much more productive, if at all, than if he'd assigned two people, with the right technology and equipment.

What do you think?

Photo Courtesy of The Bureau of Land Management
BLM Office: Oregon

Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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One comment on “SURVEY: What is the size of your typical survey field crew?
  1. Marc Thayer says:

    I ‘get’ the thread of your argument. But how often is that extra set of eyes ….or the ‘running interference’ gambit actually made the job go smoother or even more accurate (by virtue of being able to focus on the task at hand and not “marketing” the curious neighbors?). I’m not at all convinced that ‘productivity tools’ are the answer. Common sense needs to prevail.