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March 2015
Wow, what a winter! Hundreds of weather records have been broken this year in the winter that seemingly refuses to end. Our LIDAR News editor, Gene Roe, lives on the coast in New Hampshire, and he is sick of digging out! I hope it hasn't been too difficult where you are.
Our March issue is distributing, and as usual it's got a lot of great surveying content. Because it changes so rapidly, I should know better than to discuss the Hit Parade, but Mike Pallamary's Supreme Court decision article is leading. Next is Dick Elgin's open letter to NCEES regarding licensing. If you are interested in the future, it behooves you to follow the NCEES issue closely.
Responding to requests, in addition to the flippy, we are now processing the entire issue as one giant PDF. A 48Mb file of the current issue is available here. To see the flippy you can click on the magazine cover to the left, or scroll down for individual articles. As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a surveying 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]
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Editorial: Watchman on the Wall
In this issue we have Dick Elgin's open letter to NCEES which details why the proposals before us are bad ideas. We also have the NCEES response to my Fire Alarm editorial. Lately we've been asked why we are devoting so much coverage to the licensure experience requirement when many say ....
Read the Article
Dick Elgin, PhD, PS, PE 
Open Letter: Regarding NCEES and Survey Licensing
I thank the Council for its many years of work assisting state boards, preparing exams and for generally advancing the surveying profession and contributing to protecting the public. Your stated missions are worthy. However, as stated in the Council's December, 2014 "Exchange," ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop
Vantage Point: When Flooding Leads to Creativity
Sometimes a disaster is the best wake up call and the prod that moves us forward from "same old, same old" practices. About 15 years ago, a colleague once noted ruefully that the best check of a Flood Insurance Rate Map's accuracy is to have a disaster: did the map predict the horizontal ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Similarity of New Zealand and U.S. Laws
Within the United States it is a well established fact that old possession can stand as a monument to the original lines as marked and surveyed by the original surveyor. Fences built soon after section lines were run might stand as proof as to where future the original lines were run, especially after ....
Read the Article
Chad & Linda Erickson 
One-Room Schools, Aerial Photos, & Hokey Pokey Surveys
We found a blurb about the Idaho State School Board in the 1900's making the decree that sunlight coming over the left shoulder made the students more intelligent, or something like that, and all windows in one-room schools had to be moved ....
Read the Article
Smith, Roman, Youngman 
Recent Activities at the National Geodetic Survey - Part 3 of 4
The advent and evolution of new technology such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) over the last thirty years has allowed NGS, other Federal, State and Local Agencies, and the Private Sector to determine geodetic positions with greater speed, better accuracy, and less ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
U.S. Supreme Court Introduces Confusion and Conflict
On December 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a decree in the hopes of settling a decades-old dispute over the location of California's offshore boundary, a line common with the United States of America. The conflict originated in 1946 ....
Read the Article
Brynna King 
Tunnel Vision - Excavating Subsea Roadways
Workers who blast tunnels 290 meters below the ocean's surface have plenty of "what-ifs" to consider. Technology failures and project budgets shouldn't be among them. So contractors working on Norway's Ryfast tunnel megaproject are using ....
Read the Article
 Mark Silver 
Geodetic Preppers - Surviving the Next OPUS Disaster
I don't have any inside knowledge if the US government is going to shut down again this year. But I do know if there is a shutdown like there was in October 2013 I am going to have a hard time grounding surveys without the National Geodetic Survey's OPUS products. One never knows what the ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator - A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 6 - Curve Traverse
This program is a curve traverse routine based upon the traditional methods of laying out a curve with a transit and tape. I assure the users of radial layout equipment and GPS that using this program is 100% compatible ....
Read the Article
David H. Widmer, PS 
Open Letter: Response to The Fire Alarm
The purpose of my letter is to dispute some information contained in your editorial mentioned above. First off, NCEES has absolutely nothing to do with any proposed legislation in Idaho to do away with experience prior to licensing. That goes against our three legged stool test of education ....
Read the Article
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With three articles in the new issue, we continue to cover licensing requirements. As promised, we have Dick Elgin's open letter detailing why the two proposals in the most recent NCEES newsletter are bad ideas, and also the NCEES response to my Fire Alarm editorial.

I continue to be amazed at the fact that some are questioning the messenger and the vehicle rather than the message, but as my editorial states, we consider ourselves to be watchmen. In this day of creeping government control, it's vital that we protect our interests and those of the public.

Taking a break from the licensing exam, in the new issue Chad Erickson is back on his other horse, the one that reminds our readers that the paramount issue in boundary surveying is evidence. Not proration, not expediency, not anything else. (Even Curt Brown was saying this in 1965!) Chad details how technology allowed him to examine the location of a schoolhouse on a 1946 aerial photograph and conclusively show where a PLSS corner was.

Of great interest to those of you who are using OPUS should be Mark Silver's Geodetic Preppers article. We came close to a partial government shutdown this past week, and the possibility of a complete shutdown is ever present. If future shutdowns are like past ones, the services that benefit citizens the most will be the first ones shut down, so it behooves users to be prepared. Mark's article presents several alternatives and workarounds.

SPAR International: Register Now

SPAR International is the only platform-neutral conference and exhibition focused on 3D technologies and business considerations for surveyors, AECs, EPCs, Facility Managers, asset owners/operators and other stakeholders.

March 30-April 2, 2015, Houston, Texas. For more info visit


SkyIMD and Phase One Industrial Introduce FAA-Approved Mounts
Blue Marble Offers Free Global Mapper Training and User Certification
Martinez Geospatial, Inc. Upgrades Toolset with Optech Lynx SG1
Registration and Schedule for 2015 Bentley LEARNing Conferences
Topcon Announces Partnership with Toro for GPS-guided Turf Sprayer
Thermal Mapping Helps Redbridge Target Energy Inefficient Properties
DigitalGlobe Announces Availability of 30 cm Satellite Imagery
Renishaw Continues its Support to Inspire
Pre Registration and Call for Abstracts UAS MAPPING RENO
Year-End Construction Backlog Drops 1 Percent
Arithmeticaís Spherevision Shows Welsh Highland Railway
Intelligent Maptek Software Tools for LiDAR Data
LizardTech is Exhibiting at the NCGIS 2015 Conference
Geomatics Data Solutions Fills Bathymetric LIDAR Gap
GeoTerra Orders New Advanced Optech Galaxy
Ordnance Survey Helps to Drive Economic Growth and Digital Innovation
Former Governor Geringer Calls for Making NSDI High Priority
MAPPS Supports Proposed FAA UAS Rules
RIEGL to Exhibit and Sponsor REAL 2015
Orbit GT to Showcase Mobile Mapping Content Manager at ILMF in Denver
MAPPS Fall Conference to be Held in Conjunction with Drone World Expo
Settop Battery for ADL Vantage and TDL450l Radio Modems
Esri Story Map Shows Horror Movies, Comedies
Woolpert Innovators Recognized for Blue Ridge Tunnel Project
Phase One Aerial Cameras and IGI AEROcontrol Now Fully Integrated
Registration Open for NSPS-MAPPS National Conference, April 13-16
Keystone Purchases Third UltraCam Falcon with UltraNav
Maptek Re-Launches Open Pit Scheduler as Maptek Evolution
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    E-Magazine - February 2015: Vol. 12, #2
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    E-Magazine - January 2015: Vol. 12, #1
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