Surveyors Tales

With the average age of a surveyor rising, with more retiring than being recruited each year… there is definitely call for change! We began our campaign last month to collect everyone’s stories and create some snippets of information to share with the community. This is so they can see how awesome a career in geospatial really is!

Our aim: to showcase how diverse the industry is, what adventures it can take you on and the opportunities it could bring.

Please visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for more fun content. Plus longer videos are being added to our YouTube channel.


Enjoy some short tales of some surveyors favourite experiences at work!


Alex Carling– Engineering Geologist at Cardno

“Currently I work as an Engineering Geologist | GIS Analyst, but also use drones for 3D photogrammetry (Survey grade and mapping grade models) and also spent 3 months working with our survey team around the greater Sydney area.

One of my favourite memories as a surveyor was working in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.  I did two overnight shifts where we undertook the annual monitoring of the tunnel.  This works is used to check for any movement within the tunnel due to it sitting on the harbour floor.  I got to walk through the tunnel attaching prisms to the walls, and even got to walk in the tunnels joining the north and south tunnels! I also got to sit down within the control room, where there was a wall full of tv screens watching the traffic.  I thought those things only existed within the movies!”


Sam Hough – Principal Survey Delivery Manager

“My favourite experience of surveying will most likely be when I was in the North Yorkshire Moors surveying  the Land of Iron Kilns, with nobody around me apart from hikers and sheep! The history contained within these small sites was nothing short of amazing, and to be a part of capturing the history of these structures before they dilapidated any further was truly an honour. It was also my first job where I didn’t have a GNSS fix and had to traverse from the local town up the hills!”


Ryan Swingley- Geospatial Manager

“In 2014, I was asked to fly to Australia to acquire mobile LiDAR data to as-built the dirt work on a very large site on the western coast. We used a Trimble MX2 to capture the data on a very active construction site. The project was riddled with problems that had to be solved and we were working 16 hours a day to get it all done and get back stateside in time for a family gathering. It was very challenging but we adopted an adapt and overcome attitude that got us through it”.   


Desiree Hurst– Licensed Professional Surveyor in 4 states and Certified Federally. 

“This is a recent memory but it will stick with me.  In the over 15 years in the industry I have been primarily in the office, however, recently I went out to the jobsite with another co-worker to find our last few boundary monuments and look for county line monuments.  What makes this experience unique is that I went with another female surveyor that runs her crew.  It is extremely rare to have one woman on a crew let alone two.  It was the first for me and inspiring. This is at my current employer – Yazel Pebbles & Associates where I work as a Project Manager/Professional Surveyor.  I was with Christi Yazel who is a SIT (Surveying-in-Training – which is your first exam in the US).

Another memory I have is getting to share my profession with my children and speaking to the next generation.  A few years ago, I took my kids to the Capital in Texas where I spoke about Land Surveying during a Legislative Session and showed them around the original General Land Office of Texas.  I also like to show them that surveying is all around us when we are out and about, like new developments and how they relate to surveying in our everyday life.  We even found surveying equipment on display at Disney world”.


Phil Fedor- Project Manager at Bowman Consulting

“A memorable survey just came up in my FB memories from 4 years ago, where we did a sectional retracement of the entire square mile so a home owner could build a road across federal land to access their parcel.  They needed the road to build their dream home.  It was back in the hills & hollows northwest of Lake Pleasant in Arizona.  Lots of hiking and very rugged terrain”.