Nowadays we have got used to carrying a reliable collection of devices that simplifies life by automating some of our most common processes from going shopping with our list on a Smartphone, updated (and expanded) from home by our family in real time and staying somewhere in the “cloud”, to regulating the temperature of each room in our home using smart thermostats. In an age of 24/7 we are always available and if we look back, we see that in twenty years everything has changed tremendously.

Those of you who work in the field do not have to look for telephone booths (and seek out coins!) to see what’s happening back at the office. And with some of our new telemetry systems and solutions there is no need to go so often to site to check your monitoring wells.

And what about some of your service requests and technical questions on equipment? Today many of these have been immediately solved by video conference! During the next weeks, you will receive our programme of training seminars and some of these will be available by webinar, so there is no need to move out of your office to receive the training.

Although we are invaded by technology, there are still some things that cannot replace craftsmanship and you are extremely familiar with some of them: as an environmental research professional who has never used an Edelman auger? These augers, a “key tool” in soil sampling, are still produced one by one, handmade by skilled blacksmiths who have many years’ experience of these tools. Each one receives the attention it deserves, to reach the optimum shape that smoothly penetrates into the soil with minimal effort and retains the sample therein for further study and analysis.

With them we can sample almost any type of soil, from the more compact clays to the coarser sands; we only have to select the width of the blade: more open and thin for clays, wider, almost completely closed, for sands. As a proud Dad taking pictures of his kids living all kinds of adventures, I could not restrain myself and photographed the four types of Edelman auger -the whole family.

And with this, we close the loop: using the cell phone in my pocket, I share with you, all over the world, what I have in front of my eyes. A picture is worth a thousand words, and thanks to this technology, it comes to you almost in real time.

Ramon Quiles