History of the Surveying Profession

Explore interesting sites related to the history of surveying

For a comprehensive history of surveying and measurement with a global context visit the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) history webpage maintained by the International Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement.

Landsurveyors.com has a web page with a great snapshot of the history of surveying dating back to the Egyptians. Learn more.

Did you know there was a National Museum of Surveying in the USA?

And a Surveyors Historical Society dedicated to the preservation of surveying history?

The Quebec government (Resources naturelles et Faunes) hosts a great webpage entitled L’arpentage d’hier à aujourd’hui (Surveying yesterday and today) dating back to 1626 and Samuel de Champlain, who is considered the first Canadian surveyor.

Yahoo hosts a Surveying History discussion group, which is a good place to look for answers to specific questions on various survey history topics, especially on historical survey equipment.

For regional Canadian snapshots, visit the Surveyors Association website history sections listed below. Several associations have their association’s own story, historic equipment, collections of photographs, survey-related history books, and more.

  • In Alberta, the ALSA
  • In Manitoba, the AMLS
  • In New Brunswick, the ANBLS
  • In Newfoundland, the ANLS

For a quirky look at surveyors in advertising over the years, here is a website with images of ads for everything from clothing, to cars and trucks, to toothpaste and breakfast cereal using the trusted, professional, and sometimes rugged image of the surveyor to present products to the public.