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: AEC Summit Print E-mail
Written by Marc Cheves, PS   
Saturday, 02 August 2014

A 160Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

I recently attended this event, held in conjunction with the annual Esri user conference in San Diego. Renamed from the Survey Summit in an attempt to attract more geo disciplines, the effect was just the opposite: as the Survey Summit, the event routinely drew 300-400 people, but this year only 150 showed up. We're not sure if it was the economy or a lack of promotion, but even so, the event was worthwhile and informative. Held concurrently at a different hotel was the 3D Summit, and it was almost as if NSPS was at the AEC event and ASPRS was at the 3D event. I suggested combining these two events in the future.

If we look back in time, in my opinion, part of the reason for the decline of both ACSM and ASPRS was that the organizations stopped holding joint annual meetings. Also in my opinion, because of the high cost of travel, the day of the national meeting for surveyors has passed. Surveyors now attend their state meetings. But as I have written, education is available at a national show that is not available at a state show. An example of this was Michael Dennis' informative and entertaining update about what's new at NGS. He assured the audience that they do not need a secret decoder ring to work with datums and coordinate systems, but that they do need special glasses.

As in Summits past, the hot topic continued to be unmanned aerial platforms. Joe Paiva from GeoLearn gave an interesting update about UAS regulations. I will admit that I have viewed these devices as nothing more than a replacement for traditional photogrammetry, but Shawn Billings has told me that he sees them as being very useful in ALTA surveys, so as it is with any kind of new technology, it'll be up to the users to develop new applications. The keynote speaker, Billy Gilliland from General Atomics—the makers of the well-known Predator series of remotely piloted aircraft—shed light on why the FAA is dragging its heels: Because America is such a land of commerce, the FAA has a very real fear that there will be tens of thousands of these devices in the air, and without a system to control them, havoc will ensue. Gilliland said the FAA will look most favorably on existing pilots because they understand airspace, are trained and tested, and have proven their "airworthiness." We are a long ways from pizza and beer delivery a la the movie Minority Report, and it seems to me that the systems that do not require—nor will they allow—joystick control will be the first to be approved. A flight plan will have to be filed, and the operators will have to prove that they are capable through training and testing. To avoid chaos, we can ease into it, with licensing and continuing proof of capability. The sentiment of the group seemed to be that the FAA will miss its planned 2015 rollout of regulations, but it seems to me that a rollout as I have described it is feasible.

In Passing
It is with sorrow that I announce the passing of John Keating, the man who gave me my start in surveying more than 50 years ago. Mr. Keating founded Topographic Engineering in Oklahoma, and lived to see the expansion of his company into the surrounding states. John touched the lives of many people during his long career, and went to meet his Lord on July 27 at the age of 92. In 2012 I wrote about John and how he had touched my life through his honesty, dependability and morality (Vol 9., Num. 5). The company he founded is in good hands, but he will be missed.

Marc Cheves is editor of the magazine.

A 160Kb 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