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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: Calculating History
Younger surveyors can't imagine a time before computers and calculators. But as the article in this issue by Carlton Brown shows, calculations weren't always an easy button push away. This year marks the 400th anniversary of an invention that made surveying calculations possible. According ....
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Daryl Moistner
Survey Locales
Matt Brockamp. A surveyor I met while working Oregon and California Forest Service contracts. I guess I dragged him up here to Alaska. Here we are surveying a cave near the beach. It's a BLM historical survey. 14 (h) is its official designation. A ....
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Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: (D)Evolved Planning
It's generally when desperate friends need our professional expertise that we find ourselves most frustrated by the mushrooming problems encountered. Urban planning has been around since humans first ceased roaming and settled together in enclaves meant to ease the sharing of ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Definition of Proportionate Measurement
"A proportionate measurement is one that gives concordant relation between all parts of the line, i.e., the new values given to the several parts, as determined by the remeasurement, shall bear the same relation to the record lengths as the new measurement of the whole line bears to that ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 1
The August 2014 issue of The American Surveyor presented the article Two Nifty Programs that will make your HP 35S Calculator "Cry And Sing!" The article highlights my discontent towards HP's inadvertent omission of the traditional rectangular/polar conversion keys as well as providing a ....
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Chad & Linda Erickson 
Subdivided We Stand
Credit, or blame, for this byline must go to William Powell and his Feedback in the August issue of The American Surveyor. His observations brought to memory the many times when old platted subdivisions within a section have been used to ....
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J. Anthony Cavell 
Are Your Surveys Accurate?
This may not be an easy question to answer, off the cuff. For starters, what does it mean for something to be accurate? Experience shows several different meanings are attached to this word. Which one(s) should apply to surveys? [ac·cu·rate adjective \a-ky-rt, a-k(-)rt\¹]  1.free from error ....
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Oscar R. Cantu 
The Cloud—Changing the Dynamic of Field-To-Office
Cloud computing is not quite as omnipresent as the computer in Star Trek, but...give it time. Cloud computing, or "the cloud," is an interconnected group of powerful computers that collectively store data redundantly, host various services, and provide ....
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Mary Jo Wagner 
Capturing Amache's Life Story
Every other summer since 2008, Bonnie Clark has brought students and volunteers to the Amache Japanese American WWII internment camp in southeastern Colorado to hold history in their hands. Although four field seasons have yielded thousands of remnants of the internees confined ....
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Michael Jamieson & Michael Dunbar 
Space-Age Technology Comes Down to Earth: Improves Airport Safety
A German airport is the latest example of how 3D laser scanners are increasingly finding new applications beyond traditional survey and mapping. Dresden International Airport, as part of an airport tarmac safety project being conducted by Dresden's Technische Universität, is using space ....
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Carlton A. Brown 
The Curta Mechanical Pocket Calculator—History of Survey Computing
A Curta mechanical pocket calculator was donated to the Maine Society of Land Surveyors by the estate of John Cothern, and was auctioned off at the 2014 MSLS Scholarship Auction on January 31, 2014. John Cothern was a land surveyor (ME PLS #1006) and it is my understanding that John ....
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