Big data, smart cities, intelligent buildings - surveying in a digital world

This insight paper considers the potential disruptive impact of big data and digital technologies on traditional surveying practice. Some of our professionals are directly engaged with the area on a day-to-day basis as data generators. Their industries have always had a strong technical basis and have been closely involved in the sector’s technological developments. Others rely on large databases and big data as users of other people’s content, and so approach this world from a different perspective. Some professionals may seem to be less directly impacted, nevertheless their sectors are steadily being transformed, even as their private practice appears to remain the same.

It is fair to say that no part of surveying practice will remain untouched by the impact of big data and digital technologies. This will be either through proactive adoption of new digitally based approaches to our work; being led by client demand to deliver these services; or being forced
by digitally enabled competition from existing providers and new entrants.