So, what is the best scan job you’ve ever had? Ask that to twenty guys in this industry, and then ask the following: “Was that your most profitable project?” Undoubtedly, the answer will be “No!” because what most of us enjoy is the experience of the work as opposed to the profit margin. Don’t get me wrong, I check the project profit margins constantly and take great pride when I can show that my margins are better than others within our company, but the numbers alone simply don’t make the job what it can be.
When I ask this question of friends and coworkers, I’m told, “the space shuttle,” “the USS Missouri,” “the Easter Island moai,” “the Le Mans circuit,” or some other odd thing. Occasionally, it’s that “worst job ever” where everything went wrong but they somehow made it out the other side. Either way, it’s the memorable experience that counted. With that in mind, if you could scan anything what would it be for you?
I thought about this while I was at Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the weekend. For those who do not know, the park was created by the US government in 1934 in spite of the fact that the area was within the traditional home of the Cherokee. The area being so close to the eastern seaboard of the US, parts had also been settled by European immigrants for more than 125 years by the time the park was created. Essentially, everyone that lived in what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park was forcibly removed or, if elderly, allowed to stay until their death, at which time the “lifetime lease” they were granted in 1934 ceased to be. As a result, there are abandoned homesteads, churches and graveyards throughout the park. These areas provide an interesting time capsule, but it is still hard to imagine what the day-to-day life was like in these remote villages. That’s when I wondered why I had not captured my own town. The people that helped create the park had the power to purchase over half a million acres and they still could not capture an environment as accurately as any one of us can with a DSLR and a laser scanner!
Seeing the remnants of those lost settlements has me wanting to document my daily world. There is no reason why I can’t capture the area around my office, my home, and most of my local stomping grounds. Maybe I’ll just start a list and conduct training in those areas. Perhaps I’ll just get to work an hour early on nice long summer days and chip away at it! I have a feeling that data like that may me more valuable to me some future day than the most profitable pipeline of my career.