Monumental failure at work as a colleague accidentally modified a critical file on the server (unintentionally). Through a process of logical deductions I figured out how the changes could have been made, and then working off when the file was modified, I determined that our colleague must have been working with the georeferencing tool, and shifted the aerial imagery in the process.
A ton of layers depend on the aerial imagery. It's not standard practice to have critical layers on the server editable like this, but it's set up this way because of a dependency from IntraMaps. Diligence needs to be at the highest whenever we work with critical systems and data sets.
I automatically excluded myself from the monumental failure by going to lunch on time! :D
The fix is not too difficult. This is why regular backup protocols are in place. I have now also identified a significant risk to some data on the server. We might be implementing steps to prevent such a thing happening again.
But it was only coincidence that I happen to detect the error as I reviewed my work for the day. Imagine not realising for months, and then doing a ton of work based on an incorrectly positioned aerial image (or base map). That would be a huge failure for people who call themselves spatial science professionals! We could even get fired from our jobs!