Friday, March 23, 2012

National Surveyor's Week

Three of these men were Surveyors
Tomorrow marks the conclusion of National Surveyor's Week.  It's the time of the year to recognize Surveying as a founding profession - one that was instrumental in defining our country, it's boundaries and infrastructure. As a Professional Surveyor, I take exceptional pride in the profession I've chosen - even more so when discussing the history with people unfamiliar with what we do.

Michael Baker Jr., Inc. was founded as a surveying firm seven decades ago.  And our recent addition to the Baker family, RBF, has a similar legacy.

Perhaps the most personal discovery regarding our history was uncovered during a visit to my wife's grandparents in rural North Carolina.  Unbeknownst to me, it turns out that her grandfather started at Baker in 1943 as a survey rodman.  He worked is way up to run a party before heading off to World War II.  Upon his return from the war, he was offered his job back, but decided to take an alternate route.  He eventually retired from Florida DOT after 40+ years as a bridge engineer.  Upon hearing the story from him, I pulled out my laptop and proceeded to show him Mobile LiDAR data.  To say he was blown away is an understatement.
Poster on display at Baker and RBF offices nationwide.
To my fellow surveying professionals, cheers!  I'm having a pint tonight to celebrate.
Stephen

For more information on the profession and it's history, go to:
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
National Society of Professional Surveyors
National Museum of Surveying

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What is Mobile LiDAR?

Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems are comprised of vehicle-mounted lasers, cameras and GPS/INS navigation systems to capture highly-detailed and accurate three-dimensional (3D) topographic information for surveying and engineering applications. Michael Baker International became an early adopter of Mobile LiDAR technology by acquiring our first system in 2009, with further expansions in 2014 and 2015 that increased our fleet to four (4) Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile LiDAR systems. Over that period our systems have completed more than 300 projects throughout 29 different U.S. States (and multiple countries), and encompassing hundreds of thousands of miles. Our project portfolio includes applications in roadway design, 3D modeling, railroad corridors, signaled intersections, utility infrastructure, asset management, pavement condition assessment and airport infrastructure.