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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
John Stock, PS, CFM 
Thought Leader: The Back Story
As NSPS President in 1986, I was invited to the NCEES annual conference in St. Louis. Area 5 Director Chuck Tapley (now deceased) was with me. Wow! What a lesson for a dirt surveyor from Colorado. Black tie, buttoned down and totally controlled behind the scenes by ASCE (American Society of ....
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Daryl Moistner 
Survey Locales
I've surveyed all over Alaska and almost every place is pretty cool, interesting, and exotic in some form or fashion. But this is my favorite location to work... the Aleutian Archipelago. A true gem on earth, raw beauty. The weather can sometimes be ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Report on NCEES Symposium
On Friday, January 22, I had the distinct honor of participating in an NCEES symposium on the future of land surveying, a daylong session, driven by the underlying topic, the decline in applicants for the land surveying exam. My involvement was principally ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: The Feasibility of a Technology Program
The papers presented at the ACSM annual meetings have adequately proven the need for surveyor engineer graduates and have dramatically called attention to the deficiencies in surveyor engineer education in the United States. Professor Curtis in a recent paper, The Case of the Missing ....
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Chuck Whitten, PS 
"Lost" & Found in the Wy'East Country
The cover picture was taken along the east boundary of Township 4 North, Range 11 East, Willamette Meridian (Oregon) on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range with Mt. Hood in the background. Indian legend has it that the Great Spirit ....
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Dennis J. Mouland, PS 
"At the corner point..."
Not far into the history of the PLSS surveys, the General Land Office had to address the issues of perpetuation of evidence of corner points set previously. In early surveys we can see circumstances where the GLO crew found a previously ....
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Eric Stahlke, PS 
The Final Voyage: Part 7
While waiting for TCC's other crews to finish up in the Kanuti River highlands, Alvin and I kept ourselves busy around Hughes working on some archeological surveys. For two surveyors in their mid sixties I can tell you it was a struggle to bushwhack ....
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Mary Jo Wagner 
"I'll Never Forget That". Recollections: 50 Years in the Field
Bob Vollmer's favorite television character is the Energizer Bunny. "Every time I see that ad, I say, `That's the way it should be,'" explains Vollmer in a subtle southern lilt. "You go until you drop. That's the way you do it." The Energizer battery bunny ....
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Feedback 
FeedBack
Daniels Govero's article hit home with me and I'm sure with us all, no matter what area of the country you live in. We are not mentoring enough new individuals to keep our profession viable. Our societies, while well-meaning in their pursuit of getting a well-educated profession, has also lost ....
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Dr. Richard L. Elgin, PS, PE 
Test Yourself 29: Prove It -Geometry v. Trigonometry
In geometry, a theorem says: For two intersecting chords, the product of the lengths of the two segments of one chord is equal to the product of the lengths of the two segments of the other chord. For the solution to this problem (and much more), please visit www.amerisurv.com ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Bad Decisions
Originally I was going to entitle this month's column, "When the Courts Get it Wrong." The problem is, depending upon which court we are talking about a decision we hate may be the new rule from that moment on. At that point "wrong" and "right" switch positions. Bad decisions happen. On the ....
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