The Role of Today’s Geomatic Surveyor

Besides the obvious surveying and reporting responsibilities, I’ve been reflecting on how the role of the Geomatic Surveyor has expanded in recent years to include logistical and creative expertise for the benefit of clients. Below you’ll find three areas I believe to be included today in the role of the surveyor.

Would you agree with these points? Would you add any points?

Let me know!

  1. Cutting through bureaucracy

Last week I was reminded of the benefits of having been able to invest in a BLK2GO Laser Scanner with which to serve Neon Survey’s clients. With two area referencing jobs to complete in London in one day, and access issues that cut 45 minutes off the time I had to survey one of the premises, I was able to fully scan the floor in just over 10 minutes and make it across London to the second site on time.

In my previous roles, it would have taken time to present the business case for such an investment, but running my own business meant I could move quickly to acquire the up-to-date technology required to meet my clients’ needs.

The ability to work closer with a client, with a shorter chain of communication, I have also observed helps serve the client in a number of ways, including:

  • less risk of ‘chinese whispers’ leading to information being lost or distorted;
  • increased efficiency in providing feedback;
  • increased flexibility in reacting to client needs; and
  • a quicker job turnaround

Unnecessary bureaucracy can stand in the way of enhancing surveying operations for the benefit of the client and their project. It is the role of today’s surveyor to cut through this bureaucracy.

  1. Challenging the norms

There are a raft of necessary controls and standards for the surveyor to uphold.

However, I would challenge surveyors to know the difference between ways of working which protect the safety and efficacy of a business, its team, clients and services, and ways of working which are simply maintained because ‘it’s the way we do things round here’.

Today’s surveyor needs to challenge these traditional ways of working to be sure they don’t thwart creativity and the ability to adapt to the needs of the client.

For example, we were able to pick up utility paint markings while scanning a building for floor plans and elevations recently, saving our client time by avoiding the need for a separate survey on the buried utilities which would have traditionally been carried out before combining data from the two surveys.

  1. Cost management

In the same way as today’s surveyor should be creative and flexible in their working practices, a surveyor should be able to provide an individual job proposition, tailored to the needs of the client and specific project, without any unnecessary automatic ‘add-ons’ which the client doesn’t need and push up the cost of their project.


Duncan Hallam


To enquire how Neon Surveys can help minimise the time, hassle and expense involved in completing your next project, call 01480 718088 or email We look forward to hearing from you.

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