Character Spotlight ‘McElhanney’

Introducing our latest sponsor who have the new Homework Project ‘Masters of Measures’, check it out!

Let’s learn some more about them:


  1. Company Name –


  1. Location –

Our headquarters are in Vancouver, BC but we have 30+ offices across Western Canada! 

  1. Why is it important for your company to help Get Kids into Survey?

As surveying has been a core McElhanney service since 1910, we have always been – and always will be – dedicated to advancing the industry and helping the next generation of surveying professionals flourish. 

Everything in our built world – including the parks we play in, schools we study in, and paths we ride our bikes on – would be impossible without surveying. Surveyors are essential to developing vibrant communities, and we couldn’t build the places we call home without them!

And guess what? Surveying is also a fulfilling, fun, and outdoor-based career choice. We wanted to get involved in Get Kids into Survey because we want kids, teachers, and students to know about all the exciting career paths available in the industry. The world needs more surveyors!

  1. What do you do?

I am a surveyor at McElhanney, which means I get to go to all sorts of wild places (sometimes back to my home swamp!) and play with wicked technology. At McElhanney, we provide geomatics, geospatial, GIS, engineering, environmental, planning, and landscape architecture services to clients across Western Canada and beyond. Me and my fellow McElhanney surveyors use all sorts of cool equipment like drones, laser scanners (ground-based and mobile), GPS, and total stations to collect and display our data in all sorts of ways: digital maps, plans, 3D models, and augmented reality models!  

  1. How long have you been in the survey industry?

McElhanney’s roots go all the way back to 1910: we’ve been in the survey industry for over 110 years! 

  1. How did you end up getting into the geospatial industry?

Growing up in my small home swamp, I knew I wanted to do something more with my life and sought out to find my purpose. Being so passionate about surveying, you would think that was the career I chose first. But no! I started out on a berry farm. Well, truthfully, they just hired me to stomp on the berries with my exceptionally large hooves to help make juice and jam! 

While that job gave me a taste for working with my hooves in the outdoors, I felt like wanted to do something more. One day, a surveyor came to map out an area of the berry farm that had to be realigned, and they had so many cool gadgets that I just had to know more! Luckily, the surveyor was really friendly and spoke to me about how they got into surveying and where to start out. 

I worked for McElhanney for a few years as a surveyor, starting out as an assistant and then becoming a junior technician. I went to university and then returned to McElhanney over my summer breaks until I got my degree! I’ve been with them ever since.

  1. State a funny fact about you…

My legs are so long that I have my own custom-made tripods. It is often helpful that I am tall, because it means I get higher than some trees when we work further north, meaning I get a better signal with our GPS. I’m not quite as high up as the satellites that our GPS technology uses to calculate our position on the earth’s surface, but sometimes I feel like it! When I am working with other surveyors who are not moose like me, we have to set up our tripod low enough for them and I have to kneel down to see through the telescope. Luckily, we’re using laser scanning more and more now, which doesn’t require a  telescope.

  1. Favorite piece of kit and why?

Gather ‘round, my forest explorers! Let me spin you a tale about old Spruce the Moose here, once named the Quirkiest Moose in all the Land! Now, you may think as a moose, I would spend my days munching on leaves and counting pinecones. But no! There is a lot more to me, you see. I have a secret – a love that runs deeper than the roots of a Spruce tree.

I’m sure you’d expect me to stick to the forest floors but let me tell you: I harbor a love for the subsea, and what’s my favorite aquatic sidekick? Sonars! These nifty gadgets go “ping” and echo, revealing all the mysteries hidden beneath the waves. Imagine me, the antlered adventurer, wearing moose-sized goggles diving into the ocean using my near X-ray vision to see for thousands of feet! With these sonars, I can help unravel the secrets and treasures the ocean floor loves to keep.

And that, my friends, is why I love sonars of all varieties. They’re not just a piece of my kit, but they’re a ticket to adventure, discovery, and a splash of underwater magic!

  1. Favorite Survey technique and why?

I have a real “hoof” of a time when I’m working on a survey that incorporates all of my skillsets, as the variety keeps my job interesting. However, when I get to fly our drones, I feel like a pilot! 

Actually, I am a pilot, but only of small remotely piloted aircrafts. I wouldn’t trust me in a commercial plane, as I wouldn’t even fit in the cockpit with my antlers! So, I’d say that capturing LiDAR data from one of our multi-rotor drones is my favourite survey