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Good news for a change...Recent reports about the construction economy have been encouraging. I follow the information provided by the Associated Builders & Contractors, and their most recent assessment states that, although the last part of the economy to start recovering, residential and nonresidential construction activity is finally increasing. Of course, some areas are recovering faster than others, but overall, things are finally looking up.
I am intimately familiar with these economic cycles, having had to move my family across the country in the 80s in search of surveying work. After the early 90s recession, I always nervously looked over my shoulder, waiting for the next downturn, but it never came. I knew that, when it did come, it would be sharper and longer-lasting than anything we'd ever seen, and sure enough, that's exactly what's happened. So, positive news about the building industry is indeed welcome!
Our latest issue is at the printer, and as always, it's chock-full of great content. Gavin Schrock's recount of the latest GPS and gravity campaign on Mt Rainier is full of great images. Leading the Hit Parade so far is Shawn Billing's review of MicroSurvey's point cloud software. Of particular interest to me is James Wilder's proof-of-concept article for using mobile scanning on levees. In addition to an intriguing article from Wendy Lathrop about privacy, and a recap of the Leica HDS user conference from Gene Roe, rounding out the issue is Rj Zimmer's tutorial on converting CAD data to GIS.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a project or story you'd like to share. Thanks for your support.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, LS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
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Editorial: Good Records
Old photos and family albums tell stories that few of us ever take the time to put into words. My wife's family was fortunate to have several ancestors who were good writers. They left behind stories, rich in detail, describing their lives in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the struggles they faced ....
Read the Article
Rainier—The Unforgiving Mountain
Why has the Land Surveyors Association of Washington (LSAW) mounted repeated expedi tions to measure and remeasure Mount Rainier? Along with some very practical reasons--serving geosciences, geodesy, gravimetry, and public safety--this ....
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Using the Lynx Mobile Mapper to Survey a Levee
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, leaving in its wake an unprecedented loss of life and property damage. Among the critical infrastructure the storm impacted was the levee system that controls the ....
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GIS Matters: Convert CAD Data to GIS
Surveyors have been using Computer Aided Drafting/Design (CAD) for decades to draft surveys and to do design. As society becomes more spatially conscious, the ability to integrate data with geographic information systems data increases and is now to the point where CAD-GIS ...
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Product Review: MicroSurvey CAD 2010 Ultimate
"Good!" Step. Step. Step. Plumb the pole. Beep . . . beep . . . beep. "Good!" So goes the familiar rhythm of any one of a thousand topographic surveys on any given day. Each month, surveying magazines are filled with images of point clouds from laser scans. And each month the average practicing ...
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Conference Review: Moving Forward—2010 Leica Geosystems HDS Worldwide User Conference
This year's Leica HDS User Conference once again raised the bar for return on investment in terrestrial 3D laser scanning conferences. With attendance approaching 300, up some ...
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Model Behavior: The How-To Guide to Successful Surface Modeling, Part 5
Welcome back! In my last article I stated that the next installment of this discussion would examine some field techniques to help create more accurate base models, but I will cover that topic at a later time ....
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Vantage Point: The Latest "Gate"
My township taxes will probably be going up, and maybe you can gain a business lesson from my pain. Call it "Webcam-gate". Many businesses have formal policies regarding personal activities on business time. This includes phone calls to friends, family, doctors' offices, and the bank. It also ...
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feature As mentioned in the last newsletter, our latest online venture is LiDAR News. The website has filled a void in the industry: an independent, content-rich resource for the scanning crowd. And this includes everything from close-range to static terrestrial, to mobile, to in-the-air. We're hearing very positive reactions to the launch, even internationally.

Over the years, I've heard a few surveyors complain about too many scanning or GIS articles. Rather than just shilling for the manufacturers and developers, our intent is to provide you with the information you need to succeed. An example of this is the levee scanning article in the new issue. Written by a expert with 17 years experience in mapping and LiDAR, the article is not just another application, but rather a scientific proof-of-concept. If a client questions the accuracy of scanning, you can use this article to prove that we surveyors understand measurement traceability. Likewise, almost all surveyors use CAD. What better way to re-purpose our existing work product than to use it to expand our offerings into GIS?

The same reasoning applies to another of our websites, MachineControlOnline. It, too, provides information not only about machine control, but also how and where surveyors fit in. As we begin to move out of our current economic downturn, I believe it is imperative for surveyors to have every measurement and positioning discipline available to them. No matter which of our websites you choose, we will continue to provide you with the quality content you have grown to expect from us.

feature Last but not least, in conjunction with ConExpo and SPAR, our print and web production teams are coming together to bring you the best of both worlds: all-digital magazines. Once a quarter, we'll publish the best of LiDAR News inside LiDAR Magazine & the best of Machine Control Online inside Machine Control Magazine. These magazines will even display on an iPad.

Sponsored by Ashtech

Check out the new, cost-effective L1/L2 network RTK rover: Ashtech ProMark 200. Together with our comprehensive FAST Survey field software, the ProMark 200 GNSS rover meets the demanding expectations of professional land surveyors. Embedded Ashtech BLADE technology provides fast initialization and centimeter-level accuracy. The mix of exceptional RTK performance and compact design makes the ProMark 200 an extremely powerful and appealing RTK rover solution. Visit Ashtech for more information.


SITECH Technology Dealer Established in the Czech Republic for Heavy and Highway Contractors
Seizing The Opportunity: World of Concrete 2011 Starts The Year Off Strong
CAARS Purchases Three Additional UltraCam Aerial Cameras
Fourth Quarter 2010 GDP: Nonresidential Fixed Investment Ends Higher
Leica Geosystems Launches Website for ConExpo 2011
BIM KIOSK – Bridging the Digital Gap Between Project Management and Field Crews
Annual Labor Market Survey Finds Rise in Companies Planning to Increase Recruitment Spend in 2011
Rainier – The Unforgiving Mountain (Long version)
WhiteStar Streams Energy Commodity Pricing, Texas Well Permits on Homepage
SITECH Eurasia Established to Serve Heavy and Highway Contractors in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan
FCC Gives LightSquared Green Light on Broadband Rollout - Controversy Over Possible Impact on GPS Spectrum
The Geomatics Degree is Back at Salt Lake Community College
Westlake Consultants Announces Appointment to Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon
Public Health Assessment Teams Benefit from Handheld MobileMapper 6 Smart GPS/GIS
Andrew Conner Appointed Director at Biscayne Engineering Company
Four Additional SITECH Technology Dealers Join the First Fully Dedicated Global Distribution Network for Construction Solutions
Russia to Launch New Batch of GLONASS Satellites by June
Degenkolb Engineers Names Stacy Bartoletti as New CEO
FARO Technologies’ 30th Anniversary Custom Chopper Unveiled on Discovery Channel
ERDAS and MDA Geospatial Services Bring RADARSAT-2 to the Geospatial Community
50th Space Wing Completes Phase 1 of Expandable 24
DAP Technologies Debuts New Windows CE 6.0 Rugged Tablet Computers Featuring Breakthrough Technology for Outdoor Viewability
Blue Marble Seeking Software Developers for Testing of Beta Version of Java Coordinate Conversion Tool Kit
Ashtech Selects New GIS Distributor for Portugal
Sidwell's Carpenter Named IAAO Delegate to COGO
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    The following articles from the Vol.7, No.9 issue are also available on the Amerisurv website.


    Did-U-Know Glenn Letham at our sister site has compiled a state-by-state list of free imagery HERE

    bookHistoric Print Collection -- Christian Hurtin / A highly decorative surveying compass, dated 1794, made by clock and instrument maker Christian Hurtin in Goshen New York. This particular compass displays primitive art typical of many 18th century American clock and instrument makers. Note: This print is 23"x18".

    Printed on high-quality photo paper, this poster is capable of being a center-piece for the room or space of your choosing. These unique reproductions are both fascinating and sure to please.

    Our maps and posters make excellent gifts for clients or employees!

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