The surveying profession is currently facing the biggest challenge in its modern history. Rapid technological change, micro-economic reform, de-regulation of the professions, and the Internet are placing pressures on traditional professional operations and structures never previously experienced.
Yet issues of environmental degradation, sustainable development, the management of our cities and economic rationalism are presenting opportunities and challenges to our profession never thought possible. Issues central to our profession such as cadastral reform and spatial data infrastructures are grabbing the attention of policy makers as they realise their importance in economic development, environmental management and social stability.
Can the surveying profession survive these changes and what does the future hold? This paper endeavours to seek answers to these questions by looking at the past, endeavouring to understand the present and trying to look into the future. The paper focuses on the Australian surveying profession while recognising that many of the issues discussed are relevant to other countries.