Oh, goody. I just received a Notification of Works from West Lothian Council informing me that there is to be a Topographic Study in my area. Sounds painful.

Every house in the area has received the same letter. And it’s the talk of the steamie.  What, exactly, is a “Topographic Study”? According to the letter, “The purpose of a topographic study is to gather survey data about the natural and man-made features of the land, as well as its elevations”. Which, coincidentally, is word-for-word-how it’s described in Engineering Magazine.

The magazine definition goes on to explain that from this data they can prepare a three-dimensional map.

More to the point, the letter informs us that work will take four weeks, and that “It is inevitable that the above works will cause some disruption to those living in the area”. Just what we need right now – more disruption in our lives. And all so that somebody can have a map.

Now, I can only assume that this four week long surveying malarkey is going to involve a lot of workmen and specialist equipment – to prepare a map. Doesn’t sound cheap.

Is it just me who wonders if, in these times where cutbacks are being made at every level of public life and affecting everybody from the very young to the very old, careful consideration should be given to where each and every pound is spent? I have to ask myself if a survey is something I would be spending my money on if I was all but bankrupt. I don’t think so.

And is it just me who thinks that collecting data over a four week period so that a map can be produced should be pretty low on the list of priorities?

Maybe I should organise a costly survey to find out.

Drew McAdam


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