When we think of the job of a professional land surveyor, we think of a person who is tasked with collecting data on a physical, spatial level. After all, isn’t the point of surveying land to add to the scientific and geographic knowledge of the area a deeper understanding of the spatial data of that location? While this may be true, part of the job of a surveyor is also to understand what is known as the attribute data, or details of the locations being surveyed. In this case, geographic information systems or GIS software makes all the difference.
Importance of Attribute Data
The attribute data associated with various areas is an important factor in truly understanding those places. The library of the University of Wisconsin – Madison uses schools as a prime example. While spatial data may tell us where a school is located, how large the school is and how much property surrounds the buildings, the attribute data gives us key information that would likely be relevant to our understanding of the school. What is the schools’ name, how many students attend classes there, and what level and type of education are provided are attribute data facts, and without them, the school would appear to be nothing more in the eyes of onlookers than a large and pointless building.
The Role of GIS Software
The reason GIS software is so important to the collection and analyzation of data gathered by land surveyors is because, without it, the information these professionals would have to work with would be incomplete. It’s hard to make a proper map without the details of the area you’re surveying. Likewise, surveyors cannot create the models and projections that help to build structures, create property boundaries and more without first knowing the finer details of the lay of the land.
GIS software is an indispensable part of the land surveying profession. Anywhere surveying equipment is sold, you can typically find devices and programs enabled with GIS. Collecting both spatial and attribute data, GIS has enabled surveyors to take their mapping and modeling capabilities to fantastically-detailed levels and will continue to positively influence the way we understand our world far into the future. Visit to learn more.