Introduction to the Comic Book

Want to get involved with the Comic Book? Please email for more information and visit our sponsorship page.

How it started

We always knew we wanted to create a comic book for the industry and so in 2019, we set out to find ourselves the perfect writer for the job. We just so happened across Mat, our brilliant writer, teacher, and friend. Mat Sullivan not only writes children’s novels but also writes curricula for teachers and is in fact a teacher himself in Manchester, England. Elly first presented Mat with the idea for the comic describing this future world, a world without surveyors; “I didn’t just want a story about surveyors and their jobs, I wanted a bit of a shock factor. We tend not to make change happen until we are faced with a disaster of sorts, and so if I could show this future world of despair, perhaps then people would really see how important surveyors and the geospatial industry is, and maybe just maybe start creating change for our future generation”. Mat took this idea and created what you know now as the Geo Squad comic book. If you haven’t read it yet, take a sneak peek at the first chapter here. 

So, where’s it heading?

As some keen readers will know, the first three chapters were published in Point of Beginning and Civil Engineering Surveying Magazines. We also published the first chapter in the Nevada Traverse, CAL Surveyor, and Florida Surveyor Magazine as well as National Geographic Kids UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

We are saving the final two chapters for our comic book release on May 17th, 2021.

Let’s set the scene…

It’s Careers Day at West Park High School. Four friends stand in the sports hall, surrounded on all sides by stalls promoting some of the worst, most tedious, most brain-achingly boring jobs it’s possible for a human being to endure. The more of these stalls that the gang passes, the further their faces fall. Is this really what grown-up life has in store for them? Maddison Williams does not want to manage middle managers for a living; she’d much rather be a glacier-surfing, base-jumping shark wrangler! Setsuko Tanaka is on the lookout for the extra-terrestrial bio-science stand, but all she can find is someone advertising a job in human resources; a man so bored with his own life that he is sleeping at his table, open-mouthed and catching flies. Kwame Orumo wants to be an extreme archaeologist, and Miles Darwood has his sights set on the drone racing leagues, but all the foursome can see are paths to lives behind beige desks, wearing beige pants, drinking beige tea… 

…That is, until they spot something strange in the corner of the hall: a table, unmanned, with no signs and no information, upon which lies four strange-looking headsets and nothing more. Intrigued, the friends approach, lifting up and inspecting these out-of-place objects. The gloomy guy on the Photocopier Technician stand informs the group that people have been trying the headsets all day, and they don’t work. But, just as he starts to talk to them about the most boring job on Earth, the headsets suddenly flash into life. As the gang inspects the visors, turning them over in their hands and peering inside, they begin to wonder why these strange pieces of tech would start working now, just as they picked them up. Wonder soon turns to intrigue; intrigue becomes an irresistible curiosity, and before you know it, all four are wearing mysterious headsets. 

What they see shocks them more than the science skeleton sat at the GymClean Sweat Removal company stand. They see Middletown, their town, thirty years into the future – and it’s an awful sight to behold. Derelict towers collapse onto each other like drunken dominos. Cracked and twisted roads weave dangerously over, around, and even through crumbling buildings. Giant cracks and cavernous craters in the concrete streets threaten to swallow civilians whole, and the churning red sky above is filled with thick,  choking smog.  

This must be a figment of someone’s twisted imagination, right? The gang convinces themselves that the awful images they are seeing can’t be real… until a strange, cloaked figure suddenly appears to tell them that what they are seeing is no one’s imagined atrocity; it is real.  

It is their future…’

Chapter 1 can be accessed online here!

What’s special about our comic book?

The comic revolves around a group of school kids turned super-surveyors called the GeoSquad. We wanted to highlight the importance of surveyors, so what better way than showing what a world would be like WITHOUT them in it!?! This way GeoSquad go on multiple adventures applying themselves to different roles in order to save their city. Surveyors are the heroes of our story with all different types and jobs demonstrated.

Have a read to find out more when it gets published in MaySign up to our newsletter for updates

How can you get involved?

We require sponsors of Activity Pages for the Comic Book. We currently have a few spaces remaining, please see if any of these activities take your fancy. Or design your own game:

  • Find the Difference 

Using sections of the exploration posters, subtly altered, would encourage children to  take a close reading of the posters and to really look at all the action and activity that is going

  • Totally True or Fully False! 

Here, sponsor representatives in cartoon form would present their craziest stories from survey sites. Some would be true, some might be partly true but with a key detail dramatically altered, and some might be completely made up! This would be a good way to drive traffic back to the website, as the true/false reveals and the real stories could be hosted there, perhaps with links to appropriate coverage of the unbelievable finds/events covered in the true stories.

  • Word Search and Cryptic Clue Challenge 

A traditional word search with a twist! The found words would stack up horizontally, one below the other, and one vertical line of characters from each word would spell out a special word – perhaps a password that allows the reader access to a protected page on the website where a special surveyor Easter egg (an electronic special treat!) could be found. There would also be a glossary for the found words that would help young readers to better understand key geospatial terms.

  • Massive Measures 

This page would comprise a multiple choice quiz based on heights, lengths, depths, and other measures taken during extreme survey missions. The focus here would be on the wow factor in each example, showing how surveyors work at extremes, how vast the measurements that they take can be, and how they work all over the world, in all environments and conditions.

  • Mega Machines 

On one side of this page would be a vertical row of images of survey vehicles/robots, and on the other side would be another vertical row of images of extreme/hazardous locations.  They would all be mixed up, and the Last Surveyor would present the reader with the challenge to link the correct robot or vehicle with the setting in which it would be used. For example, a robotic serpent would be linked to an underwater setting; a drone would be used to survey the damage caused by forest fires, etc.

Keep an eye out for GeoSquads Character Profile blogs coming over the next few weeks. Learn more about the main stars of the comic, their likes, dislikes, and a small introductory biography…


More about our Comic:


The Origins of the GeoSquad by Mathew Sullivan

The Continuing Adventures of the GeoSquad by Mathew Sullivan

The Continuing Adventures of the GEOSQUAD


The GeoSquad wastes no time putting their mechs’ super surveying equipment to good use. They straighten and stack skyscrapers, re-route roads and fix floors, sift sewer sludge, and even save stuck kittens from tall trees. ‘MIDDLETOWN GOES MAD FOR MARVELLOUS MECHS!’ the news announces. It’s a great start. However, trouble is brewing back in their own time. A large, imposing figure approaches the classroom door. He tries the handle, but the door won’t budge, so he starts to yank and shove at it, pummelling it with his giant fists. Inside the classroom, Miles, Maddison, Kwame, and Setsuko snatch off their VR visors. They recognize the voice… West Park High’s resident bully. The squad knows they can’t let that lump of stupid find out what they are doing, so they make a break for it – out of the classroom window and onto their bikes and skateboards. They don’t get very far down the road before they realize they’re being followed…

Cut to a hair-raising chase through the local park. The bully is bearing down on the squad until Maddy launches one of Kwame’s calculators into his path. It lands under his front wheel, sending the tyrant crashing to the ground as the squad races away. Miles, Kwame, and Maddison follow Setsuko to the safety of her luxury treehouse. After their close call, they agree that they mustn’t let their important work in the future be interrupted again. The squad reconnects to the Timenet, only to be greeted by a panicking Last Surveyor, and an extremely alarming scene.

A devastating landslide has torn a hill in two, dragging trees and rocks from the farm above onto the road below. The tidal wave of dirt has cracked the concrete and engulfed the remains of a tractor – barely visible amongst the mud. And yet, from inside, the squad spots a hand. A robot hand. A robot hand belonging to a farmer, waving desperately for help. G.E.O. G.I.N.G.E.R warns the squad that it might not be safe to move the tractor; using GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar), she scans beneath the landslide. Their fears are confirmed: the area is highly unstable. The scan also reveals another potential landslide trigger: a herd of inquisitive robocops in the field above.

Kwame and Setsuko shoot off to deal with the bothersome bovines, while Miles and Maddison begin to delicately cut open the roof of the tractor. All is going to plan until G.E.O. G.I.N.G.E.R points out the lone cyber sheep that has wandered onto the edge of the hill. Its metal hooves send rocks tumbling. They build momentum, growing quickly into a giant wave of dirt. It all happens too fast to stop. The wave crashes down and hits with devastating power, suffocating the tractor completely…

Has the farmer’s fate been sealed? Did Miles and Maddison’s mechs make it out? And what terrible truth lies beneath the farm on the hill? Click the link below to find all these answers in GeoSquad Chapter 2!

Mathew Sullivan, FRSA Teacher, Author and Educational Consultant


Get Kids into Survey Resources

The Origins of the Geo Squad

One year ago, work began on a comic that would shine a light on the shrouded yet fascinating world of geo survey, the importance of surveyors, and their work around the world. The comic had some important questions to answer: what is a surveyor? What do they do? And most importantly, what would the world be like without them? This is where we start our story – a story that begins with an above-average gang, in an average school, on a below-average day…

While attending a totally tedious and dismally disheartening school careers exhibition, four friends discover a set of mysterious virtual reality headsets. The group put them on, and in an instant, they are transported thirty years into the virtual future. There, they discover a city – their city – in utter ruin. All four are horrified, but they manage to convince themselves that what they are seeing is just a figment of someone’s disturbed imagination. That is until a mysterious cloaked figure appears before them and tells them that this is no imaginary scene; it is real. It is their future…

Before Kwame, Setsuko, Miles, and Maddison can respond, the hooded figure vanishes – tasking them to contact him again when they are sure no one is listening in. Barricading themselves inside an empty classroom, they leap straight back into the virtual world. Only this time, the four find themselves in a vast, dark cave, littered with technology: strange electronic devices, huge computer banks, and a half-finished, oddly human-looking robot hanging from cables in the corner. But the gang is completely mesmerized by something else… A hologram stands in the center of the cave. It’s the time traveler, welcoming them to ‘the home of the Last Surveyors…”

At this point, it’s safe to say that the gang has some questions… the first one being, what on Earth is a surveyor?

The hologram explains that surveyors were mappers, explorers, and masters of technology, and their job was to keep both people and the environment safe – a job they’d been doing very well for over two-thousand years. That was, until powerful, greedy people began turning cities into chaotic, dangerous wrecks by building whatever they pleased, wherever they wanted, to make as much money as they could – silencing and eliminating any surveyors who got in their way… until there was only one left. That one became the Last Surveyor, and he used the technology of the surveyors to build four special machines, as well as a computer program that could search through the daytime, giving him access to digital time travel. Then, as his final human act, he uploaded his consciousness into a supercomputer so that he could live as a digital being, searching for a special team to help him save his world.

Revealing a collection of super-surveying robots, the Last Surveyor unveils his plan. His technology; their talents. Together they could save the future! The Last Surveyor doesn’t have to wait long for a reply to his challenge. Soon enough, four formidable robots are sent soaring toward Middletown at full speed. As the chaotic urban mess comes into view, a new figure appears. G.E.O G.I.N.G.E.R is the team’s onboard digital assistant, and she gets right to work, using LiDAR tech to scan the area. The results do not look promising. Collapsing buildings, perilous roads, craters in pavements, and houses hanging by a thread from the side of tower blocks… the team has their work cut out for them already. Wherever should they start?

“You could start by saving your school,” G.E.O G.I.N.G.E.R suggests, “That hanging house is about to fall right on top of it…”

Will the GeoSquad make it in time to save the perilously positioned pupils in the school playground? Will the Last Surveyor’s marvelous mechs be up to the task? And will the gang manage to keep their future-saving activities secret from their schoolmates, teachers, and parents!? Click the link below to read the adventure and find out for yourself!

Mathew Sullivan, FRSA Teacher, Author and Educational Consultant

GEO SQUAD Chapter 1- Direct Download

Get Kids into Survey Resources

Top Benefits Of Becoming A Sponsor

Unsure of the benefits of becoming a sponsor? Or are you questioning if it is worth it? Join this lovely bunch of sponsors in 2021 as we introduce new resources and exciting new projects, all requiring your help!


Top benefits of becoming a sponsor

1- Brand exposure in front of thousands of people!

Get Kids into Survey has support from all around the world, from our 3 amazing distributors in the UK, Australia, and the US; To the over 50,000 survey-loving people worldwide who have one of our physical posters! We also have an amazing network of Brand Ambassadors who take our resources and promote them/the industry in front of hundreds of school children. Every time someone sees your character they will notice your logo and be able to recognize that as they grow older. So much exposure and fun to be had with team GKiS!

2- Become part of the GKiS family

Being a part of the GKiS family and networking within our community is a great way to get yourself known. We have so many connections which are continuously growing all over the world too. Our Brand Ambassadors also help, get involved by taking the resources you help to produce, for local schools, events, and local organizations, etc. In turn, this has started to build our educational community, more so this year with the release of more lesson-based plans and activities. Here’s hoping we can get back to the in-person conferences later this year where we can all start interacting

3- Help provide FREE resources that kids will enjoy

One positive about our materials being free to access for kids, is that absolutely anyone can access them no matter what their financial situation. These resources are continually being expanded and recently lesson plans have been added when lockdown hit so that parents had something for their kids to do at home. These resources all link back to the posters that your sponsored character appears on. It is your sponsorship money that makes this happen!

4- Build momentum, start small with BIG consequences

There is a huge lack of career advice and awareness on Surveying, so help educate parents, children, and the general joe blogs at a local level. If we don’t stand up and start to build momentum now, companies are going to be in bigger trouble long term with a lack of surveyors (it is already happening).  Businesses poaching staff members and further disruption all around.  Not a nice situation to be in when you are trying to run a profitable business.

“In 2018, there were 55,000 chartered surveyors in the UK, either employed or self-employed. This number has fallen from 63,000 in 2011” Source/ Credit Macdonald and Company. 

5- Marketing material with a cartoon character 

Our very own cartoonist will create a character of your choice. Have a look at all of our character spotlights here (Latest Blogs – Get Kids Into Survey) for an insight into other companies’ ideas! We love those who really take on their character and write from their perspective. Something that can be incorporated into your own marketing material to capture people’s interest.

GKiS also shows your soft side and builds a unique picture of your business.  Look at Trent Keenan at Diamondback Land Surveying, he is so passionate about getting kids into Survey, he has sponsored the local Nascar – this not only promotes the profession but raises his profile as a Surveyor in his area!

Land Surveying Is A Great Profession, But Why Don’t Young People Know That?” POB Magazine


6- YOU are helping to save the industry and hiring crisis!

Let’s be honest, the surveying industry will slowly die out if younger people aren’t being recruited or interested in joining the industry. By being a sponsor you are directly helping with gaining exposure to what we do, so children understand and recognize this as a career option. The more we capture a child’s interest, the more likely they are to consider this in later life. Keeping surveying on the radar!! The baby boomer generation is retiring and with the average age of a surveyor globally at 55 this is very concerning.  GKiS is a long-term strategy that was started in November 2017! It is an industry that we cannot afford to lose.


Don’t Miss out!  Be part of the movement to Get Kids into Survey!

We are focussing on Homework Projects as our current campaign.  There will be a couple based on each of the collectible posters for Surveyors, parents, and kids to have a go at. These dive deeper into the knowledge behind the things going on in the posters, so much more to learn. Moving forwards we are going to put a lot of emphasis on promoting our current sponsors, so it will have a double whammy; Get kids into Survey and promote your brand as one of the main companies that helped raise the profile and Get Kids into Survey!  

Link to the sponsorship info here

GKIS Brand Ambassador Outreach- Dylan Pugh

A Bit About Outreach by our fabulous Brand Ambassador Dylan Pugh!

“Hi my name is Dylan, I’m an Apprentice Civil Engineering Surveyor with Alun Griffiths. I started as an apprentice at aged 16, currently 19 (Nearly 20), but I have been carrying out surveys and going out to sites since I was 14/15 and younger with my Dad. I’ve been doing careers events, school presentations, and helping with school visits to sites for Griffiths. Telling students my journey so far in the industry which involves promoting drones and flying them, working on a variety of different projects with Sea Defense, Link Roads, Retaining walls, and ducting, and currently on major projects as a Section Engineer looking at major earthworks, cuttings, bridges, roundabouts, underpasses, and ecology on site. As well as learning and using 3D GPS Machine Control on the excavators and dozers allowing us to have better accuracy and reducing the human error and time when doing profiles and batter rails.”

Here’s a link to a video of Dylan doing a talk in Narbeth Primary school for the company Griffiths.


Could you tell us a bit more about how you go about preparing for the school visits and careers fairs? 

I ask what age group I’m doing it for as if it’s primary school kids then I’ll make my presentation more simple and add a bit of humor to it to make it fun for them but to learn as well. For GCSE or Comprehensive school kids, I try to make it more in-depth as this affects where they go to study in college, their careers, what GCSE subjects they pick, etc.

At Careers Fairs I try to show off what you can do in Engineering Surveying to attract people to the stall. Previously I showed a 3d model and video from a drone of a Quarry, explaining how it took only 25 mins to complete it using the robotic Total Station and Dumpy!

Do the kids get involved and ask lots of questions? 

Yes, they do, as I love my work and Engineering Surveying with a passion, so they ask me about my experiences, advice and why I picked this line of work. In my talks I start and end with any questions to see what they want answered and to know.

Do you find doing outreach rewarding?

Yes, I enjoy outreach events as it’s rewarding helping people and I do enjoy talking about what’s in the industry and what is on the goal line. As I want to be the best I can be and go beyond like the likes of Thomas Telford and Isambard Kingdom Brunnel. I aim to make a change to the industry and push it so doing the outreach makes me feel like I’m getting closer to that goal and helping the industry to get better. Promoting people who could change the industry too and make a difference together.

What would you say to other professionals if they are asked to do a presentation- what is your advice to them on carrying out outreach?

The best advice I can give is to speak from the heart and show your passion for the industry as that goes a long way and shows you enjoy your work, and that it’s not a chore. Don’t sugarcoat anything thinking that you can as they are only kids. Tell the truth and share your experiences, I’m only 20 and I knew at age 13 I wanted to go into this industry! Kids in comprehensive schools are smart and they know what’s out there because of their experiences, the internet, the news, and talking to people. You always get good and bad days but that’s life itself, you’ll get more good days in a place you enjoy going to and enjoy working… So finding something that connects to your interests/passion is a priority.

Surveying Through History

Surveying is one of the oldest professions in the world. It has occurred since humans built the first large structures. 

Below are some examples, in history, of surveying:


  • The almost perfect square shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza built c. 2700 BC, is evidence of the Egyptians’ use of surveying.


  • Stonehenge (c.2500 BC), in the South of England, was set out by prehistoric surveyors using “geometry” – from the Ancient Greek meaning “earth” or “measurement”


Eratosthenes was – amongst other things – one of the most important land surveyors of all time! Even though he lived over 2000 years ago – way before the time of scanners, satellites, and sonar – he managed to work out the circumference of the Earth, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and the distance from the Earth to the Sun!

He even made a map of the world with parallels and meridians, showing that he understood that the Earth was a sphere! And he worked all this out by measuring and comparing distances and angles on land. We think that makes Eratosthenes a Geo Survey Legend!


  • The Romans recognized land surveying as a profession. They established the basic measurements under which the Roman Empire was divided.


  • In the medieval period, groups of residents walked around their village to remind themselves of the boundaries. The group included people of all ages, the younger ones were there to make sure the ‘communal memory’ lasted as long as possible.


  • In 1086, in England, William the Conqueror commissioned the Domesday Book. It recorded the names of all the land owners, the area and quality of land they owned, and specific information of the area’s content and inhabitants.


  • Mount Rushmore 1927: These giant sculptures were carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore by Gutzon Borglum to commemorate four great American presidents. Three of them were also surveyors!

George Washington was made a county surveyor at the age of only 17 – just one year after going on his first survey expedition! He completed around 200 surveys and mapped about 60,000 acres of land.

Thomas Jefferson came from a surveying family. He used his knowledge to help him make deals to buy land that quadrupled the size of the growing United States in the 18th Century.

Abraham Lincoln managed to become a surveyor after only six weeks of study. He would later use this knowledge to help him buy and sell land and invest in local areas.

Although the fourth president on Mount Rushmore, Teddy Roosevelt, wasn’t a surveyor, he did do some mapping in the Amazon!


  • North Atlantic Ocean 1985: An underwater archaeologist named Robert Ballard in his submarine (‘Alvin’), exploring the North Atlantic Ocean floor at a depth of over 12,000 feet… in which he discovered something incredible: the wreck of the Titanic! Ballard had previous experience mapping underwater regions using sonar technology, but this find would put him on the map as an intrepid underwater explorer! However, the really cool part of Ballard’s story was that his mission to locate the Titanic was actually a cover-up for a secret military operation to find and explore the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion, two American nuclear subs that sank in the 1960s! This sneaky spy stuff makes Robert Ballard a super cool surveyor!


  • Mount Everest 1999: Bradford Washburn was an expert cartographer or map-maker, and the images he captured of remote and dangerous places are still used by climbers today. He used to hang out the side of a plane while his wife piloted; she would make daring fly-overs of treacherous areas while he snapped pictures from angles that no one else dared to try and reach. In 1999, Washburn updated the official height of the world’s tallest peak – Mount Everest – to 8850m. He used special survey equipment to help make sure this reading was as accurate as possible… and he was 70 years old at the time! That makes Bradford Washburn a certified survey legend.

What Type Of Tools Do Surveyors Use?

Surveyors use a wide variety of tools and equipment in their day-to-day work; it will vary depending on the type of survey being done, here are a few examples:


‘Drones’ are unpiloted aircraft or spacecraft. Surveyors use them because they provide a fast, safe, and cost-efficient way to survey at height.

‘Theodolites’ measure precise horizontal and vertical angles for the purpose of triangulation. They can work out the location and distance of a point through the formation of triangles.

‘Total stations’ modern theodolites, are currently the most commonly used tool for surveyors because of their accuracy. The data that is collected and processed can be downloaded for further processing. They do angles and distance measurements (EDM) but can also have cameras/scanners and even GNSS units built into them now too, as well as being robotic (they can spin themselves around to find you and the pole/prism).

‘Measuring wheels’ are used for quicker and lower accuracy surveys of long distances by rolling it from the start to the endpoint. You may have seen a person using one of these near a road, in your school playground, or on sports pitches.

‘Prism Poles’ are used to measure the elevation of existing ground or grade when used in conjunction with a survey level such as an Automatic Level, Transit Level, or Laser Level.

‘Surveying Prisms’ is a corner cube or retroreflector, usually attached to a surveying pole and utilized as a target for distance measurement. The modern alternative to the measuring wheel.

‘Surveying Tripods’ is a special tripod built to support surveying instruments, such as theodolites, total stations, levels, prisms, or transits

‘Automatic levels’ are optical instruments used in surveying and building to transfer, measure, or set horizontal levels. The level instrument is set up on a tripod.

‘Digital levels’ offer fast and accurate readings utilizing a bar-coded staff. They offer the opportunity to record readings at the touch of a button as well as display the distance to the staff.

‘Chains’ are one of the oldest and simplest methods of making measurements. Distances can be measured using the chain’s length. Angles can either be measured directly or calculated by moving one end of the chain by a known distance.

‘Prismatic compasses’ can measure angles effectively. This is typically combined with a chain to take distance measurements.

‘Clinometer’ (or inclinometer) is an instrument for measuring angles of slope (or tilt), elevation, or depression of an object with respect to gravity.

‘Global Navigation Satellite System’ (GNSS) refers to a constellation of satellites providing signals from space that transmit positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers. The receivers then use this data to determine location. By definition, GNSS provides global coverage. Examples of GNSS include Europe’s Galileo, the USA’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

‘Disto laser measurers’ are ideal for quick, easy, and precise measurements of distances such as length and volumes with the press of a button, even in inaccessible places. These save money and time as well as improve the accuracy of measurement on site.

‘Ground penetrating radar’ (GPR) is a geophysical survey method that uses pulses of electromagnetic radiation to image the subsurface. It provides a non-intrusive and non-destructive method of surveying the sub-surface. Therefore it is a useful survey technique to investigate many types of materials.

‘Laser Scanners’ deliver a high-definition output and can be in 3D. They can be used alongside traditional surveying equipment or as an alternative to total stations. Laser scanning carries lots of advantages as the surveyor can quickly and easily collect a large amount of data over a short period of time. This data is the combination of millions of data points which, when put together, forms a point cloud image of the survey area. Data can be interpreted by computer-aided design (CAD), building information modeling (BIM), or geographic information system (GIS) software.

*information gathered from a mixture of websites and checked over by surveyors.

How Can You Get Into A Geospatial Career?

Becoming a Surveyor in the USA

American Specific University Study– Taking an ABET (or similar) accredited course provides a great base. “We are a nonprofit, non-governmental agency that accredits programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

ABET accreditation provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates. 

We accredit programs, not institutions. We provide specialized accreditation for post-secondary programs within degree-granting institutions already recognized by national or regional institutional accreditation agencies or national education authorities worldwide. 

Our accreditation is voluntary, and to date, 4,307 programs at 846 colleges and universities in 41 countries have received ABET accreditation. Over 100,000 students graduate from ABET-accredited programs each year, and millions of graduates have received degrees from ABET-accredited programs since 1932”.

Find courses here.

NSPS get certified.

Becoming a Surveyor

Unlike other countries, each state in the US has different requirements for becoming a surveyor. Each state has its own licensing board which is often referred to as the Board of Registration. Education requirements and experience requirements vary from state to state as well.

In Indiana (where our Brand Ambassador Ryan is from) for example you must have an associate’s degree with 27 credit hours in specific land surveying courses. You must work under the direct supervision of a Professional Surveyor (PS) for 2 years and then you can take the Surveyor Intern exam. Once that exam is passed there’s an additional 4 years working under a PS before you can sit for the PS exam. Once all of that has been completed you are able to practice on your own.

All states have some sort of combination of education and experience. Some require a Bachelor’s degree and 2 years of experience. A few states have a path to licensure where no education is required but you have to work under a PS for 10 years. For more information about the qualifications required by the respective states for designation as a Professional Surveyor, visit this site.

Becoming a Surveyor Worldwide

Extra Curricular: Gaining work experience is one of the most important things you can do. Not only does this show how keen you are to learn the skills needed for the job, it also tells you if the career is what you expected, which at this point you could alter your career path to suit something that is more suited to you.

If work experience isn’t an option for you, volunteering certainly is. Volunteering not only looks good on your CV, but it helps you get a grounding and gaining life skills. It does not have to be within the industry, any volunteering is valuable.

There are a wide variety of sectors and routes to go down in this industry. Nicely demonstrated in this image:

A great representation by Geospatial Jobs shows which sectors the Geospatial Graduates of today want to go into. There are so many options within each of these sectors too. Lots to explore and grow with as you gain more experience and opportunities. Further specialization can be made with further qualifications for career progression.

Challenges in recruitment in the sector: It is clear from the ongoing needs of the construction industry that there will be a significant shortfall in the number of suitably qualified individuals to take up posts in organizations working on the huge infrastructure projects that the UK will be embarking on over the next 10 to 20 years The shortfall in construction skills is mirrored in the supporting geospatial profession which provides the foundations to most of these projects so play a critical role.

“Both the University of East London and Newcastle University have seen a long-term trend of falling numbers of students applying to study specialist geospatial degree courses. The Design Engineer Construct! curriculum, which features geospatial engineering, has had its parity with GCSEs and A levels removed by the Department for Education, making it less viable for schools to offer”.

Solutions to the Challenges:  The Industrial Strategy: Construction Sector Deal published in July 2018 refers to the investment of an additional £406m in maths, digital and technical education, helping to address the shortage of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills. This will be a big boost to the geospatial industry as we are very much included in this and the digital aspect.

Kids often do not have an understanding of what the geospatial industry is. With a lack of applied activities in school even though they are learning the content. The major problem is that teachers, parents, and children do not know the career options available or the possible high earnings for those professionals that come with it. As mentioned previously the Design Engineer Construct is here to try and teach more about the opportunities within the industry to secondary school ages. In lower years Get Kids into Survey is trying to expose the industry in a fun way, including it in posters which are branching out into Q&As and lesson plans too. Schools are encouraged to have geospatial engineers and survey firms to come in to deliver assemblies and regularly engage with the kids. Lastly, the Adopt a School program from Class of Your Own partner’s construction firms (including geospatial engineering businesses) with schools offers site visit opportunities and hands-on demonstrations of geospatial equipment and software.

In the Geospatial Engineering Education report the Geospatial Commission is provided with a list of proposed changes and targets in order to help the industry progress. Some of these suggestions include: ensuring long-term funding is available for more apprenticeship-based learning, Geospatial academia, and research bodies are asked to work with industry and professional bodies to ensure opportunities are present to everyone, Geospatial academia and industry and professional bodies are asked to improve liaison with STEAM and geography teachers, and that careers information is available from a young age.

Advice for current students:

How do you ensure a job is right for you? “Knowing if a job is right for you is such a circumstantial question, I think. In my opinion, the most important thing is that you be interested in the core of the role. For me, it’s chatting with people/socializing, for surveyors, it may be geography, or math, or being outdoors. Surveying can see you in the middle of the bush, or on top of a 28-story high rise in the city, or hundreds of meters underground; this is great because there’s a branch for almost everyone.  But you have to be excited, and love what you do” -Sarah Clark

Katie Holt explains “There are lots of exciting career choices in surveying – you could be involved in construction and helping to make sure projects are built correctly, in the right place or you could be using drones, laser scanners, and other instruments to produce plans and maps of areas.  There are plenty of opportunities for varied work and travel within your country and overseas.”

Linking back to another blog by James Gibbs, he asked the question ‘What advice would you give to someone starting a geospatial career?’ in which five geospatial experts gave their advice. Some key messages that I took away from this were:

-Curiosity is key… ask those questions, dig deeper, and make connections. The more you show genuine interest and willingness to learn the further you will go.

-Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, which leads to never-ending opportunities where the only limit is your imagination! Especially in recent years the development of tools used in space, collecting data through environmental observations, navigation, and communications.

-Don’t be afraid to question how and why things are done in a certain way. New ideas come from new perspectives, that might just happen to be you!

-Your first job doesn’t need to be your final job. You are free to follow your interests when different and new opportunities present themselves.