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I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for in our great country—hopefully business is healthy where you are.
Our latest issue is in the mail. Leading the Hit Parade on the website is another instalment from Chad & Linda Erickson about the improper use of proportioning and ignoring evidence. Right behind is Ken Hughes' story about helping a remote village in Bolivia by teaching rudimentary surveying, and Shawn Billings' recap of the JAVAD GNSS meeting in San Jose and the particulars on the new JAVAD Triumph LS receiver.
Lots of other great content in the new issue which you can see by scrolling down. And as always please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a project or story you'd like to share.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
Sponsored by Berntsen International

Berntsen International, Inc. has been “Marking the Infrastructure of the World” for over 40 years as the largest manufacturer and supplier of survey markers, monuments and related accessories.

We are dedicated to supporting the profession of surveying with the best made products and service available.

The CST Program
In our July/August 2007 issue, we had a great article about the Certified Surveyor Program (CST) administered by NSPS. Unlike the rest of the world, and with the exception of 30-­35 states, the U.S. is the only country that doesn't require university degrees for licensure as a surveyor. There ....
Read the Article
Chad Erickson, PS, and Linda Erickson
BOSH!!!—Disasters, Survey Myths and Heresies
If truth will set us free; then myths will lead us to disaster. The following is an account of an 1865 bull train disaster on the Missouri River caused by avulsion during an ice jam. This was written by Alexander Toponce and included in J. H ....
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Jeff Winke 
Delaware Students Build Tallest Structure
It stands at 112 feet and 11¾-inches tall, establishing a new world record for a tower constructed with interlocking plastic bricks, aka Legos. Brick by small plastic brick, the students of Delaware's Red Clay School Consolidated District diligently snapped together each Lego section of the new ....
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Barton Crattie, LS, CFM 
Celebrating the Stargazer and the Surveyor
Thomas Pynchon was there it seemed, at least in spirit, as were Benjamin Franklin and Charles Mason themselves. Others who attended this year's annual Surveyors' Rendezvous in Philadelphia most certainly shared the sentiment. Pynchon's prose sets the stage for this report, in ....
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Shawn Billings, PS 
A New Triumph in San Jose
At an invitational event held at his US manufacturing facility in San Jose in September, Javad Ashjaee announced the release of a new series of GNSS receivers (availability slated for the first quarter of 2014). The flagship of the new lineup will be the Triumph LS ("LS" for Land Survey) which ....
Read the Article
How One College Surveying Program has Benefited from the CST Exam
This is a story of how an Indiana College has taken advantage of the Certified Surveying Technician (CST) Program since 1991. Vincennes University (VU) has been in existence since 1801. It is Indiana's first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who ....
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Kenneth S. Hughes, PS  
Back to the Basics in Bolivia
Before we delve into the survey particulars, a little background information is in order, as there may be those among you wondering how I came to be holding a plumb bob in the remote village of San Jose de Uchupiamonas, in the middle of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia. July 2013 was my ....
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Landon Blake, PS 
Footsteps: A Review of Pueblo Santa Ana vs. Baca
In this installment of Footsteps we are going to review a court decision in a boundary dispute from New Mexico titled Pueblo Santa Ana versus Baca. This is a very interesting case that beautifully illustrates a couple of fundamental boundary surveying principles. To reach its decision in ....
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The Curt Brown Chronicles: Interpretation of Deed Words
Curtis M. Brown of San Diego, Calif., submitted the following short paper to the Publications Committee with the suggestion that a special department be established in Surveying and Mapping for presenting material relating to the legal elements of boundary surveys: The English language ....
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Florida Surveyor Rewrites Job Description: Just read your article on Florida Surveyor Rewrites Job Description. That is the type of working out of the back of your pickup truck mentality that is a detriment to the survey profession. What other licensed professionals office is their pickup ....
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Wendy Lathrop, PS 
Vantage Point: When I Grow Up
In September 23, 2013, one of the great scientists of the 20th century passed away at the age of 105. What made this limnologist remarkable was not necessarily putting off retirement until age 100 (although that was pretty remarkable), but more that Dr. Ruth Patrick was a pioneer ....
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Sponsored by Altus Positioning Systems

Founded in 2006, Altus Positioning Systems is based in Torrance, Calif. The privately held company provides high-precision GNSS surveying equipment through an international network of sales representatives in key countries around the world.

For more information, visit


feature One of the benefits of living near our nation's capital is the many Smithsonian museums. And from time to time, the institution launches a new exhibit or activity which pertains to our industry.

Within the past year, the Air & Space museum opened an exhibit titled Time and Navigation, which as you would think, covers everything from the first clock useable for navigation to GPS. Our flickr pics of the exhibit are located HERE.

Most recently, and thanks to Michael Raphael of Direct Dimensions in Baltimore, I received an invitation to attend a symposium about the Smithsonian efforts to digitize its vast collections. I will write about this in the future, but here's a few factoids: 31 million people visited the 19 museums last year. This leaves around 300 million US citizens who didn't. So, how to share the collection of 137 million objects with people who never visit the museums?

To get things started a website has been launched at with a few teasers showing what's possible. To me, one of the coolest objects is shown in the image above. This wooden hat, made in 1900, belongs to the Tlingit Dakl’weidi (Killer Whale) clan of southeast Alaska. With the viewer developed by Autodesk, it's possible to not only examine the hat from all angles, but take measurements as well.

Which brings me to another purpose of the 3D effort: international research. Researchers all over the world are using laser scanning, close-range photogrammetry and CAT scanning to develop 3D models of all manner of objects. With the Internet, this research can now be shared. I encourage you to visit the website to take a spin with such objects as the Wright Flyer and Abraham Lincoln's life mask. Cool stuff!

Sponsored by Carlson Software

Save now with Carlson. It’s “special” time at Carlson Software. Save on the Carlson Civil Suite, which includes the powerful Civil, Survey, Hydrology, and GIS office design software; on Carlson Survey 2014 with Embedded AutoCAD®, the number one choice of surveyors; and on the all-new create-CAD-from-non-CAD software, Carlson CADnet. Save now and save time and effort later with Carlson… works for you!



Interactive Thanksgiving and Black Friday Maps from Esri
Satellite Trio to Explore the Earth's Magnetic Field
Bmore3D Store: A 3D Printing & 3D Scanning Pop-up Store Opens in Baltimore
Surveyors Role in History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Tyler Surveyor Elected to Leadership Role with TSPS
Rally Those Referrers! Why Praise from “Friends” Is Worth Its Weight in Gold
RTCM Issues an Amendment of its Standard for Differential GNSS
Construction Materials Prices Fall Slightly in October
U.S. Forest Service Offers New Digital Maps for Mobile Devices
Dewberry Selected for Post-Sandy Atlantic Seaboard Mapping
The CyArk 500 Challenge: Officially Launched
Oceanscience Z-Boat Demonstration in Calgary, Canada
Juniper Systems’ Archer 2 Sports “Best-in-Industry” Battery
GPS Satellite Approaching 23 Years On Orbit
Blue Marble to Exhibit at GeoDATA London Mapping Showcase
Construction Backlog Indicator Remains Virtually Unchanged In Third Quarter
2014 ASPRS Fellow Award Winners
Photo Science Assists USGS with Colorado Disaster Recovery
A Better Way to Build: Taking Aim at Construction Cost Overruns and Delays
Carlson Software Introduces All-New Simplicity Sight Survey 2014
Topcon FC-336 Data Controller Designed for Construction
‘Un-Mappable’ Great Barrier Reef Finally Mapped
Laser Scanning Helps Police Create 3D Virtual Models
Newly Designed US Topo maps for Ohio
Safe Software Expands into iPaaS Market with New Cloud Service
GeoCue Announces Release Of LP360 Project Publisher
Quantum Spatial CTO Terry Keating Retires
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    E-Magazine - August 2013: Vol. 10, #11
    • Looking Up • Tree Footprints • Land Locator • OPUS-Projects • Track & Field • New Horizons • Large Boundary Surveys • Leveling a Nation • Feedback • Fire and Rain ...and more!
    E-Magazine - August 2013: Vol. 10, #10
    • CGSIC  • Climbing Inyan Kara  • Technology Encroachments  • Low Distortion  • Potomac Stone  • A New Day   • San Benito COG   • Curt Brown Chronicles   • Velocipedes   • Feedback   • Restoration ...and more!
    E-Magazine - August 2013: Vol. 10, #9
    • Our Value  • Rules of Research  • Ground versus Grid  • American Theodolite  • A New Day  • LiDAR Hits the Rails   • Curt Brown   • Persistence   • Velocipedes   • Feedback   • Measurement Isn’t Dead ...and more!

    Did-U-Know has compiled a state-by-state list of free imagery HERE

    bookHistoric Map Collection — A map of General Washington's farm of Mount Vernon from a drawing transmitted by the General. CREATED/PUBLISHED [S.l., 1801] NOTES Removed from: Letters from His Excellency George Washington, to Arthur Young, [etc.]. London, 1801. Scale 1:6,336. This map is 23"x18".

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

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    This four-level certification program indicates official recognition by NSPS that a person can perform surveying tasks at a specific technical level. Certification provides employers with a method of determining job assignments and advancement since certification is an indication of one's ability to perform specific job tasks. Increase your skills. Enhance your career opportunities. Set a straight course to your future. Become a Certified Survey Technician (CST)! Visit the NSPS site for details.


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