SA’s role in global effort to survey earth in a day

July 9th, 2019, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: PositionIT, Featured: EE Publishers, Featured: PositionIT

In 2005, a father and son surveying-duo from Florida, USA had the idea to unite the surveying world through an online community,, a community which has grown in numbers over the years and now has almost 15 000 members globally. Sadly, only 24 of those members are South African. Other African countries with land surveyors represented in this international community include Cameroon, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Sudan.

The same surveying-duo started the initiative Survey the Earth in a Day (SEIAD)  in 2012. The first SEIAD attracted only 965 surveyors internationally, but six years later, when SEIAD6 took place in 2017, 3328 land surveyors took part.

The Surveyor–General team from Gauteng drew many onlookers, providing a great opportunity to spread awareness of the profession to the public.

Uniting professional land surveyors across the globe with the aim to gather data and increase public awareness of the surveying profession, SEIAD is an event any surveyor would be proud to be part of. It was with this sentiment that the Surveyor-General: Gauteng decided to participate in SEIAD8 this year, the project’s eighth attempt to map the world in a day.

The project forms part of “International Surveyors Week”, an entire week honouring surveying from 16 to 23 June 2019. As in previous years, SEIAD8 occurred at solstice on 21 June, with thousands of surveyors around the globe measuring points using RTK and submitting it to The SG team from Gauteng had many onlookers intrigued by what they were doing, making it a great opportunity to spread awareness of the profession to the public.

This year, the numbers of logged points exceeded the expectation of the organisers, who had capped the maximum number of points to be logged online on their mobile platform dedicated to the event. The final numbers have not yet been released, but when attempting to log its point mere hours after measuring it the SG: Gauteng team was unable to. Fortunately, the organisers explained alternative ways to submit a point for those unable to log it via the mobile application.

All the points logged will be mapped onto a layer on top of previous years’ points to monitor small changes in the earth’s surface. The more points measured in succession over the years, the more accurate the monitoring will be. Emphasis was drawn to the fact that, using survey grade equipment, only land surveyors are able to obtain such high levels of accuracy, declaring the importance of surveyors in the world today.

This event was an opportunity to remind surveyors and educate others about the importance of the profession and to do so as a global land surveying community. Land surveying is an integral part of the world’s history, civilisation’s progress and its future, and land surveyors owe it to the world to make this known.

Contact Natalie Huddlestone, DRDLR,

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