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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Software Review: I-Site Studio 3.0 and 4400 Laser Scanner
It seems that every surveying magazine now overflows with stunning 3D images of everything from people, to cars, to historic landmarks, to infrastructure. Point clouds of intricate structures and shapes naturally captivate the geometrically adept mind. But what about the ...
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Software Review: Topocad 9 from Chaos Systems
Topocad from Chaos System comes to us from Sweden. In this day and age more and more municipalities are requesting some form of surveying and engineering work that can be incorporated into their local GIS, so having a program that...
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Software Review: Prefiniti from Center Line Services
Bob Stevenson, a well-known and respected New Mexico surveyor*, once told me that a surveyor could make good money doing lot and block surveys for title companies. I thought he was probably right, but at the time survey inspection reports, or whatever they are called in your area, were equivalent to ...
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Software Review: Adapx Digital Pen and Capturx for ArcGIS
It all started with Dick Tracy and his radio wrist watch. Now we have a pen that is a data collector. The Adapx digital pen is both Bluetooth-enabled and a USB device. The pen weighs just over an ounce and is about the size of an average ballpoint pen. Communication is either ...
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Software Review MicroSurvey CAD 2008
MicroSurvey CAD 2008 (MSCAD) represents the latest incarnation of their popular desktop drafting software. MSCAD is a fully integrated COGO and design suite developed for the IntelliCAD platform, specifically, IntelliCAD version 6.4. For those of you unfamiliar with...
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Software Review: General CADD
Backward compatibility has always been one of the things that make a good solid product. General CADD started out as an inexpensive CADD program working in DOS. Generic CADD was the name and it made it possible for surveyors who could not afford the very...
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Software Review: Carlson SurvNet Network Least Squares Adjustment Software
Many of today's surveyors began their careers with the chain and transit. As many of you will recall, even though electronic distance measuring technology had been around for a while, wide spread acceptance of EDM instruments did not occur until the late 1970s to early 1980s. The chain is simple, easy to ...
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Software Review: cvlTracker by cvlSoft, Inc.
There are two kinds of surveyors/engineers ­ bosses and employees. If all you ever want to be is an employee, you can probably skip this review. However, if you ever want to open your own office or become the head of the organization you work for, then pay attention. Many states now require a fouryear degree for ...
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Software Review: Ez-Adjust
In Part One I discussed a small part of Ez-Adjust dealing with Four-Parameter Coordinate Transformation and compared it to other programs that offer analysis of the fit of two coordinate systems. Least-squares programs have two sides. The first is adjustment. The second is ...
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Software Review: Pythagoras Pro
Pythagoras is a beautiful CAD software program with maximum flexibility. Figure 1 shows the opening screen. You can work in just about any global or local coordinate system but you can always view the drawing coordinates and the drawing ...
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Software Review: ptbase by CBI Systems, Ltd.
For the past five years I have encouraged every software developer with which I have had contact to provide surveyors and engineers with a simple Geographic Information System (GIS). In this issue we'll take a look at a GIS called ptbase (pronounced "point base"), which comes from ...
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Software Review: Autodesk Civil 3D 2005
Autodesk has come out with a superior design package, Civil 3D 2005. How is it different from Land Desktop 2004? At first glance, not very. Of course they had to move the commands around just to annoy me but I admit that most changes were improvements. So, if you can do everything in ...
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Software Review: Manifold System
This review requires some background. My county has a Geographic Information System (GIS) parcel base. It delineates boundaries. Should it be under the control of a planner, a computer specialist, a geographer or a surveyor? I believe that this is the most important question that needs to be resolved in this ...
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Software Review: SiteComp Survey
It's a simple name for an extraordinary program. SiteComp Survey does all the things that surveyors do; it just does them better. It does not require any other program. First and most important is the fact that Survey is a point-based system. Every line or figure in the drawing is based on points in the ...
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Software Review: XMap, XMap/GIS Analyst, XMap/GIS Editor and GPS PostPro 2.0
XMap is DeLorme's basic mapping package, and it is a remarkable set of programs. XMap/GIS Analyst contains tools for GIS analysis and all of the functionality of XMap. XMap/GIS Editor contains ...
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Software Review: Geographic Calculator, 6.0
The Geographic Calculator, from Blue Marble Geographics, is the kind of utility program that allows the average surveyor to swim around in the geodetic pool without drowning. They might have called it the geodetic surveying calculator. I have been using the Geographic Calculator for many ...
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 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Editorial: Losses
As we were putting this issue together, two separate losses occurred. First was the loss of life as an Amtrak train left the tracks north of Philadelphia. Second was the passing of well-known surveyor Rj Zimmer. All the bodies had not yet been recovered from the train crash before some were trying to ....
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John R. Stock, PS 
Where we stand is where we have always stoodplaces like the Valley of the Nile 1000 years before Christ, digging in the mud for a stone monument that marked the boundary of irrigated lands and were an important part of the annual process that ....
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Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: Letters in the Electronic Age
As we move through an age when "better" means faster, less paper, and more computerized responses, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's electronic Letter of Map Amendment (eLOMA) is gaining increasing publicity. The concept of eLOMA came about during the tenure of the first ....
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Michael J.
Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: About Meander Lines and Boundaries
Hugh Binyon of Florida called my attention to an interesting court case, Bliss v. Kensey, (233 So. 2nd 191). When surveying sectionalized lands, the original government surveyors also meandered oceans, bays, lakes, rivers and sometimes marshes. Very rarely does the present limit of private ....
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Gordon Wilson, LSIT 
Quality of Water, Life From Northeast U.S. to Central Africa
Bbanda is a small rural village of about 1,100 people in southern central Uganda, located 45 minutes from the closest town of Mityana. There is no electricity or reliable source of drinking water. But thanks to the work of some engineering students ....
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Chad and Linda
Location, Location. Unknown, Unknown! or Surveyors Rescuing Buyers
In conjunction with our Discovery Report program, described in the January, 2015 issue of the American Surveyor Magazine, we have periodically placed advertisements in the local newspaper in Green Valley, AZ, primarily appealing to owners and sellers, or their agents. However, we seldom have had ....
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Jerry Penry,
Meades Ranch
In July of 1871, The U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), predecessor of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), began a precise triangulation network near St. Louis, Missouri, which went both east and west to connect the networks already ....
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Chuck Karayan, PS 
U.S. Supreme Court Reduces Confusion and Conflict in Boundary Law
With all due respect to both Michael Pallamary and Gregory Helmer--both of whom are California colleagues known to me to be knowledgeable and credible experts in boundary and geodesy (respectively)--the issue presented in the latest round of The United States vs. California ....
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Harry Kessner, PE,
Tri-Territory Site
Atop Steamboat Mountain in Sweetwater County, Wyoming where the 42nd Parallel crosses the Continental Divide you will find a pyramidal stone monument. The monument documents the Tri-Territory Site with a bronze plaque testifying to the geographic location of the coincidence of three ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: 9—Intersections
We can calculate anything and everything under the sun or the dismal grey Cleveland skies of FirstEnergy Stadium, however, a decision to set aside previously fixed local survey legal subdivision corners must be supported by evidence that goes beyond mere demonstration of technical error ....
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FeedBack—Thoughts From Our Readers
After reading James T. Jones, PS, PE's response in the January 2015 issue I was reminded that I had intended to write my own response to "Subdivided We Stand" from the September 2014. The situation in the article is a lot like what has happened in Western New York. Most people including most ....
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Patrick Naville, PS 
ProFile: Paying it Forward—An Interview with Dennis Mouland
I've known Dennis Mouland for almost 40 years. There's a little more gray in our hair than when we first met (well, maybe a lot more). Dennis has a quick wit and a great sense of humor. Engage him in conversation for more than a few minutes and he will have you cracking up at some comment or a ....
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