THE STORY OF THE LAND SURVEYOR’S COUNCIL
IMPROVING THE SECURITY OF BOUNDARIES IN THE UNITED STATES
On November 20, 1992 in Daytona Beach, Florida, approximately 25 concerned professionals formed the Florida Land Surveyor’s Council as a division of the American Surveyors and Mappers Council. The Land Surveyor’s Council has now expanded into other states and exists for the purpose of improving the security of boundaries in the United States by using all legal methods necessary to defeat any attempt to remove or relax the requirement for a competent land survey by a registered, licensed land surveyor on any real property being used for the purpose of conveyancing or collateral for any loan whatsoever. Each State Land Surveyor’s Council is part of the national movement by the Land Surveyor’s Council to liberate land surveyors and to recover the respect and dignity we deserve as land surveyors together with the increased fees necessary to produce a high quality survey.
THE MISSION OF THE LAND SURVEYOR'S COUNCIL
- To protect and further the profession of land surveying against attacks from any quarter.
- To address and take appropriate action on any issues which come up which impact on the profession of land surveying.
- To continue work to stop the use of the “Owner’s Survey Affidavit and Indemnification Agreement.”
- To provide training to the profession necessary to facilitate survival of our profession and to educate, not alienate, the other members of the title industry.
- To work with other groups who are committed to improve and protect the profession of land surveying.
- To cause a requirement for a current boundary survey on every conveyance, financing or re-financing of real property.
- To cause a land survey to only be considered “current” for a maximum of 90 days following the completion of the field work and the title insurance industry not to remove the “Survey Exception” in Schedule ‘B’ of the title policy unless they are in possession of a current survey.
- To cause any land surveyor who agrees to be hired on the basis of a lower price be forced to pay treble damages in the event that Minimum Technical Standards or Standards of Practice required by the Board are not met.
- To cause the Land Surveyors Board of Registration to identify the practice of using the “Owner’s Survey Affidavit and Indemnification Agreement” as the “unauthorized and illegal practice of land surveying” and the Insurance Commission to forbid the practice.
- To cause the Board of Professional Surveyors & Mappers to immediately prosecute any Surveyor & Mapper licensee who files a complaint against another Surveyor & Mapper for competitive purposes and immediately revoke the license of that complaining Surveyor & Mapper licensee.
REDUCTION IN THE POOL OF QUALIFIED SURVEYING TECHNICIANS
The insidious down-sizing of the land surveying profession over the past 20 years has caused the total number of people employed in the profession today to be to ¼ those employed in 1972 and the numbers are declining fast. Here are some of the reasons for this drastic reduction in our ranks:
- It is now possible to do five times more work with a two man field crew and modern equipment than could be done with a three man field crew in 1972. 15 surveying field employees were required in 1972 to equal two of today’s surveying employees.
- Micro-computers, since 1980, have grown in size at approximately 50% per year and increased in speed at approximately 75% per year. As computers get bigger and faster, Computer Assisted Drafting and Design (CADD) has become increasingly more automated such that CADD in now routinely performed in the field.
- One CADD draftsman can now support up to three field crews. In 1972, each field crew required at least one draftsman for office support. In other words, since each field crew can do five times the work of a 1972 field crew, 15 draftsmen would have been required in 1972 to equal a CADD draftsman today.
LOSS OF SURVEYING MARKETS
While the above analysis discusses the loss of surveying employees, the simultaneous loss of surveying markets is even more alarming:
- At the current attrition rate, it appears that the need for land surveyors will continue to decline during this decade at the rate of approximately 20% per year.
- The “Baby Boom” is over and, therefore, development surveying is either gone or rapidly on the way out.
- The construction industry has successfully campaigned for the right to perform their own surveying. GPS and GIS will facilitate that activity within the next five years so that construction surveying will no longer exist as a market.
- GPS equipment, mathematics and techniques, combined with Inertial Navigation equipment and techniques in a hybrid instrument will soon make it possible for everyone (including non-surveyors) to know with great accuracy their exact property location.
- Photogrammetric technology has progressed and continues to progress at such a rapid rate that major topographic mapping no longer exists as a market for land surveyors.
- Within this decade, GIS will provide a cadastre which will identify each property corner by coordinate and will cause boundary surveying to be obsolete, but the mapping for GIS has been taken over in large part by major providers of cartographic services and photogrammetrists.
MEMBERSHIP IN THE LAND SURVEYOR’S COUNCIL
Membership in the Land Surveyor’s Council does not preclude membership in any State Land Surveyors Society or the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. Members of those organizations are welcome. Some State Societies are currently acting to set up Liaison Committees with us.
The time has come to actually do something about surveying problems as opposed to standing by and watching surveyors lose their entire market while the public gets injured. The potentially fraudulent use of the “Owner’s Affidavit of Survey and Indemnification Agreement” being promulgated by title insurance companies is one such example. Further, some property owners are being misled to believe that their boundaries are secure and obtaining no survey at all!
To more fully serve the profession and those working to make land surveying their lifetime career, we welcome non-registered as well as registered persons to hold full membership in the Land Surveyor’s Council. In addition to party chiefs and other surveying technicians, we also welcome our brothers and sisters in the real estate appraisal profession who are being asked to appraise property without benefit of survey. Members of the legal profession are also urged to join with us to make a difference in the land surveying profession. Our membership today contains professional land surveyors, non-registered owners of land surveying firms, party chiefs, draftsmen, and others. We cordially invite you to join the Land Surveyor’s Council and support our Mission.