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Spring has sprung as we escape the seemingly never-ending Snowmageddon. Of course, the folks in California are dealing with the lack of snowpack in the Sierras, so weather is still on everybody's mind. Here's hoping your workload is picking up. We just returned from a very successful SPAR conference in Houston. More about that in Spotlight below.

Our April issue is distributing, and as usual it's got a lot of great surveying content. As I'm typing, the NGS activities article (Part 4 of 4) is tied with Dick Elgin's 5th Principal Meridian article on the Hit Parade, but the lead changes almost daily. Close behind is an interesting Lake Wobegon story. If you don't know about Lake Wobegon, you'll have to read the article!

Responding to requests, in addition to the flippy, we are now processing the entire issue as one giant PDF. A 41Mb file of the current issue is available here. To see the flippy you can click on the magazine cover to the right, 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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Guest Editorial: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us—Pogo
Over the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure of writing for American Surveyor Magazine. In the course of this endeavor, I have spent a lot of time with editor Marc Cheves and we have had a number of talks about content and topics. I also spent a lot of time with the late Curtis M. Brown and ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Angle Points: A Question of Ethics
Society places great demands on folks, especially in today's hectic world. There are far too many situations that tempt one's sense of right or wrong. As challenging as this may seem, conscious decisions to do the wrong thing does not make it acceptable, especially "when everyone else does it." ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: Public Benefit
Ongoing local controversies provide a wealth of opportunities to secondguess the governing bodies. The first of today's scenarios raises questions about powers of local governments to take private properties that should have been settled long ago, even with the illogical blip of the US Supreme ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
When Bench Marks & Section Corners Collide
Prior to the 1896-97 field season, surveyors with the U. S. Geological Survey, who were engaged in the topographic mapping of the United States, left very few bench marks for public use. USGS came under scrutiny for failing to establish permanent ....
Read the Article
D.J. Ruckman, PS 
Forks of the Road to the Wilderness—The Indiana Buffalo Traces
The 1770 Colonial Americans were eager to discover and open new lands west of the densely forested Appalachian Mountains. For Surveyor and Mapmaker, John Filson, the opportunities west of the Mountains, were endless. After several months of exploring along the ancient hoof packed ....
Read the Article
Dr. Richard L. Elgin, PS, PE 
The Initial Point of the 5th Principal Meridian
November 10, 2015 is an important date to nearly every American who owns land in the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and in parts of Minnesota and South Dakota. Every surveyor in those states should stop for a moment, and with head bowed, remember every GLO Deputy Surveyor ....
Read the Article
Tony Cavell, PS, CFedS 
Product Review: Traverse PC—To Think Like A Surveyor
Several months back I had the good fortune to try a new (for me) software package. I am impressed with it and it brought to the fore some history I have been privileged to live through. There has always been a fundamental disconnect between surveyors and practically everyone else. That ....
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Matt Pike 
Completing the Lake Wobegon Trail—Vision to Design
The urban areas in Stearns County, Minnesota, are like islands in a sea of corn, soybean and dairy farms. Through this bucolic setting runs the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail (LWRT)--named after Garrison Keillor's fictitious lake--a 62-mile (100-km) ....
Read the Article
Activities at the National Geodetic Survey—Part 4 of 4
The August 23, 2011 earthquake in Virginia shook the Washington D.C. region strongly enough to damage the Washington Monument. A repair project was initiated shortly thereafter, and to accomplish this task scaffolding was erected, encasing the ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 7
The current price range of the HP35s is $50-$60 in the United States. In 1972 a new HP35 cost $395. Adjusting $395 to 42 years of inflation equates to about $2,200 according to internet fodder. Going backwards, $60 in 2014 bucks equates to about $10.75 in 1972. It's no big secret that ....
Read the Article
FeedBack—Thoughts From Our Readers
What prompted me to write to you was your excellent editorial in this issue ("The Fire Alarm," NCEES and experience requirement for LS). Just let me state for the record that as an engineer, but one whose first love was and remains survey, thanks in no small part to my wonderful professor Andy ....
Read the Article
Terrance Mish, PS 
A Technique for Precision Point Setting
Generally, most surveying books provide instructions for the setting up of tribrachs and optical plummets over known physically existing points. This article provides instructions for setting a tripod/tribrach combination over an unknown point ....
Read the Article
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feature Before I get to the SPAR discussion, I'd like to comment about something else. Mike Pallamary has written the editorial in the new issue. He has also written a piece about ethics. Mike's editorial was written in response to criticism of the magazine by a California surveyor. My conscience is clear regarding my conduct as editor, but I thought it would be more appropriate for someone else to defend me and the magazine.

As expected there was more of a UAV presence at SPAR. For the first time, attendance cracked 1,000. The biggest buzz revolved around what appears to be potentially disruptive technologies like flash LiDAR and photon counting detection. We sat down with industry veteran Brent Gelhar of Spatial Initiative Consulting (www.spatialinitiatives.org), and he explained that LiDAR pulses are composed of bundles of photons. He likened it to a cigar-shaped grouping that goes out and is reflected back, the cigar shape being a direct relation to the laser pulse width. To validate and measure the time of flight (TOF), the detector interprets the return “cigar” by comparing it to what was sent. Current detectors (typically Avalanche Photo Diodes) need a relatively large number of photons to trigger the APD. The new photon counting detector technology has the ability to detect and actually count single photons, which means there could be about a 10-20 fold increase in sensitivity. Much more sensitive detection will provide better and more accurate data. As you can imagine, the new technology has created controversy, with current technology manufacturers saying the result doesn't contain as much information. Only time will tell. We've already hosted one webinar about the new technology and will be hosting more in the future, so stay tuned! You can still download the slides or view the recording.

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Keynote on Commercial Space-Based Imaging at Optech ILSC 2015
FAA UAS Manager to Speak at MAPPS, NSPS Conference
Nonresidential Construction Employment Ticks up Despite Report
Wildfire: There’s an App for That
Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February
Orbit GT Partners with Mandli for Maverick Release at SPAR, Houston
New Leica ScanStation, Point Cloud Software
FARO Streamlines As-Built to BIM Workflows with PointSense for Revit
Largest Potato Identified Using LiDAR Analysis Tools in Global Mapper
Topcon Releases Newest Vehicle Mounted 3D Mobile Mapping System
Webinar for Geospatial Summit and Height Modernization Meeting
SAM Expands Survey Capacity with Second Lynx Mobile Mapper
The State By State Construction Job Market
TerraGo Edge v3.5 Delivers Survey Grade Precision for Field Workers
Bluesky Purchases Second UltraCam Eagle Camera
Phase One Industrial Announces the iXU 180 80 MP Camera
Offenders Follow Virginia Tradition to Become Surveyor Assistants
Real-World Lynx Accuracy and New LMS 3.0 Features
Latin America Sanitation Company Chooses ProMark GNSS Receivers
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