This newsletter for February 16, 2011 will be archived at

line News / Blog / Current Issue / Article Archives / Photos / Subscriptions / Contact
LiDAR / Machine Control / GIS / LBS / RTN-101 / Survey History / RSS Feed line
Here's our mid-issue newsletter...The new magazine is in the mail, and already, we're receiving positive comments about several of the articles. The Billings review of MicroSurvey's point cloud software continues to lead the Hit Parade. BTW, you can check the hit count of almost every posting we make to the website. We have nothing to hide, and in our small universe, we're very proud of the traffic our websites receive.
Even with very good news from the ABC Backlog Indicator, the economy continues to dominate every aspect of our daily lives. Yet another sign of a strengthening economy was this year's International LiDAR Mapping Forum, which we attended last week in New Orleans, alongside 565 attendees from 29 countries. The ILMF is now in its 11th year, and exhibit space and seating for the plenary session was filled to capacity, a sign of the ever-growing interest in LiDAR.
We appear to be entering a period of massive cost-cutting. From Texas, we received word that the governor is recommending that the Texas Board of Land Surveyors be combined with other boards. This came up when I lived in Austin back in the early 80s. At that time, they wanted to move the Board in with the tow truck operators, fight promoters AND cosmetologists! We surveyors were highly insulted and beat it back. Today, the Texas surveyors are not an entirely unconnected group, so I suspect they'll work something out. One thing's for sure: no matter what they do with the board, the license fee won't go down. Several years back Texas raised the annual license fee to nearly $400!
In other shocking news, the Maryland governor, in his annual state of the state address, called for a crackdown on housing developments that use septic systems. Aimed mostly rural subdivisions, the move will ostensibly protect the Chesapeake Bay. Governor O'Malley's other objective is to prevent suburban sprawl. You can read a 14-page 992Kb PDF of the Bill HERE. It goes with saying that the idea is being cheered by environmentalists and decried by developers and the real estate crowd. But like so much else nowadays, the correct solution lies somewhere in the middle.
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]
Sponsored by Blue Marble Geographics

Blue Marble's Geographic Calculator, the most powerful coordinate transformation tool available, is now delivered via the Blue Marble Desktop. The comprehensive, all-in-one geospatial data conversion suite offering powerful, highly accurate conversion for all of your GIS and survey data including Vector, CAD, Raster, LiDAR, DEMs, Spatial databases and more. The tool also features enhanced batch processing, Horizontal Time Dependent COGO and ATS Grid support.

Visit Blue Marble Geographics for more info.


Editorial: Good Records
Old photos and family albums tell stories that few of us ever take the time to put into words. My wife's family was fortunate to have several ancestors who were good writers. They left behind stories, rich in detail, describing their lives in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the struggles they faced ....
Read the Article
Rainier—The Unforgiving Mountain
Why has the Land Surveyors Association of Washington (LSAW) mounted repeated expedi tions to measure and remeasure Mount Rainier? Along with some very practical reasons--serving geosciences, geodesy, gravimetry, and public safety--this ....
Read the Article
Using the Lynx Mobile Mapper to Survey a Levee
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, leaving in its wake an unprecedented loss of life and property damage. Among the critical infrastructure the storm impacted was the levee system that controls the ....
Read the Article
GIS Matters: Convert CAD Data to GIS
Surveyors have been using Computer Aided Drafting/Design (CAD) for decades to draft surveys and to do design. As society becomes more spatially conscious, the ability to integrate data with geographic information systems data increases and is now to the point where CAD-GIS ...
Read the Article
Product Review: MicroSurvey CAD 2010 Ultimate
"Good!" Step. Step. Step. Plumb the pole. Beep . . . beep . . . beep. "Good!" So goes the familiar rhythm of any one of a thousand topographic surveys on any given day. Each month, surveying magazines are filled with images of point clouds from laser scans. And each month the average practicing ...
Read the Article
Conference Review: Moving Forward—2010 Leica Geosystems HDS Worldwide User Conference
This year's Leica HDS User Conference once again raised the bar for return on investment in terrestrial 3D laser scanning conferences. With attendance approaching 300, up some ...
Read the Article
Model Behavior: The How-To Guide to Successful Surface Modeling, Part 5
Welcome back! In my last article I stated that the next installment of this discussion would examine some field techniques to help create more accurate base models, but I will cover that topic at a later time ....
Read the Article
Vantage Point: The Latest "Gate"
My township taxes will probably be going up, and maybe you can gain a business lesson from my pain. Call it "Webcam-gate". Many businesses have formal policies regarding personal activities on business time. This includes phone calls to friends, family, doctors' offices, and the bank. It also ...
Read the Article
Eclipse GNSS RTK with SureTrack®

Complete your work quickly and accurately with the R320™ GNSS Receiver. Built on Hemisphere GPS’ Eclipse II™ platform, it boasts the latest GNSS patented technology and offers extremely quick start up and reacquisition times. The feature-rich standard model R320 tracks GPS L1/L2, SBAS and L-band (OmniSTAR® HP/XP/VBS) signals and can log raw data for post processing to a removable USB Flash Drive.



feature Lots of news in our industry, including a few upcoming conferences. The first, SPAR in Houston, will take place March 21-24. Now in its eighth year, this conference has grown to be very important, both nationally and internationally. If you are interested in scanning, this is one conference you do not want to miss.

feature Also international in flavor will be Optech's Second Innovative Lidar Solutions Conference in Toronto, May 31-June 3. The conference will offer "discussions on specific issues surrounding lidar and imaging data collection, measurement and analysis." I attended the first one and wrote about it HERE. I remember being very impressed at all the innovative applications. Besides, Toronto in June is nice!

feature Another conference, Hexagon 2011, will be held in Orlando June 6-9, and will bring together all of the companies Hexagon has acquired. These include not only Leica Geosystems (and its HDS division), but also Intergraph, Z/I Imaging and ERDAS. Under the theme “Building a Smarter World,” the company says the conference will "emphasize the ways in which Hexagon empowers organizations to build a smarter world through industry-specific technologies that make processes and infrastructures better, safer and smarter."

I will say that one of the brightest spots in the geospatial economy is aerial and LiDAR. Based on what we heard at ILMF and elsewhere in the geo-industry, LiDAR is booming. Of course, returning to what I said above, cost-cutting appears to be the order of the day. And while I believe technology can really help with productivity, I sincerely hope that our government will come up with pro-growth and pro-business policies that will encourage the building of America to begin once again.

Sponsored by Ashtech

Check out the new, cost-effective L1/L2 network RTK rover: Ashtech ProMark 200. Together with our comprehensive FAST Survey field software, the ProMark 200 GNSS rover meets the demanding expectations of professional land surveyors. Embedded Ashtech BLADE technology provides fast initialization and centimeter-level accuracy. The mix of exceptional RTK performance and compact design makes the ProMark 200 an extremely powerful and appealing RTK rover solution.

Visit Ashtech for more information.


Construction Backlog Shows Positive Growth in Fourth Quarter Of 2010
Trimble Introduces Railway Track Maintenance and Modernization Solution
Esri Announces the International Conservation Mapping Competition
Leica Geosystems’ User Conferences for Laser Scanning and Airborne Sensing Expand to Become Hexagon 2011 International Conference
Leica Geosystems to Showcase Latest Advances in Machine Control and Construction Positioning Technology at ConExpo 2011
NOAA: U.S. Coast Survey Civil War Map Among First to Visualize Slavery, Influence Lincoln’s Strategy
Webinar Describing New Coordinates for NGS CORS Nework Sites
Intuicom, Inc. Releases RTK Bridge—M
Pointools Software Gives New Life to Old Caves Hidden Under Nottingham
ASPRS 2011 Annual Conference Preliminary Program Available Online
ION Holds First Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition
ACSM On Web Radio
Airborne 1 Corp. and GeoDigital Int’l Expand LiDAR & Imaging Capabilities of Helicopter Operators, Mapping & Engineering Firms
Hemisphere GPS Announces World’s Most Compact All-in-One Vector GPS Compass Products
Golden Software Announces Full User’s Guide for Surfer 10
Tuck Mapping and AeroMetric to Provide High Accuracy Mapping Services
Maryland Governor Proposes Ban on Large Rural Housing Projects to Aid Chesapeake Bay, Limit Sprawl
Another First: JAVAD GNSS Receivers Track Chinese Compass (Beidou-2)
Construction Unemployment Jumps to 22.5 Percent in January
Topcon Names Gillette HR Executive for Positioning and Medical Divisions
UltraCamLp Aerial Camera Purchased by Beijing Guoce
I See Survey Control
Northrop Grumman Multi-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Counters Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq
McKim & Creed CEO Earns Doctorate Degree
Merrick & Company Releases Version 7.0 of MARS Software Suite
ArcGIS Users Gain Wider Spatial Data Access with FME 2011
Inaugural Hexagon 2011 International Conference to Deliver Unprecedented Quality and Value
Merrick Celebrates 15 Years in Renewable Energy
Esri Contributes to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Project
Nonresidential Construction Spending Dips in December 2010
Archway Systems Joins Pointools Sales Partner Program in North America
Got News? Drop a line to press [at] or Contact Us

  • LiDAR News (NEW!) - >>
  • Geospatial News - >>
  • Land Surveying News - >>
  • Machine Control News - >>

  • LiDAR News RSS Feed - LiDAR News FeedBurn >> Get our LiDAR News RSS feed
  • Geospatial RSS Feed - GISuser FeedBurn >> Get our GISuser RSS feed
  • Land Surveying RSS feed - Amerisurv FeedBlitz >> Get our Land Surveying RSS feed
  • Machine Control RSS Feed - Machine Control FeedBurn >> Get our Machine Control RSS feed
  • line
    Sponsored by Topcon

    Topcon's GRS-1 is the world's first fully integrated dual constellation network enabled RTK rover system. It is an all-in-one handheld GNSS receiver and field controller featuring high-speed processor, increased memory, built-in camera, digital compass, optional internal GSM or CDMA modem, and wireless connectivity via Wireless LAN and Bluetooth® wireless technology.

    Visit the Topcon GRS-1 for more information.


    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 a complete listing of events, please visit our online calendar HERE.
    Send your event info to editor[at]


    The following articles from the Vol.7, No.9 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 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".

    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!

    Sponsored by Trimble

    TRIMBLE S8: THE POWER TO EXCEL The most demanding jobs require the most advanced total station in the industry. Whether you need solutions to drive productivity for day to day survey tasks or precision solutions for demanding engineering projects, the Trimble S8 is the most advanced total station solution available today.

    Visit Trimble for more information.


    ADVERTISING with Spatial Media (Amerisurv, GISuser, MachineControl, LiDAR News..)
    Request our Electronic Media Planner - complete with rates and promotion options. Connect with our large, targeted audience of Land Surveyors, Civil Engineers, GISusers, LBS professionals, SmartPhone Developers, technology managers, and other key decision makers.

    About | Privacy Policy
    (c) 2011, Spatial Media LLC
    905 West Seventh Street, #331
    Frederick, Maryland, 21701