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feature Hello Amerisurv user... The entire country seems to be waiting to see what's going to happen with the economy. Having seen many of these up and down cycles in my 40+ years of surveying, and even having been forced to move halfway across the country back in the 1980s because of a similar downturn, I've been nervous, suspecting that because the run-up lasted so long, the correction was going to be deeper and longer-lasting.
What we are seeing is unprecedented in most of our lives. Those of us who are of a certain age heard the stories from parents who endured the Depression, but I believe that our government has tools at its disposal that didn't exist back then, and that the downturn will be short-lived.
Having said that, I'm still confident that once the various stimulus packages take effect, we'll once again be able to start building and re-building America. Our RTN expert, Gavin Schrock, sent an article from Spokane that talked about how "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects will be the first ones to be funded, so I hope these exist in your area!
Given the circumstances, I sincerely hope you and yours have a Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
Our December issue is in the mail, and you can get a peek below. I draw your attention to this month's runaway favorite on the website, my interview with Sam Diaz, Bechtel's Chief Surveyor. Quite a story! Also popular is the Shawn Billings review of the Topcon Imaging Station and the Tom Greaves story about iRacing.
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: Tumultuous Times
If you've reached the end of 2008 feeling just a bit worn out, you're not alone. From the adrenaline highs of Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics to the depressing lows of an economy in crisis, and from the euphoria surrounding Obama's November election to the sobering realities of the ....
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Point to Point: The Digital Surveys Archive
A show of hands now: How many of you produced a hand-drawn plat or map within the last month? Within the last year? Undoubtedly there are surveyors still drawing by hand, but their numbers get smaller and smaller as the years pass. For the rest of us, the digital age means not only that computations and ....
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A New Star Over Milan
Innovation and precise surveying bring complex architecture to life. They are meant to impress. Designed by cutting-edge architects, today's office buildings, commercial complexes and public buildings are taking on new and exciting forms. With glittering facades and ...
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A Visit to MicroSurvey
In my forty-some years in the survey industry I've crossed paths with lots of interesting people, each with a story to tell. The roads that led many to successful careers were a `straight shot' for some, with a specific goal in mind and clear-cut steps to get there. But for many others the stories include tales of ...
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The WowFactor: Topcon ImageMaster
Surveyors traditionally have welcomed emerging technology when it offers an improvement in the accuracy and integrity of measurement and mapping. One of the most revolutionary tools of late for the surveyor has been the emergence of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The term encompasses ....
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ProFile: Sam Diaz - Chief Surveyor of Bechtel Corporation
One of eight brothers and sisters, 54-year-old Sam Diaz grew accustomed to changing locations and making cross-country moves early in life. Today, having changed world time-zones as easily as some people change radio stations, we are pleased to have this veteran surveyor and world traveler share ....
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Scanning In The Streets
Anyone who's visited Fenway Park to see the Boston Red Sox knows that current principal owner John Henry is among the world's best in sports event marketing. The Red Sox Nation experience spans generations and economic strata and reaches from eastern Maine to ...
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Surv-Fi, Part 3: Defending The Future
There had been so much interest in the case, that the venue had been changed to a hearing room at the state capitol. The notices and press releases included an invitation for attendees who wished to arrive early and use their own instruments to observe three test marks set up in ...
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Product Review: The Topcon IS Imaging Station
The Topcon IS (Imaging Station) is the latest offering from Topcon Positioning Systems' optical equipment lineup. It is built on the 900 series robotic chassis, however its expanded capabilities go well beyond a typical servo-driven total station. True to Topcon's philosophy of reaching the masses, they have managed to ...
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Vantage Point: Fiddling with Floods
My brother and I recently spent several days in New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity on new, elevated homes in the Upper 9th Ward. On our way to the job site each day, we passed businesses and houses that, three years and a month after Katrina's tumultuous visit, look like ...
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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 Looking to the future - Last week, I attended a two-day symposium—held by NGS, the Geomatics Industry Association of America (survey industry software and hardware developers), and ACSM—at the legendary Corbin, Virginia NGS test facility. Surveying Mecca, Corbin has been the site of much research for NGS, including such things as triangulation and EDM calibration base lines, all the way to calibration models for GPS antennas. The meeting attracted more than 40 people (pic above) to begin cooperation between NGS and the manufacturers to enable the gear we buy to more-effectively take advantage of NGS technology.

Much of the meeting revolved around the sea change brought about by CORS and the fact that users are shifting from “brass cap” passive monuments to active positioning. Here's a factoid: Even though NGS still publishes the data for nearly a million passive monuments, it has no way to physically maintain them, and by attrition, mark recovery reports have winnowed the number down to around 70,000. Accordingly, future products and services from NGS will be more Internet-based and will be heavily tied to something the NGS is calling Foundation CORS. Look for an extensive write-up in my January editorial.
Expand into Monitoring

With Trimble, your business can easily adapt to new opportunities and handle a broader scope of jobs than ever before. The world is in constant motion and deformation monitoring is an important new opportunity for the surveying industry. See how surveyors around the world are advancing business with Trimble Engineering and Monitoring Solutions.


Magellan Announces New PC Software for Building a Real Time Data Server (RTDS)
California Surveyor Paul Cuomo Passes
Applanix Introduces On-board OmniSTAR XP Corrections for its POS AV Products
Carlson Software Introduces All New Carlson Business Suite
SECO Offers a New Solution for Network Reference Stations
Trimble Introduces the Juno Series of Feature-Rich Economical GPS Handhelds
Two Technologies Introduces Safari Rugged Hand Held Computer
WGI Offers Latest Hydrographic Surveying Technology
Construction Expert Denounces the NTSB's Report on the I-35W Bridge Collapse
Topcon GIS Business Partner Program Creates Opportunities
Aerial Services Adds Leica’s ADS80-SH82 Airborne Digital Sensor to Arsenal of Pro Mapping Tools
Microsoft, ESRI to Help Improve Homeland Security Operations
Merrick & Company Opens San Antonio, TX Office
Langan Named “Engineering Firm of the Year” by Developers & Builders Alliance
LizardTech Launches Video Showing Off Efficient Image Delivery
ESRI Offers Online Class for Working with CAD Data in ArcGIS Desktop
Océ Outlines Key Considerations for Printing Complex Design and Construction Documents
NORAD Santa prepares to Track Santa on Christmas Eve - mobile app too!
MAPPS Applauds FAA Approval of Training Tool to Improve Air Traffic Control Management
AutoCAD 2009 Enhances PDF Capabilities and Adds On-demand 3D Printing
AAG - Special Session to Explore Future of Water in American West
Workshop - build your own GPS-enabled software for collecting data in the field.
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    Each week in this section we'll update you about Surveying and other Geospatial conferences, training, seminars, webinars, and relevant events. Feel free to make a suggestion for future consideration.
    ACSM-MARLS-UCLS-WFPS Conference - February 20-23, 2009, Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT. The always successful combination of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and the Western Federation of Professional Surveyors (combined this time with the Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors and the Utah Council of Surveyors) is once again offering a dynamic program of workshops that will provide all of the continuing education credits you will need to meet your state’s requirements.

    Trimble Dimensions 2009 - February 23-25, 2009, The Mirage, Las Vegas. As a surveying, engineering, construction, mapping, GIS, geospatial and mobile resource management professional, Trimble Dimensions 2009 attendance is your ticket to greater success. Choose from more than 300 sessions and learn how to get the most from your positioning equipment. Listen to industry leaders discuss the future of positioning. Connect with peers from around the world and share information and explore new solutions in our partner pavilion.

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    California Land Surveyors Association 2009 Conference - March 28-April 1, 2009, Hilton San Diego Resort (Mission Bay)., (707) 578-6016.

    SPAR 2009 - March 30- April 1, 2009, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Denver, Colorado. SPAR 2009 will focus on best practices for using 3D imaging technologies to design and deliver capital projects as well as operate, modify and maintain production, manufacturing and infrastructure assets.

    Send your event info to editor[at]
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    The following articles from our November, 2008 issue are also available on the Amerisurv website.


    Did-U-Know you can now download ALL the USGS DRGs for Free from the Internet Archive

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