Surveying's Not Dead!

To the public, all architectural or engineering projects are done typically in the same manner. The ground it broken, utilities are installed, construction begins, and after some time (sometimes a long time) the project is complete. Having a final product to look at makes it easy for individuals to recognize the work someone has done and appreciate it. When the name BG Consultants appears in conversation, the first things that come to mind are architecture and engineering through visualization of the design progress or the complete product. Most people are forgetting one of the most essential divisions of BG – surveying! With all of the instruments and knowledge required for examining an area to create a topographic map, plan a development, or prepare a legal description, surveying should be considered a fine art.

Believe it or not, there was a point in time where BG’s master of this fine art did not even know what the word “surveying” meant. After growing up on a farm and giving college a try for a couple years, Fred Gibbs, RLS, signed up for the National Guard on November 22, 1963 and was proud to serve President John F. Kennedy for a total of fifteen minutes before he was assassinated. After the loss of Kennedy, Fred served the United States in the National Guard for several years until he decided he was ready for something new. He then accepted a job surveying, even though he had no idea what the job entailed. Fred enjoyed math in high school and even considered becoming a math teacher once; so after the first day of extensive equations to find slopes and elevations, he had fallen in love with his new job. Succeeding thirteen years of surveying, Fred’s only grievance was that he wished to be his own boss.

Thus, a baby was born, and on March 1, 1976, BG Consultants, Inc. was founded by one engineer, Stephen Berland (the B in BG), and one surveyor, Fred Gibbs (the G in BG). Accompanied by four other employees, they moved into a 1,000 square foot office and began work in Manhattan, Kansas. BG’s very first job was a Lot Survey done for the firm’s original accountant by Mr. Gibbs himself. Thirty-eight years later, Fred’s title of Head Surveyor remains strong. To this day he is still involved with every single surveying project in everything from making administrative decisions on-site, to speaking with clients about the details of their surveying or planning needs.

Just one year after opening, BG had provided professional services for an impressive one hundred sixty-six clients. Considering they had none when they started and had to make connections through word of mouth and face-to-face encounters, Fred and Steve were very pleased with the company’s progress in just one short year. Today BG has provided services for thousands of projects, almost all of which involve surveys. Just like any other skill, surveying has changed dramatically over time. What used to be an extremely labor-intensive task that required machetes to get through overgrown terrain and a sharp brain to perfect calculations internally has turned into a more simplified job due to modern amenities such as roads, satellites, and computer software like Carlson and AutoCAD. While the work may now be easier, surveying experts like Fred say it has lost its shine as most of the work is done by computers now. When asked if he enjoyed surveying techniques today versus the techniques of thirty years ago, BG’s Head Surveyor replied,

“Horse and buggy, baby!”

Contrary to ancient belief, the world is not flat and every square foot of land is different than the rest. Just as every piece of land is different, every project is different. With the perfect balance of Fred’s traditional philosophy and the industry’s leading technology, BG Consultants' surveying team is certain to set every project up for maximum success. Taking the time and putting in the effort to make precise surveys plays a huge role in ensuring the most accurate design, resulting in the most streamlined construction projects.

If you are looking for a knowledgeable and professional team to analyze the area of your next project, contact the BG Surveying Department to perform all of your survey needs:
• Property Boundary/Rights
• Development
• Transportation Engineering
• Utility
• Elevation
• Construction
• Environmental Engineering
• Consultation

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