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Merry Christmas!... I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for in our great country! Given the state of our economy and the news every day, it's easy to become discouraged, but I sincerely believe that things will bounce back. Question is, when? I continue to hear that surveyors have a little work, but I also know that many surveyors have been laid off and are out of work altogether. And speaking of unemployment, here's a frightening time-lapse map that shows unemployment by county, starting in January 2007.
The new issue is close to being mailed, and as always, it's packed with great content. Since we publish a surveying magazine, some might find my fascination with remote sensing a bit odd, but I truly believe that it will play a larger role in land development work as time goes on. Accordingly, I eagerly visited GeoEye here in the D.C. area to learn more. The part about parachuting satellite reconnaisance photos back to Earth back in the 1960s blew me away, as did the star trackers.
Another article which merits attention is 10 Things I've Learned by Tom Chicca. I have a personal connection to Tom because he was my boss for seven years when I was a survey manager at Greenhorne & O'Mara before I got into the magazine business. As many of you know, managing people can be difficult. Tom's article is a distillation of his 35-year career at G&O, and is full of rock-solid management advice.
Another great article is Bart Crattie's response to his Dad's inquiry about how the Tennessee-Kentucky border near the Land Between the Lakes came to be. This area is rich in history, and the Tennessee Valley Authority's activities will be part of the program at next year's Surveyors Historical Society annual Rendezvous in Chattanooga.
There's plenty more great content, and you can scroll down to see the new November-December line-up.
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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    Guest Editorial: CGSIC Highlights
    To state simply that the pool of GPS users has grown rapidly would be a gross understatement; more like a flood of biblical proportions. This flood is proving to be an epic challenge for the constellation providers to manage with regards to addressing needs and concerns of ....
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    Eye In The Sky: A Visit to GeoEye
    Fom August 1960, when a capsule containing exposed film from the first classified military reconnaissance satellite was parachuted back to Earth, to present day 2009, when better than half-meter satellite imagery is available to ....
    Read the Article
    Reconnaissance: Retracement Surveys and Undocumented Corners (Part 2 of 2)
    The original surveyor initiates the establishment of the corner and monuments it. In the case of a USPLSS corner, the acceptance of the deputy surveyor's plat locks in the corner. In the case of ...
    Read the Article
    Lathrop 11-9 
    Vantage Point: "Scope Creep" and Other Illegal Activities
    There are days when it seems to be dangerous to be in business (although the alternatives are scary in a different way). We need to track our work in so many ways, including compliance with contractual arrangements and paying attention to the ultimate impact of our work. The Army ...
    Read the Article
    Chicca 11-9 
    10 Things I've Learned
    I recently retired from a medium sized engineering consulting firm. I had been with this firm for over 35 years. I started there when I graduated from the finest engineering school in the world, The University of Maryland, College Park. My career at this firm was a terrific experience. I made a ....
    Read the Article
    Crattie 11-9 
    Tennessee's Chimney
    I think it was Christmas you said rumor had it the surveyors were drunk on the Tennessee/Kentucky line around the land between the rivers. There's something I need to tell you. All across this great country, state lines are really, really ....
    Read the Article
    Product Review: Altus APS-3
    A few short years ago it appeared that the precision GPS equipment manufacturing market was going to be controlled by just three or four companies. Mergers, acquisitions and partnerships consolidated the market at a rapid pace, with no new companies entering the ...
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    Model Behavior: The How-To Guide to Successful Surface Modeling, Part 3
    Back for more? Welcome to the third installment in a series where we are discussing the exciting world of digital terrain modeling! As you have experienced in the marketplace, it is no longer enough to simply ...
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    Day, night, week-end, holiday, you name it... Amerisurv is updated 24/7 with the latest news and announcements affecting today's Land Surveying professional. Below are some of the latest items of interest.

    feature Letters to the Editor... We seldom get complaints about the content of the magazine, but the last issue generated three:

    1) What’s up with the first two articles in your October 2009 issue (Rebuilding the Greens at the Olympic Club, and Verdict at the Little Bighorn)? There are exactly zero land surveyors consulted or physically involved in either of those projects. Both of them would have benefited immediately from the contributions of a land surveyor. We’re failing miserably in defining our profession and marketing our skills and expertise to the general public and headlining the magazine with articles about projects that effectively preclude the skills of a surveyor certainly doesn’t help.

    2) I just read Eric Gakstatter's "Rebuilding the Greens" and I'm wondering if any of those involved making the "surveys" were actually licensed land surveyors. (In Connecticut, topographic surveys require certification by an LS.). Maybe I read through it too quickly. If not, this should be yet another warning shot for land surveyors... adapt to the new technologies and expand your business opportunities before somebody else takes it from you.

    3) I just received the October issue of The American Surveyor. Seeing the cover article I was excited to read about the surveyors role in this project. I was disappointed to find that there was not any Professional Surveyor involvement. I was especially disappointed at the closing paragraph which claimed “wealth of topological and survey data on the course”. It seems to be a trend that the manufacturing/sales of survey equipment is now marketed directly to the contractor. The fact that the sales person, author of the article, saw this as an opportunity for a sale and not as an opportunity to support his survey cliental by providing the contractor with references to surveying companies speaks volumes. I also take exception to the fact that the author claims to have “survey data” when in fact is it is only as-built data. This should have been edited. While this is an interesting article, it should not have appeared in the Trade magazine for surveyors. Maybe a magazine for contractors would have been more appropriate.

    Letters like these are very rare for The American Surveyor, and I think what we're seeing is anguish on the part of surveyors because of the economy and because so many don't have enough work. But as I've been saying for the past 14 years of magazine publishing, like it or not, technology is enabling non-surveyors to do things you always had to get a surveyor to do. And because the march of technology can't be stopped, we simply have to adapt.

    I checked with Frontier Golf and here's what they said: We did, in fact, utilize a local, licensed surveyor on the project. We are unsure of any California state laws requiring a licensed surveyor, however, we were simply checking grades on our own work, and we are a licensed California contractor.

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    Did you know that the easiest way to get news updates from amerisurv is by using an RSS feed? By clicking on the orange RSS button below you can have the latest news delivered to your desktop in an e-mail. Because we only post selected news items, this will not result in a flood, but rather will easily keep you up to date on industry news.

    Fewer Job Losses in November for Nonresidential Construction
    Video - Chattanooga Police Using Getac Rugged Notebooks
    Zoller+Fröhlich Announces LFM NetView for Laser Scan Data
    Well-Known Historian to Speak on Christmases Past, California Style
    ESRI Book Promotes Societal Benefits of Modern Land Administration
    Conference Program Launched for the 10th Annual International LiDAR Mapping Forum
    Macros in Topocad to be Added
    Mobile GIS Helps Imperial Irrigation District Prepare for Smart Grid Initiative
    NOAA Deactivates GOES-10 After 12 Years of Tracking Storms
    GPSDifferential Module for MobileMapper 6 Released
    Maptek I-Site Studio 3.3 – Greater Efficiency for Survey Scan Data Modelling
    Geospatial Systems, Inc. Announces Terrapix Multi-Spectral Camera Module
    Carlson Survey 2010 Embedded AutoCAD Version Released
    The Story of Georgia's Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography
    Nonresidential Construction Shows Continued Weakness in October
    Augmented Reality Compass/GPS/Camera/Inclinometer App Debuts for iPhone
    LizardTech Publishes GeoExpress Best Practices Guide at Autodesk University 2009 Conference
    Merrick & Company's Doak Receives DBIA Certification
    Mapcom Announces Partnership with Magellan Professional
    Blue Marble Desktop 2.1 Webinar – Get the Latest Update on the Blue Marble Desktop
    Spatial Information Solutions Announces Release of Accuracy Analyst Version 2.0
    Michael F. Feldbusch Acquires Iowa Surveying License
    Spatial Roundtable Discussion Turns to Pipeline Assets
    Le Sueur County Launches Beacon Online Records Portal
    Hemisphere GPS Forms Alliance with Third Eye Maps for Aerial Imagery Services
    Chaos Systems Releases Topocad 12
    Surveylab’s ikeGPS Integrates Standard Mine Action Software
    Educating the Public about Surveying
    Stantec Awarded $30m Contract to Provide Laser Scanning Services for US Government
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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 more events, please visit our online calendar HERE.
    Send your event info to editor[at]
    << event calendar >>


    The following articles from our October, 2009 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 -- A map of the most inhabited part of Virginia
    containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1751. Fry, Joshua, 1700 (ca.)-1754. CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Thos. Jefferys [1755] NOTES Scale ca. 1:650,000. Hand colored. Prime meridian: Philadelphia and Curratuck Inlet. Relief shown pictorially. "To the Right Honourable, George Dunk Earl of Halifax ..." Includes distance chart added by "J. Dalrymple, London Jany. ye. 1st. 1755." Note: This huge map is 23"x36"!

    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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