Friday, 31 August 2007

Martian Landing

Visited the RICS yesterday for a Geomatics Exec board meeting. I like these meetings; they are small and relaxed but we canter through a lot of topics. Welcomed a new member, Chris Preston, who works as a surveyor on the railways. He joins Stuart Edwards, a senior lecturer in geomatics at Newcastle upon Tyne University; Ken Hall who runs his own survey company; David Bennett who does likewise, Duncan Moss from the Ordnance Survey and me. So not a bad mix for a room full of land/hydro surveyors - some government, some private practice and academia. Another female or two on the board wouldn't go amiss though.

When I first joined the exec I was the youngest person in the room by 15 years, or so it felt. However the exec membership rotates and I realised yesterday that most of us are a similarish age (OK, OK, I admit I'm getting old) but the days of the geomatics faculty board being run by soon-to-be-retired surveyors has changed.

Anyway, enough of the RICS. Met up with some RN surveyors in the evening for a few drinks. Had some great debates about data formats (particularly in the light of OGC), interoperability of data, research, metadata etc. Food for my soul wink

Today I visited the Department of Geomatic Engineering at UCL. Boy, do those guys make me feel dense. Spent my time talking about vertical reference surfaces, not only in the UK but globally. Fascinating stuff. Over lunch I asked Marek what he was up to next. One thing he's just picking up is development of a navigation system for a Mars lander - working with NASA/JPL. Marek is the only guy I know that would ever drop that into the conversation and you know he's not taking drugs - that is honestly what his day job is. Amazing!

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