Ambassador Spotlight ‘Martin Graner’

Introducing one of our latest Brand Ambassadors Martin Graner! Let’s learn some more about him:

Where did you study? I’ve studied Geodesy at the University of Stuttgart and completed my master’s degree in 2017. I stumbled into University thinking the main focus will be on Geology and Geography but I soon found out that (luckily) I was wrong. 

In Stuttgart, the Geodesy program is split into four main faculties. At the Institute of Engineering Geodesy, you learn about land surveying, handling the usual devices like Theodolites, Total stations, GPS, geodetic leveling, and so on. At the Navigation Institute, you learn more about GPS, positioning, and electronics. In the Geodetic Institute, you learn about Gravitation and its influence on distance measurements, map projections, and a little bit of hydrology. Lastly, there is the Institute of Photogrammetry where you learn image processing and computer vision. Of course, you also have courses in Math, Physics, Electronics, and Informatics.


What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area? It really depends on which part of the job you like to do. For example, for those who are interested in doing fieldwork, no particular degree is required. Many surveying companies will take you on as an apprentice and teach you how to operate the equipment and collect the data. However, to also evaluate and analyse the data, you would at least need a bachelor’s degree.

To become a state-certifed surveyor who’s allowed to take on sovereign tasks, a master’s degree + 2 years of state examination + leading your own company for 5 years is required. Then you need to get appointed to be allowed to do these tasks.


How did you get into surveying? By accident actually! I thought I will be studying geology, geography, or a mix of those, and didn’t realize geodesy is neither of those.


If you are not a surveyor, what do you do? After finishing my master’s I had the option to become a surveyor by joining a surveying company. Furthermore, I had the chance to become a state-certified surveyor, which would have taken two more years of state examination and 5 years of leading my own company. 

However, at that time I was already working at PointCab as a student and they immediately offered me a full-time position as a software engineer once I graduated. By then, I had gained enough experience to know that I was more comfortable with data analysis and improvement than data collection. I have always enjoyed thinking about how to improve and simplify workflows and that is exactly what I am doing now as a developer. I can now apply my surveying skills to write point cloud processing software that facilitates the job of those who collect and analyze the data.


How long have you been in the industry? 5 years


Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? I feel like the surveying industry with its many applications is incredibly important to improve modern society and the way we live. Surveyors worldwide are mapping the world right now, with unprecedented precision. This enables us to save, preserve and examine historic landmarks and build better and safer housing. It allows us to better understand the world we live in and provides crucial data to scientists worldwide from all kinds of disciplines. I could go on and on but the point is that the importance and the exciting aspects of this work are not nearly highlighted enough to children and young adults. That’s why I decided to join GKIS’s effort in getting the next generation onboard.


Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? As I explained, the industry is incredibly important to society as a whole and unfortunately, at least in Germany, we’re facing a shortage of skilled workers in the industry.


What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? As soon as the pandemic allows it, I plan to visit schools in the region, hold talks and answer questions about my profession and the surveying industry as a whole


What are your hobbies? Climbing, electric guitar, programming


If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? PointCab does actually already have a character that will hopefully make his debut soon and it’s our founder and CEO Dr. Richard Steffen.


What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS? Since many kids in non-english speaking countries have a hard time understanding and reading the GKiS comics and posters, it would be great to have at least some translated. Also, in addition to information materials for children, I would be happy if there would be more materials designed for teens who are about to finish school and are about to choose which degree they want to pursue.


Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? If you are a parent or teacher reading this, please feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to come into schools and talk about the industry