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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 
Thought Leader: How Good is Good Enough?
We are constantly confronted by new conceptual expressions. Some are merely expressions of enduring practices or Ideas, like "environmental pollution load," which is a fancy way of quantifying a condition of unacceptable things like dirty water and air. The term "spatial analysis ....
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Survey Locales  
Survey Locales
Well here it is ...fall in the Alaska wilderness, beautiful, pristine, and peaceful, Until a 1,000 lb. grizzly comes charging out of the bushes to spoil the moment. I'm not much a fan of working in bear country but I'm working in it most of the time. I just prefer ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Bridging the Digital (Flood Data) Divide
The first Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) to FEMA noted in its very first report (1996) that embracing the digital environment would improve efficiency in generating, managing, integrating, and distributing flood data. The National Research Council's 2009 report, "Mapping the Zone: ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Curt Brown Chronicles: The Challenging Future for the Land Surveyor
The purpose of a closed book examination is to test a person's knowledge of common, well-known laws of science, mathematics, techniques, and other fundamental areas of knowledge that should be recalled purely from memory. If trigonometric functions or other constants are necessary in solutions ....
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Chad & Linda Erickson 
Firestorms & The Surveyor
After an early and hot spring, a hotter summer, and the moisture content of live trees dropping to 50%, from August 10th to the 24th of this year our community of Woodland, Idaho was literally surrounded by wildfires. From our home, the fires were ....
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Larry Trojak 
Risky Business
In utility installation, when the most direct route from Point A to Point B is not do-able because of an impediment--a structure, a road, a stream, etc.--contractors in that field most often turn to horizontal directional drilling (HDD). This technique uses ....
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 Maune And Horner 
Denali (Mount McKinley) Elevation Campaign
In August 30, 2015, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the highest mountain in the United States and North America, formerly known as Mount McKinley, would be officially given the traditional Koyukon Athabascan name of Denali. This announcement was the culmination of ....
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C. Barton Crattie, LS, CFM 
Rendezvous 2015: Surveyors of the Salish Sea
Just think of the United States as a big old box or rectangle if you will, at least the United States of the first five years of my life. No Alaska, no Hawaii. Going clockwise from the upper right, Maine. The lower right, sunny Florida. Move to the left and there's ....
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Eric Stahlke, PS 
The Final Voyage - Part 6
Our grand plan for the summer was coming together at last. While the Seloohge was working its way up the Koyukuk River towards Hughes, TCC's other survey crews were putting in townships with a helicopter in the distant Kanuti River highlands, staying at a pipeline era truck stop on the ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator: Linear Equations and Land Development
Linear equations are powerful solving tools especially when unleashed from classroom confines of counting the number of legs on chickens and cows. We can utilize systems of linear equations for many applications like solving intersections, estimating project supplies, and in this case land ....
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Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself: Unusual Curve Formulae
Show that TAN D = E and COS D = ??? Dave Lindell retired after 36 years with the City of Los Angeles. He keeps surveying part time to stay busy and keep out of trouble. For the solution to this problem (and much more), please visit our website at: www.amerisurv.com. Good luck! ....
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Feedback 
FeedBack
Without question the vast majority of land transactions in Arizona are executed without the presence of visible property corner monuments, placing the buyers at great risk of litigation and loss. Because we can only think in terms of full surveys, the survey profession is as guilty as any for ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Angle Points: Smoots and Anchors
I enjoy the use of the English language, especially with regards to writing and communication. As Land Surveyors, we employ a broad range of terms, some common and some not so much. Indeed, one of my greatest pleasures is reworking words and phrases into a tangible way of communicating. This ....
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