Global Surveyors’ Day Date in the current year: March 21, 2024

Global Surveyors’ Day Global Surveyors’ Day is celebrated annually on March 21. It was created to recognize one of the world’s oldest professions and highlight the many contributions by surveyors in all aspects of human life.

Land surveying, also known as simply surveying, is the technique, science, profession, and art of determining the terrestrial two-dimensional or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. It is one of the oldest professions in the world; surveying emerged when people started building the first large structures. The Great Pyramid of Giza proves that surveying has existed since at least circa 2600 BC.

Modern surveying includes elements of geodesy, geometry, physics, regression analysis, trigonometry, metrology, engineering, programming, and the law. It is used in many spheres and aspects of human life, including, but not limited to, construction, mapping, mining, transportation, communications, and land ownership. There are many subspecialties of surveying depending on their area of focus.

The history of Global Surveyors Day can be traced back to 1984, when the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping launched National Surveyors Week to promote the recognition of the surveying profession. A resolution endorsing the week was issued by President Ronald Reagan. National Surveyors Week can be regarded as the first step toward the global recognition of surveyors.

The idea of establishing a Global Surveyors’ Day was first voiced in 2008, but nothing came out of it right away. In 2012, the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) established the Day of the European Surveyor. It was celebrated on March 5 to commemorate the 500th birth anniversary of Gerardus Mercator, a renowned Flemish geographer, cartographer, and cosmographer famous for introducing a new map projection that became the standard map projection for marine navigation.

At the 2013 CLGE General Assembly meeting, representatives of the CLGE and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) signed the Budapest Declaration, requesting that the International Federation of Surveyors consider the establishment of a Global Surveyors’ Day to be celebrated by the professional community around the world.

The inaugural Global Surveyors’ Day was celebrated in Washington, DC on March 21, 2018, during the Land and Poverty Conference held at the World Bank headquarters. It was organized by the CLGE and the NSPS with the endorsement of the FIG. The celebration included a round table discussion followed by a reception.

Global Surveyors’ Day has been celebrated every March 21 since its inauguration. It is marked by various events and activities organized by national and international professional organizations. One of the day’s traditions, which was started by the organizers of the Day of the European Surveyor, is choosing the Surveyor of the Year from the notable surveyors and cartographers of the past. This honor has been bestowed on Geradus Mercator, Galileo Galilei, Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, Euclide, Roger Joseph Boscovich, Guillaume Henri Dufour, Carl Ritter von Ghega, Loránd Eötvös, Piri Reis, and Carl Friedrich Gauss.

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International Observances, Professional Days


Global Surveyors’ Day, international observances, professional days, land surveying, surveying