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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 
Editorial: GLONASS Has a Hiccup
On the evening of April Fool's Day, as I was writing this editorial, I received an urgent phone call from the folks at JAVAD GNSS. They had been receiving reports that the GLONASS satellite constellation was off the air. Sure enough, when I went to the Russian Federal Space Agency's 24 ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS
Angle Points: Land Surveyor Liability
A recent article by Geneau Thames, a brilliant attorney with the law firm of Niles, Barton & Wilmer, LLP out of Baltimore, Maryland, raises some troubling issues with regards to an increase in activity for real estate professionals. Ms. Thames notes that with the increase in real estate activity ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Letting Go
It's an inevitable cycle of the business world: people are hired; people leave (voluntarily or involuntarily). Only the terms of engagement and disengagement vary from one firm to another. Recently more companies are requiring new employees to sign what amounts to an oath of ....
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Rachel Schowe
New Record For Southeast Asia's Highest Peak?
Since 1925, the people of Myanmar have been taught from an early age that the highest peak in all of Southeast Asia was the great Mount Hkakabo Razi. Often swathed in stormy clouds obscuring it from view, Hkakabo Razi lies in the Himalayan ....
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Marc Cheves, PS 
Smithsonian X 3D
In 1985 I attended the ACSM/ASPRS annual conference held in Washington, DC. After returning home to Oklahoma I remarked to my wife that the Smithsonian museums in DC would be great for our three children. Little did I know that less than two ....
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Chad & Linda Erickson 
Land Locators & Claim Jumpers Part 1
True West Magazine has kindly given us permission to abridge and reprint a remarkable, autobiographical article of August 1970 titled "Claim Jumpers" by Walt Coburn. We have not yet found a more detailed account of a Land Locator's activities ....
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Larry Trojak 
Upgrade Up North
As the economic recovery plods along in the U.S., growth in the Canadian economy is continuing at the brisk rate that has been evident for quite some time. While certainly good news, there is something of a downside to that steady, ongoing progress. Companies working in support of it ....
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Marc Cheves, PS 
3D Pioneers—A Visit to Optech
It has been my privilege to visit the folks at Optech on three occasions, twice for company visits and once for the company's user conference. My first visit was in 2002, when the company was located in a business park mostly composed of one-story nondescript buildings. Subsequently ....
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Curt  Brown 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Ownership Boundaries along Seashores
Circa 1965. As of the present time, the limit of demarcation between the riparian owner and the state can be in any one of several locations depending upon the general laws in force at the time of the alienation from the sovereign to the individual. These locations are: 1. Mean high ....
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James J. Demma, PS, Esq. 
Surveyors & Law: The Owner of the Property Is?
One aspect of my law practice has always fascinated me, and that is: The process which one must go through in order to determine the true owner of a parcel of land. It may sound easy--but it is not. What has brought me to write this particular article is an inquiry from one of my favorite ....
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