Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Measuring up - Land surveyor hailed for service to the profession and education

Published:Monday | November 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Noel Brown (left), president, Land Surveyors’ Association of Jamaica, looks on as Glendon Newsome (right), commissioned land surveyor, collects the award from Verene Brown, president of the Land Surveyors Wives Association.

Thirty-five years can go by very quickly. Glendon Newsome certainly made the most of it, having excelled as University of Technology lecturer, senior lecturer, and now programme director for surveying and geographic information sciences. He recently attained his PhD from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus. He is the first commissioned land surveyor in Jamaica to attain this distinction.

His thesis, titled 'Towards the Development of a Digital Land Records Management System', makes a significant contribution to the amelioration of some of the problems associated with land administration. It did this by integrating land records through the development of a methodology for the establishment of an integrated digital land records management system.

The thesis raised awareness of how best practices, such as the ISO 19152: Geographic Information - LADM; and the Open Geospatial Consortium standards for land records systems may be incorporated using generic open-source technology to support the solution to the problem of inefficient land records management in developing countries. This is done by advancing a process of developing a robust new profile for a land records management system, one that achieves A level-two conformance to the LADM, the first for the Caribbean.

This distinction was recognised by Newsome's peers at the recently held annual Land Surveyors Association Dinner and Awards function, where he was awarded for his contribution to the land surveying profession and for his standard of excellence and integrity to the profession, and the field of surveying education.

 

IN LOVE WITH THE JOB

 

"I love my work so much that it feels as if I have never worked a day in my life. The recognition from my peers makes me feel privileged. This journey has been like a labour of love for me and I feel good to be honoured for what I love to do, in my case, contributing to the development of the profession," Newsome said.

Commissioned land surveyor Salina Solomon, a former student of Newsome, in her citation hailed her former lecturer as an individual who maintained the highest standard of integrity as he demanded the same level of excellence from his students.

Newsome's early education was attained between 1965 and 1969 in Bedford, England, at the Goldington Green Lower School, and then when his parents took him home to Jamaica at the age of eight he continued his studies at the Elderslie All-Age School in St Elizabeth.

He went on to attend the St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS), which he credits for his pursuit of a career in land surveying as the subject was being offered in the GCE Associated Examination Board (AEB), in which he obtained a grade B.

He then attained a diploma in land surveying from the College of Arts, Science and Technology, now the University of Technology (Utech), and later in 1984, attained a Bachelor of Science degree in surveying and mapping sciences, with honours, from the North-East London Polytechnic, now University of East London.

To further develop his knowledge base in the field of surveying and geomatics, he read for a Master of Engineering Science in Geomatics Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and was awarded the degree in 2001.

Regarded as an expert in global navigation satellite system surveying, Newsome has been involved in projects including engineering surveys for the improvement of the Norman Manley International Airport runway and Highway 2000, topographic surveys for several hotel sites, and boundary surveys on behalf of government, private sector entities and individuals.

He recalls with pride the review of the National Cadastral Mapping Segment, under the pilot project for the Land Administration and Management Programme, in 2004, the recommendations of which informed the national roll-out of the programme.

He has also reviewed and made recommendations for the establishment of a modern Land Information Management System in St Christopher (St Kitts) for the Caribbean Development Bank. Between October 2008 and August 2009, he took a sabbatical from the university and acted as chief surveyor - cadastral mapping, at the Surveys and Mapping Division of the National Land Agency, a period which he credits for his drive to pursue further studies in cadastral systems, leading to his attainment of the PhD.