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Welcome to our December newsletter...The latest issue is online. Image-wise, my favorite this time around is the Coast & Geodetic Survey WWII crew composed of conscientious objectors. It was written by Albert "Skip" Theberge, a NOAA Corps officer who served for 27 years prior to retirement in 1995. For the past 15 years he has worked as a research librarian at the NOAA Central Library and has produced a number of historical works related to the Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS) and seafloor mapping. He also produced the NOAA History website and the NOAA Photo Library which includes thousands of historic photos related to the work of the C&GS. Skip told me that the 1940s slides he found for the article are the oldest he's ever worked with.
Other articles I particularly like are the Mushpot Cave scanning article and the Chattanooga Rendezvous Recap article, both of which contain gorgeous imagery. To see the images, charts, etc. in the articles, be sure to click on the PDF version. Recently-retired-from-NGS Dr. Richard Snay and Chris Pearson, the geodetic adviser for Illinois, have collaborated on an article about HTDP, the NGS software that allows surveyors to account for plate tectonic movement. Who would have thought that we would be able to detect such incredibly small movements?
Rounding out the issue, Wendy Lathrop weighs in with an article about a FEMA topic that is vexing for surveyors—is it a crawlspace or a basement? And Missouri surveyor Chris Wickern suggests an excellent outreach initiative to inform the public of who surveyors are and what they do. Finally, Cliff Wilkie, the manager of the Albuquerque RTN, writes about his experiences. Scroll down to see all the new articles.
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: Winds of Change
The Windy City lived up to its name during a recent visit to Chicago where we attended a press event hosted by LizardTech, the leader in file compression. Those of you who deal with aerial images--for example, as backdrops for your land development maps--have undoubtedly ....
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CPS-98—An Odd Geodetic Survey Crew
The following paragraph is found on page 9 of the official history of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in World War II: "To provide the additional staff needed, and to replace employees who joined the armed forces, many changes in ....
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Laser Scanning Mushpot Cave
The concept for this project was hatched in the brilliance-inducing state one achieves by moving rapidly between the dim, flickering ambiance of a GIS computer screen and the dim, flickering ambiance of a bat-filled lava tube cave, which ....
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 Snay Pearson 
Coping with Tectonic Motion
Using GPS technology, surveyors can easily measure positional coordinates with centimeter-level accuracy. As a consequence of this capability, surveyors are now exposed to coordinates that change over time due to plate tectonics. In the contiguous United States (CONUS), the fastest ...
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Rendezvous 2010 Recap
Rendezvous, in the plural sense, are more than meetings--they are gatherings and collections of brand spanking new perspectives on ancient, old and archaic facts in surveying history. Over the past 14 years the Surveyors Historical ...
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Vantage Point: Crawlspaces and Basements
Surveyors have been having trouble describing buildings for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since time immemorial, or at least since the introduction of building diagrams to categorize general construction techniques. It seemed that every structure we encountered in the ...
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Real Time GNSS Network in New Mexico
Think RTK without a base station and you have a Real Time Network (RTN). No more shuffling through datasheets to find a nearby control point or doing recon for a station with unobstructed sky visibility and clear line of sight to the jobsite. No need to set up the unit in morning and tear it down in ....
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Surveyors Report: It Started at the Fair
On the opening day of the 2010 State Fair, the Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors started a Height Modernization Survey. This is a volunteer effort across the state with private surveyors donating their time and resources. Public surveyors from state and federal agencies also ...
Read the Comments

As evidenced by the recent election, the economy is foremost in the minds of the American people. We attended the recent Carlson User Conference and Trimble Dimensions, and based on what we heard, I'm pleased to report that things appear to be picking up. We spoke with two manufacturers, one for handheld devices and the other for accessories, and both say their orders have increased.

This is a good sign because we all know that, for surveyors to have work, things have to be built, and the fact that orders have increased for these two segments of our industry tells us that the workload has picked up. Surveyors we've talked to across the country are also echoing this.

A recent news item from ASCE caught my eye. In it, ASCE calls for an increase in the federal gasoline tax. In light of the recent election, which clearly mandated a reduction in both taxation and spending, my first reaction was, "You've got to be kidding!"

But as I gave it more thought, I realized that it might be a good thing simply because the things ASCE wants the money used for—infrastructure—would create work for surveyors. Having spent time in Europe where gasoline is $7-8 a gallon, and realizing that a barrel of oil costs the same there as here, it's easy to see that the price difference is almost all tax.

Even so, because we've heard so much—mainly from ASCE—about the dismal state of our country's infrastructure, I will support such a tax increase here in the U.S. for the reason stated above, but only if ALL the monies collected are used for the intended purpose and not funneled off into the General Fund.


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DM-3 Booster with 3 GLONASS-M Satellites Falls into Pacific
Riegl USA Announces the New V-Line VQ-580 Airborne Laser Scanner
New AVEVA IntelliLaser for Intelligent Integration of Laser Data into Plant Asset Management Launched at SPAR Europe
Gas Tax Increase is Vital to U.S. Economy and Public Safety
Enhanced Area Calculation Tool Now Available in Geographic Calculator
GeoFly Purchases Second UltraCam Aerial Camera
Nonresidential Construction Employment Down Slightly in November
How Local Government Efficiency Grants Reduced the Cost of One Pavement Management Project by 60%
INOVx Announces Release of RealityLINx 5.4 for Rapidly Built & Highly Accurate Intelligent Plant Models
Riegl USA Announces the New V-Line Riegl VZ-1000 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner
LandWorks Named Reseller of WhiteStar Enterprise Mapping Products
GPS Mobile Mapping Used to Resolve Kosovo Private Property Claims
'Bridge in a Backpack' Could Help Crumbling U.S. and Global Infrastructure
HP Demonstrates New Collaborative Design Process, Engineering Advantages for Professionals at Autodesk University
JAVAD GNSS to Hold Workshops for New TRIUMPH-VS Receiver
Pointools Unveils Plug-in for Google SketchUp
GPS + GLONASS + GIOVE Real-Time Clock Product
Global Positioning System Satellite Achieves 20 Years On-Orbit
GeoMax Introduces New Total Stations Zoom30 and Zoom20
ERDAS 11 World Tour Appearing in Moscow
ION Releases Global Positioning Systems Redbook Volume Seven
BIM: A Dimensional Shift
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    bookHistoric Print Collection -- Christian Hurtin / A highly decorative surveying compass, dated 1794, made by clock and instrument maker Christian Hurtin in Goshen New York. This particular compass displays primitive art typical of many 18th century American clock and instrument makers. Note: This print is 23"x18".

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