Our archives contain the most complete record of local survey and site plans in the region.

Surveying: At the core of our business for 85 years

 center: Walter Spotts

center: Walter Spotts

In 1932, engineering and surveying was a manual process. It started with paper and pencil, capturing data and measurements in the field and then drawing out plans and designs by hand.

Wally Spotts and his team of surveyors conducted field surveys with such tools as a compass, transit, theodolite, steel tape, level and rod. When they returned to the office, the hand-drafting began. Over the past 85 years, there have been a lot of changes in the industry. It’s no longer a manual process.

The introduction of computer-aided drafting (CAD) in the 1980’s significantly changed the way that surveyors and engineers interacted with data. The introduction of GPS allowed our surveyors to use satellites for improved accuracy across miles of terrain; and  Robotic Total Stations measure distance and angles via a remote control, allowing us reduce the size of survey crews, and subsequently capture more data points per day.

In the 2000’s the development of laser scanning technology provided quick data capture opportunities for areas that were difficult to reach. SSM purchased their first high-definition scanner in 2007. Coined Lucille by the staff, the high-definition laser scanning technology provided a non-intrusive method to obtain three-dimensional geometry measurements and models of existing structures and sites for both large and small-scale projects. Our recent addition of P40 Leica scanner captures 1,000,000 data points in a second.

We use Drone Flight Services and High-Definition Laser Scanners to obtain 3-D models and measurements of existing structures and sites. This non-intrusive, cost-effective technology saves time while raising the bar for high-definition precision in large- and small-scale projects such as campus master planning, historic building preservation and industrial development or impact sensitive agricultural and preserved lands.

Our surveying and mapping services have always integrated innovative technology. Data points from conventional Total Stations, data collection systems, robotics, high-definition scanning, drone services, and other state-of-the-art equipment are transferred electronically to our CAD system for engineering design. With equipment becoming more sophisticated, the entire process from start to finish has gotten faster and more data intense. More data points can be captured with more accuracy than ever before.

Yes, slide rules, T-squares, triangles, and compasses have been replaced with 3D software, scanners, and drones but nothing will replace our Knowledge, Experience and First class survey staff.

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