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


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
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

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Angle Points: Smoots and Anchors Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Pallamary, PS   
Saturday, 02 January 2016

A 207Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

I enjoy the use of the English language, especially with regards to writing and communication. As Land Surveyors, we employ a broad range of terms, some common and some not so much. Indeed, one of my greatest pleasures is reworking words and phrases into a tangible way of communicating. This sentiment brings me to a recent conversation I had with a good friend, one of the brightest Land Surveyors I know, Mr. Lee McComb. Besides being friends, Lee and I enjoy a special relationship owing to our mutual friendship with the late Curtis M. Brown.

Lee had just returned from Boston. It is where I began my surveying career in the early 70's. Lee had been walking around the city along one of my favorite routes, from Harvard Square, south, past MIT, down Massachusetts Avenue, over the 364.4 smoots long Harvard Bridge, a magnificent structure that spans the Charles River. Lee made mention of the smoots and I estimated him to be 1.15 smoots long. We both enjoyed that.

The "smoot" was created in October 1958 after Oliver R. Smoot, a 5-foot, 7-inch tall MIT pledge decided to measure the length of the bridge with his body. After repeatedly laying himself down, over and over, to see how long the bridge was, he grew exhausted whereupon his fraternity brothers carried him the balance of the way. In 2011, the unique unit of measurement, the product of a quintessential MIT student prank, was entered as one of the 10,000 new words to the fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary.

Smoot graduated from MIT with the class of 1962, became a lawyer, and later became chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI, 2001­02) and then, president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO, 2003­04), a fitting recognition for his unique brand of humor.

This story of the smoot brings me to a recent conversation I had with my grandson, Bostyn. A few weeks before Halloween, my wife and I took him and our grandnephews hunting for pumpkins, an annual family tradition. Needless to say, my grandson always wants to find the biggest possible pumpkin to eventually be carved up into a jack-o-lantern.

I should mention that Bostyn loves to ride motorcycles and when he's not riding on something with wheels, he likes watching videos of motorcyclists. As we drove along the tree lined road leading to the pumpkin farm, Bostyn started mumbling something about "anchors"--"nice anchors." I kept looking out the window, trying to figure out what he was talking about, while he went on about all the "nice anchors." I finally gave in and asked him, "Hey buddy, what are you talking about? What's out there? What are you looking at?"

"Anchors," he replied. "Look at all those nice anchors."

"Anchors?" I asked him, "What anchors? What are you talking about?" He pointed across the road again. "Where are they?"

"Over there," he said, pointing. "All over. Look at those great anchors!"

I shook my head, confused, looking for power lines and power poles, thinking he must be referring to guy wires or something. There certainly weren't any boats out there. After we passed another rolling field, I watched him wave his finger up and down, tracing the hills.

It suddenly dawned on me! "Acres?" Is that what you mean?"

"Yeah Poppy," he replied, glad I was on the same page with him. "That's it. Acres!"

I nodded my head. I got it, in spite of the fact that I'd come to like the anchor as a unit of measurement.

There are many ways to measure a piece of land. It is always important to use the correct units. Anchors the way!

Michael Pallamary, PS, is the author of several books and numerous articles. He is a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars and he teaches real property to attorneys and other members of the legal profession. He has been in the surveying profession since 1971.

A 207Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Editorial 
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
 

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

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


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

JAVAD Intros
Spoofer Buster

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

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

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

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 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax