COVID-19 has killed millions and devastated economies. However, surveyors are among the best placed to weather the storm, help those in difficulty and plan for the future
It’s no exaggeration to say that the lives of virtually everyone in the world have been changed by COVID-19. Some countries with no or poor connections and few visitors will have been largely unaffected, although they’ll probably have heard about what’s happening. But governments around the world have imposed restrictions on their citizens that will continue for months, even years to come, to combat the novel coronavirus and prevent its spread.
With lockdown at least easing in many countries now, some activities can resume at least. But it’ll be some time before the world’s economy will be able to return to normal and we will all at least have a heightened awareness of the possible problems physical proximity to other people might bring us.
So what can we do to minimise its effects and damage? In our everyday lives, there’ll be many changes, some of which geospatial technologies and services can assist with. On page 18, Alistair Maclenan looks at how we’re all going to be ‘spatially aware’ in future – always maintaining a minimum distance from other people, perhaps with the assistance of mobile apps.
Our professional lives will be different, too. Few people will be so secure in their work that they’re not anxious for their jobs and the future, even once the lockdown has finished. That includes surveyors.
Fortunately, Daniel Paez has some good news. He used the well-known business tool Porter’s Five Forces to analyse the threats to the profession. His conclusion? That surveyors are well placed and may even prosper as a result of the crisis. Provided they take actions to prepare. Find out what you can do on page 26.
Advances in technology are just one of the reasons Paez believes surveying is likely to do well. On page 30, we look at how SLAM technology has been used in Italy to survey a hospital to see if its bed capacity could be expanded. The survey team was able to survey the area with millimetre accuracy in just a few hours, reducing interference in front-line workers’ everyday lives – and reducing the chance of surveyors contracting or spreading infection.
COVID-19’s legacy is here to stay. But already we’re adapting – and surviving.