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I hope you had a pleasant 4th of July. Our hearts go out to all the folks who are dealing with the flooding in the upper Midwest. What a mess! And as with so much else nowadays, the flooding will become a political issue, pitting the Corps of Engineers water release policy against the folks who are being affected by the flooding.
LightSquared remains in the news. You can see the latest by scrolling down to the News section, but our point-man on the issue, Gavin Schrock, has this to say: "The report is in—and it is fairly damning. Per the January 2011 conditional waiver from the FCC, LightSquared and the GPS industry were to test elements of the proposed system for potential interference hazards. After a two week extension requested by LightSquared the ordered report arrived amid heated rhetoric on both sides.
"While the report might put the skids on the original proposal, the hastily prepared alternatives being promoted by LightSquared would still cripple high precision GPS uses, like surveying, machine control, and precision agriculture—these industry segments might represent a small percentage of receivers, but combined they represent the largest portion of the total economic benefit of GPS. With only a 30 day public comment period ending July 30th, our industry cannot afford to miss out on having our concerns heard. Find links to the report, more analysis, and how to file your concerns directly with the FCC HERE."
The Survey Summit begins at the end of this week, and we are really looking forward to all the continuing education, catching up with old friends, etc. Also, the Summit will have a panel about LightSquared which should be interesting! Not sure I'd want to be the lone LightSquared representative...
Our new issue will mail soon, and as always, it's full of great content. I discuss the highlights in the Spotlight below, and you can scroll down to see the new issue.
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: Military Surveying: Then & Now
As a former artillery surveyor for the U.S. Army, I have a soft spot in my heart for "82 Charlies." Until recently, 82C was the designation given to artillery surveyors, with other initials going to construction (82 Bravo) and topographic (82 Delta) surveyors. Because there was such a great ....
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Subsurface Modeling - Utilities Can't Be Seen... Can They Be Surveyed?
The accuracy and detail of above-ground surveying continues to be enhanced by satellite-based positioning, and optical technologies like LiDAR and laser scanning. Software is now ....
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The Elevation Certificate {translated} Part 1
Over the years we (the authors) keep hearing the crying and moaning from our colleagues about the abuse surveyors endure at the hands of civil engineers, zoning and planning regulators, government officials and all outsiders having no ....
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Reconstructing An Accident Scene
As do many police forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigates motor vehicle collisions as part of its mandate. The RCMP has trained some police officers to provide additional investigative expertise as collision analysts and ...
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Product Review: Sokkia SRX
A few years ago, when business was booming here in Texas and across the U.S., the demand for our services was growing. My dad and I realized that we needed to expand our survey operation. There were several routes we could pursue­hire more people to help increase production (investing ...
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How Precise is OPUS? - Part 1: Experimental Results
NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) introduced its Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) in 2001 as a means to provide both easy and accurate access to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). Surveyors and others can submit dual frequency GPS data to the OPUS web page ...
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Book Marks: Burt's Solar Compass: Its Conception, Development, Manufacturing, Marketing and Daily Use by Robert C. Miller
Experience with navigational trigonometry in high school led Robert Miller to a lifelong interest in the astronomical triangle and the equipment used in defining its values. A broader interest in the history of technology ....
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Sponsored by Ashtech

With ProMark 500 and the new ProMark 100 and 200 GNSS receivers, Ashtech offers land surveyors the complete range of GNSS solutions to meet each surveyor's individual needs, style and budget. ProMark accuracy, advanced multi-path mitigation and ruggedness, add up to better survey productivity. Choose the receiver that best suits your needs and grow with ProMark!


feature As promised, in the new issue I have much more to say about military surveying. Needless to say—and coming off the 4th of July—I'm proud of the young men and women who volunteer to be put in harm's way. And it's cool to see how technology is being implemented on behalf of our warfighters.

As surveyors, we've always been nervous about certifying to things we can't see. New technology might change that, and allow us to express an informed opinion about underground utilities, and provide feed for 3D models.

Battered by technology, we have seen work that always required a surveyor being performed by non-surveyors. But something for which we are still looked to is elevation certificates. Trouble is, many of us don't know how to fill out the paperwork! Bart and Wendy have teamed up on a two-part everything-you-need-to-know series about this money-making opportunity.

Thousands of surveyors are using the Online Positioning User Service (OPUS), but how many have ever stopped to think about its accuracy and precision? Because surveyors have to be concerned about measurement traceability, this three-part series will provide everything you need to know. And the list of six authors reads like a who's-who at NGS. Some are retired, but all are still active.

Rounding out the issue is an application article about Altus GNSS gear being used by the Royal Canadian Mounties, a gear review of the popular Sokkia GRX robotic total station (the RC-PR4 360º prism is pictured), and a book review about a seminal instrument—the solar compass—that was used when regular compasses were rendered unuseable by underground iron deposits.

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Riegl is recognized as the performance leader in the airborne power line mapping, civil infrastructure, mobile mapping, hydrographic, mining, and terrestrial based industries. Our instruments are well known for their ruggedness and reliability under demanding environmental conditions. Visit our website for more.


Optimal Ranging Introduces the Spar, One-step Subsurface Utility Locator and Mapper
LightSquared’s “Recommendation” Document: A Review
Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Up in May
Steve Santovasi to Present ‘From RTK to Mobile: High Accuracy Municipal Infrastructure Data Collection’ at the Survey Summit
FCC-Mandated Working Group Report Documents Pervasive Harmful Interference with GPS
Report Shows that LightSquared’s Plans Cause Harmful Interference with GPS Across-the-Board
Got LiDAR? … Maximize LiDAR Investment by Serving it On the Internet
Interference with GPS Signals Could Be “a Matter of Life and Death”
European Lidar Mapping Forum Sells 60% of Exhibit Stands in Just 4 Weeks!
Septentrio and Altus Announce Expansion of Strategic Relationship
New Simplified Accuracy Check of As-Built Plans for Recently Buried Fibre Optic Lines
LightSquared’s Proposed “Solution” to GPS Issue is a Non-Starter
House Committee Acts to Halt Any FCC Expenditures Related to LightSquared Proposal Until Harmful GPS Interference Issues Resolved
Leica Geosystems Responds to Increasing Demand in North Carolina
ESRI Director of Education Says Job Market for GIS Professionals is Strong and Growing
Spatial Media Announces the Launch of LiDAR Magazine
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    Sponsored by Altus Positioning Systems

    ALTUS Positioning Systems is dedicated to providing customers with first class positioning system products and freedom of choice. Our Engineers have been involved in Survey products since the beginning of the Satellite Surveying Era. We are committed to ease of use, a low cost of ownership and flexibility to accommodate different working environments.

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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.
    Send your event info to editor[at]


    The following articles from the Vol.8, No.4 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 Map Collection -- Map of the Indian and Oklahoma territories CREATED/PUBLISHED [S.l.], 1892. NOTES Scale ca. 1:760,000. This map is 23"x17".

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