Have you ever taken a kid’s drawing and said, “I can make something with this?” Then you use that drawing as the blueprint and make that vision a reality? That’s basically the job of a survey technician. You know what the surveyors in the field are doing, but there’s a lot more to a survey team than just those working in the field.
Nicole Hoo, a Survey Technician for Percheron, walks you through her typical day and how she utilizes her creative background to enhance the final product.
It’s more than just a map
My day begins with an idea. Followed by questions and theories. No answers, just a sea of what-ifs, and the persistent waves of creativity washing up on the shores of my mind.
As a Survey Technician, my role at the start of a project is being given the ideas and imagination of others. A serving of hope and a vision for the potential of the project. And I take what is given to make and make it a reality. Why simply dream when you can do, and keep doing and keep building upon the dream? I’m given the notes of what our clients are looking for and I make it real.
Research is Key
I begin with research. A survey technicians’ job is like playing detective, going through stacks of historical plots, and creating a clear picture of property lines and markers based on that information. The idea of reading through history can be a bit bland for some, but I find adventure in following old footsteps, in seeing a world that existed before me. I find a unique fascination in seeing how the land has been managed and has ‘evolved through the years. I have read how our culture has changed, our language, our manner of measuring even, how loved ones left thoughtful gifts, or how our society dealt with current events. I get a glimpse into the plans of success, and plans that failed, and seek out counsel from my fellow teammates on how to go about collectively making this route ideal in all angles and perspectives.
Then I begin with a drawing of the route to make sure we are on the proper heading and direction. From my deep dive, I highlight monuments and key notes of interest to be taken into further consideration.
From there I begin to collect data as I come across it and as it is given to me. Data is taken and stored to help us build properties and depths that are not only conscious of the client, but those surrounding the potential route, and the environment. With efforts of my own, my team both in the office and the field, we collectively work together to build a cognitive and accurate map to a safe and legally comforting route, and towards that dream.
Woven between data, are moments when we will reach out to our clients with our own idea and try to seek out their advice from our own discoveries. We come together with compromise and a clearer heading, with solutions to questions and concerns. Communications are consistent and open, we are the pen, and the client the hand.
Finally, when we can produce our own maps and data, we then take our maps and turn them into blueprints for those in the field. Not only upon the earth’s surface, but below it too. And it doesn’t end there, we don’t just clean our desks and set things aside to be stored. We keep our books open and our pens ready in case newer information or discoveries are made. Ready at the change of whims and woes and always persistent that we want to keep going and trying to find routes through or around obstacles that may come our way.
"It’s not just a map, it’s a plan and proof that it can be done. We lead and show that this can be done and doesn’t have to just be an idea."
Written By: Nicole Hoo, Survey Technician | Percheron
Nicole Hoo is a video game designer, turned survey tech. She says there's a fair amount of crossover between the fields, and a lot of the software she uses for mapping uses the same keystrokes and shortcuts that some video game design software use. One of the reasons she enjoys her job so much is because she can bring a level of creativity to the table that many companies in this sector would deem unnecessary. Nicole is proud of the company she works for and wants other young, creative people to consider Percheron for their careers. She said it was not what she expected, and she had the support and guidance to learn what she needed to excel in her job. She feels encouraged to utilize what she already knows and empowered to learn more.