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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Testimony or Trickery
Restoring a lost or obliterated section or quarter corner to its former location by testimony is less common today than it was in the decades after the public land surveys were first completed. A surveyor can, upon sworn testimony from a reliable witness, reestablish a...
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Explorers, Surveyors and Mappers
For many years, Washington surveyor Denny DeMeyer has included Rudyard Kipling's nudging admonition as a tagline on his e-mail messages. Curious, I asked him where the quote came from. "When very young," he told me, "I remember reading a book about the...
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Everything is Somewhere: World's Oldest Map
Maps are older than writing and are possibly older than language; certainly it is easier to picture an Australopithecine gent scratching an arrow in the dust, pointing to good hunting grounds, than it is to imagine him giving clear verbal directions - the latter is not so common even today. And most....
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An Analysis of GLO Surveys using GPS and GIS
Sheboygan County Wisconsin includes twelve complete survey townships. Four additional survey townships along the county's east border are made fractional by Lake Michigan. Excepting the missing parts of the fractional townships, the county is four townships by four townships...
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Historical Meridian Stones on Nantucket & Elsewhere
The pair of marble obelisks located in downtown Nantucket and known as "Meridian Stones" is probably the most enigmatic historical monument on Nantucket. The inscriptions engraved on them state: "Northern (Southern) Extremity of the Town's Meridian...
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Seth Pease 1764-1819
Seth Pease (1764-1819), a native of Connecticut, who trained not only as a surveyor but also as an astronomer, played a significant role in the division and settling of the lands that became public domain after the end of the American Revolution. He surveyed first in...
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Missouri/Iowa Boundary Line Investigation
The Missouri DNR's Land Survey Program recently selected Midland Surveying Inc. and affiliate Company Midland GIS Solutions of Maryville and St. Joseph, Missouri to perform a boundary line investigation, monumentation search and perpetuation of existing monuments along...
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First Guide Meridian East
As far as significant monuments go, the GLO limestone located at the First Guide Meridian East with the intersection of the Kansas and Nebraska border ranks very high in significance for those two states. Its importance, however, had largely been lost with the passing of...
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Fabric of Surveying: Surveying in the Former Kingdom of Hawaii
What is now the 50th State was once the Kingdom of Hawaii. Archaeological studies reveal that the Hawaiian islands have been inhabited since about 400 A.D., having been populated by migrating Polynesians from the western Pacific Ocean. After centuries of...
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Seth Pease 1764-1819 - Part 1
Seth Pease (1764-1819) was among the most distinguished of the early American surveyors, for he had the additional skills of a professional astronomer as well as a surveyor. Born in 1764 in Suffield, Connecticut, he was the fifth of the eleven children of the shoemaker...
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A Gift from George Washington
George Washington's activities as a plantation owner, military superior and statesman are well documented, however, little is known about George Washington the surveyor. George's father, Augustine Washington, died in 1743 when...
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Mapping and Charting for the Greatest Collaborative Project Ever
On the cold grey morning of the 6th of June 1944 the greatest armada that the world has ever seen slowly plowed its way toward the heavily defended beaches of Normandy. Known universally as D-Day, Operation Overlord, as it was then called, was an event that..."
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 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Thought Leader: The Short Cut Method
I began my quest to become a land surveyor many years ago in Nebraska. I had the good fortune to have had a job wandering around the state retracing mile after mile of GLO surveys. These large scale boundary surveys offered all sorts of learning experiences. One of the object lessons came ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Boundary Fixed by Common Grantor
The case of Atwell v. Olson presented the Supreme Court of the State of Washington with the question of whether an agreed line between grantor and grantee is binding on subsequent owners? Here's another look at a grantee's meaning of the word "half." Unlike the case Wood v. Mandrilla ....
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Barnes and Tucker 
Surveying the Colorado River Aqueduct
During the 1920s, the city of Los Angeles was burgeoning. Demographics were changing and geographic boundaries were being pushed out in all directions. Oil was booming, industrialization was in full swing, and water was in high demand. Southern ....
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John Stenmark, PS 
Indoor Mobile Mapping Takes Off at LAX
Airports are key components of the global transportation infrastructure. They are complex, expensive investments that require tight management. In order to achieve efficient operations and optimized return on investment, it's essential to have ....
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Larry Trojak 
Station to Station
Though most facets of the construction process stand to benefit from building information modeling (BIM), general contractors and construction managers could gain the most from the push toward its implementation. BIM, after all, is designed to help ....
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Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself: Thinking Inside the Box
A square's diagonal is intersected by a line from another vertex to the midpoint of an opposite side. A circle is inscribed in the triangle opposite the midpoint as shown. What is its radius if the side of the square is "s"? ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: A Few Words
"Proceed to the route." These are words I sometimes hear from my car's GPS--as if I would be asking for directions if I knew how to get to the route in the first place. Yes, this is a machine's response that does not take human frustration into account. But even human communication can take ....
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