Going all the way back to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza in 2,700 B.C. — and probably mcuh further back than that — humankind has used tools to measure and map, to calculate and catalog, various landforms and other topographic features. Spurred by curiosity about their environment, as well as by a desire to maximize favorable conditions for various construction and resource extraction projects, humans have developed an entire science of surveying.
In 1804, following the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France and acting on instructions from President Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Army officers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, famously assisted by the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, led a survey team from St. Louis to the Pacific coast of present-day Oregon following the Missouri and Columbia Rivers. By 1810, the historic undertaking had resulted in a map covering much of the western United States.
The impact and influence of the famous expedition is alive and well in 2018. The U.S. Geologic Survey, established in 1879, considers itself the direct heir of Lewis and Clark (and Sacagawea) and continues the work of gathering and recording information about U.S. land and natural resources today. Indeed, while many people commonly think of opinion polling when they hear the word "survey," even that kind of survey is rooted in the concept of scientific measurements and data.
Most (if not all) of the data gathered from polling relies on human reporting, so polls don't always directly reflect reality (though they do reflect the reality of what participants say to pollsters). The word "survey" is widely used to describe a poll that is complex and detailed in nature, compiling data about a variety of topics. One long-running survey is the Salary Survey, conducted annually by Certification Magazine, that gathers information connected to IT certifications.
The 2019 Salary Survey is currently under way, and Certification Magazine is seeking participation from any and all volunteers who have at least one IT certification. That includes TestOut Pro certifications, so if you have one of those, please take the survey and help represent the influence and impact of Pro certs. You could even win one of 10 Amazon gift cards, each valued at $50! Which is probably more than Sacagawea ever got for helping Lewis and Clark.
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