The Era of Changes in Geodesy

Leonardo Da Vinci Conference

The Era of Changes in GeodesyDr. Joseph Forrai, Survey of Israel (ret.)


"Many professions have undergone dramatic changes during the last fifty years. This has also happened with surveying and mapping (geodesy) profession. The content and character of the indispensable knowledge have changed. The human ability, which is necessary for carrying out high quality professional practice, has also been modified. The author makes an attempt to clarify what kind of ability allows for a person to become a proper land surveyor nowadays.

The fast improvements were influenced by the stormy development of electronics, communication, data capture, data processing. During two-three generations human beings have also changed. People read, learn, spend time and communicate in a different manner than their grandparents did.

Specialists look at the changes through the spectacles of their own profession. The author of this paper is a land surveyor (geodesist? geo-information expert?). He studies the fascinating changes from his professional point of view. He tries to reveal if "the surveyor" himself changed during the decades, and how? Are there characteristic changes regarding the knowledge, skill and ability demanded?

A number of Leonardo's brilliant ideas in the field of surveying, mapping, cartography, timing and even flying (as a precondition of any modern photogrammetric mapping, hundreds of years later) illustrate that he was deeply affiliated to geodesy disciplines too."