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The journey from a Survey Party Chief to a land surveying enthusiast: interview with Emlid user

Reach RS2 in asset mapping

In a series of interviews, we talked to our users to dive deeper into their projects, tasks, and personal experience with Emlid products. Meet our guest—Alex O. Sellman, who continued to work as a land surveyor even after retirement.  

—Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Alex O. Sellman and I reside in Lynden, Washington, USA. I worked for the State of Washington for 41 years, just over 29 of them with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). I worked for WSDOT as a Survey Party Chief from 1999 until I retired in 2020; I obtained my professional license in 2018. I was offered several career opportunities within WSDOT, but surveying, especially land surveying, appealed the most to me.  

—What are the most exciting aspects of your profession?

—As one surveyor I know told me years ago, land surveying is a combination of an Easter egg hunt and a jigsaw puzzle. Solving complex WSDOT right-of-way boundaries was indeed my favorite aspect of the job. Although my job certainly had its headaches at times, it was immensely rewarding when the best solution was found after finding and analyzing as much evidence as could be recovered.

What drove you to choose your career path?

After I retired from WSDOT I decided to take up surveying as a hobby since I enjoyed it so much (strange but true!).

—That’s great! Could you say a few words about your last project and your favorite part of it?

I have a single, ongoing volunteer project of mapping assets for a local not-for-profit organization. A couple of years ago an additional parcel of about 27 acres was acquired and is where the attached photo was taken. My favorite parts of this job is the fact that the scenery is beautiful, and also that there is no hurry to complete it.

—How long have you been with Emlid?

I purchased my first Emlid Reach RS2 GNSS receiver in October 2021. I intended to do post-processed kinematic (PPK) surveying using it as a rover, as I already had a static-only GNSS receiver. However, my plans changed, and so I bought a second RS2 in May 2022 for use as a base unit for doing real-time kinematic (RTK) surveying.

I am truly amazed that I am able to afford two receivers for substantially less than just one unit from another brand. Yet, the results I have been obtaining with the pair of RS2s are in fact comparable to them. Also, Emlid does an outstanding job at continuously improving the ReachView 3 app and the Reach firmware; there are not too many companies that I’ve seen that show such a level of care for their user base!

Reach RS2+ for centimeter accuracy

Reach RS2+ provides you with high accuracy even when there are obstacles around. As a multi-band receiver, Reach RS2+ is an ultimate solution for placing GCPs, working as a base for drone mapping, or RTK surveying with another unit. The receiver comes with a handy app ReachView 3 available for iOS and Android. Order your Reach RS2+ in the official Emlid Store.