About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents

Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By

Product Reviews
Partner Sites







Spatial Media LLC properties




Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Editorial: Turning Points Print E-mail
Written by Marc Cheves, PS   
Saturday, 30 June 2012

A 194Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

With this issue we are pleased to introduce some new columnists! Stephen Blaskey, a licensed surveyor and graduate of the Corpus Christi GIS program, looked at his survey practice and detected areas which would benefit from the application of GIS. Topics for upcoming instalments include hardware and software investments (not as much as you might think), how long before the benefits show up (not as long as you might think), and the need for specialized personnel (not necessary at all). I invite those of you who, like Stephen, are continually looking for ways to improve the bottom line by working faster and more accurately, to check out his article.

Also in this issue is a new column by Jim Nadeau, a licensed surveyor, realtor, and certified floodplain manager from Maine. Jim looked beyond his surveying practice and could see the need for an outreach, so he frequently makes presentations before insurance agents, mortgage brokers, lenders and realtors. With the nightmarish economic downturn, Jim's experience illustrates the wisdom and benefit of several skills and revenue sources. The more tools you have to work with, the likelier it is that, when one sector of the economy turns down, you'll have other disciplines to fall back on.

A third article might cause a double-take for some. Titled "The Survey Association," the article is not about U.S. survey associations, but rather a UK-based organization of companies. The primary benefit to the members are high-level client guides that range in subject matter from fundamental surveying to RTK networks. Nearly 30 of these guides have been produced, all freely downloadable. Check them out. You never know, one or two sentences from one of these guides might help you secure work or even explain to a client why you did what you did.

Mike Michelsen provides a poignant look at groups that are still looking for lost heroes from WWII in the South Pacific. The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway was marked in June, widely regarded as the turning point in the war due to the decimation of the Japanese navy. Hats off to these groups who tirelessly work to find our MIA all these decades after the end of the war.

I've had many people ask me over the years how the USGS made its early-day maps. This month's lead cover feature is a pleasant blast from the past, plane tables and alidades. Few today would dispute the fact that total stations and data collectors are a requirement for topo surveys, but there was something nice about the sense of accomplishment gained from the plane table operator bringing back a map when he returned to the office. Much respect is due to those "artists" who could see and understand what they were mapping, and they didn't encounter any hiccups with the TIN software. The present-day software is extremely good, but the early day versions occasionally allowed contours to cross. Added to this is the fact that the USGS made extensive use of this type of gear first for creating maps, and later for checking aerially-derived maps. The late ASPRS historian and former USGS plane table man, Abe Anson, even wrote a couple of e-books about the subject, which are available in our online store.

Wishing you a safe and pleasant summer!

Marc Cheves is the editor of the magazine.

A 194Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article


Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
contact Amerisurv


JAVAD Intros
Spoofer Buster

press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content


News Feeds

Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.


Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 



The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-695-1538 - fax