Survey Story of the Day

While surveying on the coast of Washington state, I was cutting line with a brush axe and carrying equipment in a large pack slung over my back. I emerged from the woods onto the beach just as a Trident submarine was traveling back to base, along with its security escort. These submarines are heavily guarded by multiple other watercraft and sometimes aircraft. My presence along with my equipment and attire was enough to warrant a closer look by one of the escort patrol boats. The boat turned on a dime and came to inspect us, with the bow-gunner training his belt-fed machine gun on us until they discerned that we didn’t pose a threat.” —Travis Winnicki, Survey Crew Chief

Baseline—Providing Land Surveying Services Since 2001

When John McLain established Baseline Engineering Corporation in 1998, civil design comprised the majority of the business. However, soon after, Baseline added land surveying services in 2001 and 18 years later, it remains a key service we provide as a comprehensive engineering, surveying, and planning firm.

“All sound civil engineering and land planning starts with a good survey and base map. Accurate boundary information and base topography is critical to a project. We strive for a zero-defect product and having that service under one roof helps us achieve that goal. It is also value-added service to our clients. Adding land surveying was the first step in Baseline becoming a one-stop shop for all of our client’s needs,” shares John McLain, Baseline Engineering Corporation CEO & Founder. “Today, we are proud of the growth and diversity of our survey department that allows us to meet today’s demands—from boundary and base mapping all the way through construction staking and as-builts.”

Since John started the company, Baseline Engineering Corporation has grown from its initial three-person office to a five-man team—with one added PLS equipped with a robotic total station to do all the surveying as a one-man crew—to our current 48 professionals. Spread across four Colorado offices, our survey team of 11 skilled individuals provides a range of services including ALTAs, topographic, boundary, and right-of-way surveys, construction staking, FEMA flood elevation certificates, and more.

What Makes Land Surveying Important?

Surveyors provide the foundation for sound engineering. The precise information they collect regarding the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface is the starting point for planning projects and developing solutions.

“Everything. More particularly, land surveyors are considered expert measures with knowledge of legal principles,” explains Aaron Demo, Baseline’s Survey Division Manager. “We are expected to be able to accurately retrace boundary lines, collect data for design purposed, and layout proposed improvements.”

National Surveyors Week, celebrated annually during the third week of March, raises awareness of the profession through education, media, and public service. Hosted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, this year’s event takes place March 17-23, 2019.

In honor of National Surveyors Week, and the important role surveyors have played in our firm’s success, we recently sat down with members of our survey staff to learn more about the profession.

The main goal of National Surveyors Week is to raise awareness of the profession through education, media, and public service. With that in mind, Baseline’s surveying team were asked to reflect upon their experiences as surveyors, and answer questions in our “Survey the Surveyors.” Check out what our surveyors had to say each day this week for their survey responses.

  1. What is something unique, interesting, or important you would share with someone interested in becoming a surveyor?

A unique or interesting aspect of surveying is the research required to retrace the steps of original surveys that took place hundreds of years ago and the finding that they left. I have seen deeds and documents signed by US presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Johnson, as well as documents signed by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.” —Doug Lancaster, LSIT, Survey Project Manager

Every day is different, different job site or project, different tasks, every site is unique to itself.” —Aaron Demo, PLS, Survey Division Manager

Surveying is relatively unique in the sense that your “office” often changes daily. One day you can be in an urban environment, and the next you could be in the woods.” —Travis Winnicki, Survey Crew Chief

Something unique – Surveyors always measure up! As a surveyor, I get to work with so many different trades, sites, and projects. This means your work will have a great deal of variety.” Jeff Van Horn, PLS, Survey Crew Chief

You can have a lot of experience or knowledge, but a lot of the time common sense and simplicity are the correct answer to problems.” —Danny Miller, CAD Technician II

There will always be something to learn and some new career path to explore.” —Jayme Hobin, CAD Technician II