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Surveyors and their lines run deep. I’ve just returned from a 2,500+ mile road trip to the latest Surveyors Rendezvous in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and CGSIC/ION in Nashville. Like bookends on a shelf, the trip was a flash back and a flash forward on the story of surveying. Ours is the generation that stands between the bookends--the ones who held a chain in one hand and the first computerized instrument in the other, who continue to witness technology expand at a mind-numbing pace. As always, the Rendezvous was jam-packed with well-organized presentations, fascinating history, engaging side-trips and plenty of good conversation. The extreme hardships our forebears endured as they helped “build” this country have largely been lost to the silence of history; fortunately, the Rendezvous events serve to keep their memories alive.
Milt Denny gave an excellent account of the early GLO surveys. He began with an eloquent reminder of how good we've got it today, and the contributions surveyors have made to our country. Few things are built without the involvement of a surveyor.
John Thalacker, a well-known Washington surveyor, came to the Rendezvous after visiting the Museum of Surveying in Illinois. He was impressed that in addition to the fine collection of old instruments, the story of surveying is told in a way that makes it easy for non-surveyors to understand its importance. I highly recommend not only visiting the Museum but also supporting it with your contributions.
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, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
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Guest Editorial: The Education Problem
Editor's note: We are pleased to announce that Mike Pallamary has agreed to become a contributing writer for the magazine. Mike's a controversial guy, choosing to address issues that many won't, often acting pro bono when appropriate. His article in the last issue about the shenanigans ...
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Military Surveying in Afghanistan
Historically, Army surveyors have supported three distinct missions: mapping, construction and field artillery. While there's not much call for positioning artillery in the civilian world, professional surveyors would be familiar with the work of ....
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A Superior Effort
Even though it's been a valuable and beneficial technology for decades now, GPS--by nature of its accuracy and inherent versatility--continues to find new uses and make inroads into new markets. Companies faced with difficult or seemingly ....
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The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act [and the Surveyor]
Formally known as Title II in the Surface Transportation Bill (HR 4348), President Obama signed a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) into law on July 6, 2012. Since 2008, our esteemed members of both houses of Congress, known for their laserlike levels of ....
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Measuring the Big Wet
The rain in December 2010 was not unexpected. Every year, the climate in northeastern Australia features six months of dry weather followed by a long rainy period known as the "Big Wet." But this season's Big Wet would be wetter than any other. By the end of the month, the state of ...
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Hexagon 2012—Thinking Forward
For those of us who used to attend the Leica Geosystems HDS User Conference in laid back San Ramon, California, Hexagon 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada was at the opposite end of the cultural spectrum, but that is not Thinking Forward--the theme of this ...
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GIS: Just a Tool—Myth #2: Building a GIS System Takes Too Long
The myth that it would take too long to build and implement a GIS system for the Surveying Business to see any real benefit is based mainly in the idea that the Surveying Business must change the way the business is handled to fit with the GIS. Every Surveying business is managed in a ...
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Beyond the Boundary: Municipalities and Clients, You are the Guide
Envision yourself sitting quietly in the corner of a municipal meeting where a large manila envelope rests on a conference table. Inside the envelope is your firm's recent submission for a construction project, building permit, site plan, or subdivision. In another office across town sits your client ....
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feature South and east to Nashville, the meetings of CGSIC and ION yielded a well-rounded program. It included such topics as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and intelligent transportation, but the most significant topics revolved around interference. NGS representatives devoted an entire afternoon to discussing the coming new coordinate systems. Once again the audience was reminded that this is the surveyors’ bailiwick. Passing the expertise off to other professionals would be an opportunity lost.

Javad Ashjaee, made a presentation on what his company has done to combat interference. His is not the only company that is discussing the subject, with Septentrio making an announcement just before the show about its threat mitigation. I've had surveyors tell me they can't work during certain hours of the day due to “outages”, but since there's always other things to do, they just work around them. But here's an idea: why not find out why they can't work and report the offender that's interfering with their GNSS signals?

As part of his presentation, Javad discussed an event that had occurred in Moscow just before ION: something was completely blowing out the GLONASS L2 signal. Because GNSS receivers do a marvelous job of working with whatever signals they have, users probably wouldn't even have been aware, but Javad's receivers not only show where the interference is, they provide a way to report it.

The GNSS community rose up against LightSquared because the original plan would have squashed GPS signals. But Javad has clearly shown that he can build a filter that will allow his receivers to coexist with LightSquared. And guess what, LightSquared has not gone away. In a recent article by Glen Gibbons of Inside GNSS, Glen details the current situation regarding LightSquared. Folks, I don't know about you, but I find myself using my iDevices more and more as I untether from my desktop computer. Not only do I crave more bandwidth, but I am disgusted at having to pay $10/Gb for data. Our country needs more and cheaper bandwidth.

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Hemisphere GPS Announces RTK Network-Compatible S320 Survey System
RIEGL LMS-Q780: Up to 10,000 Feet for New Perspectives in Airborne Laser Scanning
MAVinci will show new UAS Flight Planning Software features at INTERGEO
RoadEng Version 6 Released
Blue Marble Releases Global Energy Mapper 14 with New Site Pad Placement Tool
Cornerstone Mapping Adds an UltraCamLp
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Showcase Added to MAPPS/ASPRS Specialty Conference Program
RIEGL Launches VZ-6000 Terrestrial Laser Scanner at MINExpo 2012 Las Vegas
Long March Boosts Pair of Chinese Beidou Navigation Satellites, Brings Total to 15
Blue Marble Releases Global Mapper Software Developer Tool V14 with Spatial Database Support
Topcon’s MG-A8 Antenna Designed for Accurate Maritime Applications
Topcon Releases Firmware 4.0, Quartz Lock Loop Technology
Nation’s Water-Related Infrastructure Threatened by Underfunding
RIEGL LMS Opens Registration of the International RIEGL Airborne, Mobile, Terrestrial and Industrial User Conference
CHC Introduces the N71 GNSS Multi-Applications Sensor
Topcon Unveils the B110 GNSS Receiver Board
Topcon Launches New Website for OEM Solutions
VRMesh v7.5 Released for Triangulation of Large Point Clouds
AeroMetric Hires Jana DaSilva Lage as Account Manager
3D Laser Mapping Launch New Dimension Hand Held Laser Scanner
Gexcel Srl Introduces New Mobile Camera System
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    This section is an update about surveying and other geospatial conferences, training, seminars, webinars, and relevant events. Feel free to make a suggestion for future consideration. For a complete listing of events, please visit our online calendar HERE.
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    E-Magazine - Volume 9, Number 8, 2012
    • Education Problem  • Surveying in Afghanistan  • Superior Effort  • Flood Insurance Reform  • The Big Wet  • Hexagon 2012  • GIS: Just a Tool  
    • Municipalities and Clients ...and more!
    E-Magazine - Volume 9, Number 7, 2012
    • Survey Summit • Worland, Wyoming • Louisiana Bilby • Deadwood Datum
    • New Packing Shed • The Lending Industry • Path of Destruction • “Cloudy” Future • GIS Myth #1 • Navigational Brain ...and more!

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