Computer Models and the Use of Spreadsheets
There can be little doubt that the surveying profession in general, and perhaps general practice in particular, has been reluctant, to say the least, to introduce the use of computers. Information technology, as the use of computers is now called, has been quite widely used in commerce and industry for many years, but until relatively recently the equipment required was huge and could only be operated by specialist personnel who surrounded their techniques with a range of mysterious jargon, an essential element of any profession! The more recent and rapid development of miniaturisation has enabled equipment to be available not only for desk-top but also lap-top use, and for some time now professional journals regularly report on the increasing amount of software packages produced for various aspects of surveying practice which does not need any specialist knowledge to operate. Nevertheless, much of this specialist software is designed for the widest market and therefore after purchase, at quite a high price, a surveyor might easily find it does not meet his specific needs; it is therefore left unused — confirming the view that it was not needed in the first place. This chapter is intended to explain that it is possible, without highly specialised knowledge, for surveyors to produce software to meet their own needs for operation on a relatively inexpensive personal computer.
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