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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
Marc S. Cheves, PS 
Please, Not Another Boom
Excitement is growing for the new year. Regardless of where you stand politically, there is new-found hope that progress with much needed infrastructure spending and the expansion of small business-friendly policies in Washington will support renewed vitality in the land surveying sector ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Discovering a Plat on the Ground
The case of Dittrich v.Ubl 216 Minn. 396 was presented to the Minnesota Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) in 1944. The lower Court found that the defendant's barn was in trespass and ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant appealed the case and the Supreme Court overturned ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Mount Soledad Cross
North of downtown San Diego, and just east of La Jolla, sits a prominent hill, 822 feet in height, known as Mount Soledad, a prominent feature in the San Diego landscape, a pleasant rambling mound of earth with commanding unparalleled views in every direction. When the Kumeyaay Nation ....
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Erik Dahlberg 
Rapid Data for Rapid Transit
When California's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) first opened to passenger traffic in 1972, it was the first new rail rapid transit system built in the U.S. in over 60 years. Traversing complex geography and varied population densities, BART used ....
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Feedback 
FeedBack
This article by Michael Pallamary is applicable far beyond just surveying. As a society we have become altogether too dependent on technology, which is spelled out so clearly in Neil Postman's little book entitled Amusing Ourselves to Death. So, what applies to surveying knowledge, legal language ....
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Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself 37: Box Corner
A-B-X-C is the corner of a "box". AX, XB, and XC are mutually perpendicular. What is the area of face A-B-C? What is the sum of the squares of the areas of the other three faces? ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Playing the Game of Risk
As a child, life was all about taking risks, everything from "I Dare You" to "I Double Dog Dare You". We even had a board game (long before the days of video games) called "Risk!" in which we strategized how to take over continents. As an adult, the games have changed, but I now see ....
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J. Anthony Cavell, PS 
On the Level with NSPS: Keep Up the Pace...
October 1st saw the close of the Fall 2016 meeting of NSPS. It took place in Chandler, Arizona. As should be expected, the members of NSPS were well represented on the Board of Directors and by other interested attendees. The gathering included meetings of the NSPS Young Surveyors of North ....
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