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LightSquared continues to be in the news. If you make money with GPS, you would be strongly advised to go directly to your Congressperson to let them know how important GPS is to us. There's a lot more in my editorial—including talking points—which you can see by scrolling down.
Gavin Schrock, our resident GNSS expert, is busy organizing a Protect GPS Rally in Seattle on September 22. He is inviting the press, and you are strongly encouraged to do the same in your community. To help, Gavin has assembled several documents, including How to Organize, and a sample Press Release. These documents explain how they are doing it, why, and guidelines, and even include suggestions for placards for demonstrators.
We need a concerted effort to convince our elected officials. Even though we are in the midst of a horrific construction slowdown, it would be unthinkable to throw our jobs under the bus, all under the guise of creating new ones. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch with Gavin.
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: Editorial: Do You Depend on GPS to Make Money?
The LightSquared issue refuses to go away. After the presentations by LightSquared and the Coalition to Save Our GPS at the Survey Summit in July, it seemed that if LightSquared stayed in the lower band of the two bands adjacent to GPS, its plan might work. Since then, it has ....
Read the Article
Surveyors on a Busman's Holiday
What surveyor is not fascinated with quad maps? How about a 2000' offset in a state boundary? Add some neat labels like "Montgomery's Corner" and "30 Mile Post", a few good friends, a love of the mountains, and a plan is born. This "offset" is ....
Read the Article
The Elevation Certificate {translated} Part 2
In Part 1 of this article we explained Section A of the Elevation Certificate (EC) after underscoring the significance of filling out the form correctly in the big NFIP arena, aside from the surveyor's professional responsibility. In Part 2 we offer ....
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GNSS in Music City: Surveying with Javad's Triumph V.S.
While I've been using GPS equipment professionally since 1997, seeing the Triumph V.S. GNSS system gave me reason to pause. Gone are the days when setting up a receiver in the field was a job better suited for two people rather than one. The ...
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Conference Review: The Second Optech Innovative LiDAR Solutions Conference
Optech's CEO Don Carswell opened the second Innovative LiDAR Solutions Conference by noting that their timing was much better than two years ago when the inaugural event coincided with the depth of the worldwide ...
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How Precise is OPUS? Part 2: Available Precision Estimates
This is the second of three articles discussing the precision obtainable with the Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) offered by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS). The first article appeared in the immediately preceding issue of this magazine. OPUS is a Web-based utility available ...
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Reconnaissance: Developments and Questions Regarding the New 2011 ALTA/ACSM Standards
After more than two years of diligent work on the part of a number of persons and with the passing of February 23rd, the effective date of the new 2011 ALTA/ACSM Standards, one could have mistakenly thought ....
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Earthquake in Christchurch
The scale of the astounding and tragic events in Japan on March 11, 2011 very quickly eclipsed news of the February 22 earthquake in New Zealand. Since my wife and I were on holiday in Christchurch at time the latter will always remain a deeply....
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Surveyors Report: The Face of Surveying
The fable of The Six Blind Men and the Elephant tells of the 6 mutually exclusive opinions describing an elephant. So it has been with surveying. For thousands of years the profession has included any and all technologies available. Leading observers from different perspectives have come up ...
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feature A Visit to Topcon. I recently visited Topcon's US headquarters in Livermore, CA. It had been two years since my last visit, and I was very impressed with all the activity. Not only was the product assembly area a beehive of activity, I also was fortunate to visit Topcon's 15-year-old field site a few miles from the headquarters.

The next issue of the magazine will contain a detailed report about my visit, but here's a preview of what I found: with the exception of total stations, all Topcon gear for the worldwide markets—including GNSS, machine control and LiDAR—is assembled in Livermore. Since my last visit, the company has applied "lean" manufacturing techniques which has resulted in increased product quality and reliability. According to Wikipedia, lean manufacturing “eliminates expenditures for resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer.”

The field site is used not only for testing and improving, but also for demonstrating all machine control products. As an example of cross-pollination, I was surprised to learn that technology from Topcon's medical division has been used in Topcon's agricultural machine control products: Topcon's medical division makes equipment for examing eyes, and techniques it developed for examining the back of an eyeball are employed for crop inspection. This information is then used to tell the farmer what chemicals to apply, where, and in what quantities.

One of my meetings was with Mark Contino, VP of Marketing, and I learned that even though the US market is down, sales from other parts of the world are keeping Topcon strong and healthy, and that the company is looking forward, not backward. Contino says Topcon sees an increasingly digital future, one in which business owners can use the Internet in near real time to help with productivity. You can view the flickr photos of my visit HERE

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50th Space Wing Installs Large Software Sustainment Release
Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority Issues Request for Information
Gage Joins Allen Instruments and Supplies
Trimble’s Popular Nomad 900 Rugged Handheld Computer Achieves IP68 Rating and Adds Five New Language Options
Hemisphere GPS Announces New S320 GNSS Survey Solution
APWA Urges Congress to Enact President’s Job-Generating Investments in America’s Infrastructure
Construction Materials Group Supports President’s Call For More Infrastructure Investment
Rods N Pods Appointed Leica Geosystems‘ Construction Dealer for Atlantic Canada Region
GIS Finds its Way to The Cloud
SITECH Technology Dealership Expands into Oregon and Southwest Washington for Heavy and Highway Contractors
Blue Marble’s Third Annual User Conference Free to All Pre-Registered Attendees
Global Study Shows Innovation in Learning Drives Workforce Productivity
Trimble’s Inpho 5.4 Software Features New Capabilities to Improve Performance, Workflow and Result Quality
Trimble’s New 80 Megapixel Aerial Camera Extends the Medium-Format Application Range
Hemisphere GPS Announces New A31 Precision GPS Beacon Antenna
Harbor City of Ancient Rome Gets GNSS Coordinate System
European LiDAR Mapping Forum Launch 2011 Conference Programme
Maptek Keynote Speaker Addresses Scotland’s Legacy to Science
Construction Industry Unemployment at 13.5 Percent in August
U.S. Army Increases Geospatial-Intelligence for Warfighters with SOCET GXP
Private Nonresidential Construction Spending Falls 0.4 Percent in July
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