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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: A Perfect Storm
As I was assembling the material for this issue, I came to believe that because three of the articles are interrelated, they represent a perfect storm. First is Mike Pallamary's article about a two million dollar screw-up in Rhode Island. A civil engineer prepared a site plan, which included ....
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Book
Book Review: Modernizing American Land Records: Order Upon Chaos
In order to appreciate Modernizing American Land Records, by Earl Epstein and Bernard Niemann, Jr. (Esri Press, 2014) readers must have the ability to set aside their paradigms about what constitutes "land records" in the twenty-first century. If we consider the tremendous amount of "data" ....
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Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: Unseating Mineral Claims
Sometimes one piece of news relates to another in a chance encounter that makes both stand out more than they might separately, as happened in May of this year. One is ongoing as an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding what is called "title washing" in this state relating to gas, oil ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Tie Points
In many municipalities "tie point" sheets are an invaluable source of information for historic survey information; in some places they are essential. The term generally refers to tie outs, once a common practice before the advent of electronic measurement. Unfortunately, in the age of ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion—Part 3
John Love's observations distinguish the Professional Surveyor in America from the singular technical act of measurement. Love identifies the natural cause for professional development and through his work he championed that cause on the American Continent. Rather than entrusting his ....
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Cheves 
Monumental Challenge: Ben Kacyra's Perseverance
Although there is still some dispute as to who "invented" laser scanning as we know it, one name is synonymous in this country: Ben Kacyra. From his early years in Iraq to his education and work in the US, Ben's experience ultimately led to his ....
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Chad & Linda Erickson 
The Fox is Guarding the Hen House
A time-sensitive issue compels us to postpone the article on increasing your client base. The Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ISPLS), as well as societies of other states, in conjunction with their state boards, are in the process of ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Civil Engineer Places Two-Million Dollar Home on Wrong Lot
In 1984, Robert Lamoureux purchased an oceanfront parcel of land on Ocean Road in Narragansett, Rhode Island, described by The Surfrider foundation as "a diamond on the necklace that is Rhode Island's beautiful coastline." Lamoureux subdivided the land into two parcels, one of which was ....
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Albert “skip” Theberge 
Artillery Surveyors in WWII—Africa & Europe: Part 1 of 3
Prior to leaving the United States, the 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion (FAOB) was being reviewed following maneuvers at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. General Lear was not alone in his ignorance of these units. With few exceptions ....
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Larry Trojak 
Putting a Face on the Country
The intrinsic power of GPS is its effectiveness in so many diverse, disparate applications. But while many, understandably, tout the technology's ability to pave a runway to millimeter specs, or efficiently plant and maintain thousands of acres of crops ....
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