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Our September issue is circulating, and Oscar Cantú's article about The Cloud is leading the hit parade. Folks, it's coming, you best get ready. In second place is an article about a specialized laser scanner being used at airports.
Rounding out the new line-up, which you can see by scrolling down, are great articles about survey computations, both historical and NCEES-approved. Also, a new article from Chad & Linda Erickson about the importance of retracing, not proportioning.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a story you'd like to share. The new issue has something for everyone, from the only professional magazine dedicated to land surveying.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
Sponsored by Satlab GeoSolutions

Satlab GeoSolutions of Sweden, makers of high-performance GPS Survey and GIS equipment are proud to announce the establishment of offices in Scottsdale, AZ to service their clients in the Americas. Mr. Phil Gabriel has been appointed Managing Director. Satlab invites Survey and GIS dealers to meet the expanded team at InterGeo on October 7-9th in Berlin where they will be introducing new models of their successful receivers and handhelds. For more information, please contact or call (480) 335.9428.

Editorial: Calculating History
Younger surveyors can't imagine a time before computers and calculators. But as the article in this issue by Carlton Brown shows, calculations weren't always an easy button push away. This year marks the 400th anniversary of an invention that made surveying calculations possible. According ....
Read the Article
Daryl Moistner
Survey Locales
Matt Brockamp. A surveyor I met while working Oregon and California Forest Service contracts. I guess I dragged him up here to Alaska. Here we are surveying a cave near the beach. It's a BLM historical survey. 14 (h) is its official designation. A ....
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Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: (D)Evolved Planning
It's generally when desperate friends need our professional expertise that we find ourselves most frustrated by the mushrooming problems encountered. Urban planning has been around since humans first ceased roaming and settled together in enclaves meant to ease the sharing of ....
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Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Definition of Proportionate Measurement
"A proportionate measurement is one that gives concordant relation between all parts of the line, i.e., the new values given to the several parts, as determined by the remeasurement, shall bear the same relation to the record lengths as the new measurement of the whole line bears to that ....
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Jason E. Foose, PS 
The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 1
The August 2014 issue of The American Surveyor presented the article Two Nifty Programs that will make your HP 35S Calculator "Cry And Sing!" The article highlights my discontent towards HP's inadvertent omission of the traditional rectangular/polar conversion keys as well as providing a ....
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Chad & Linda Erickson 
Subdivided We Stand
Credit, or blame, for this byline must go to William Powell and his Feedback in the August issue of The American Surveyor. His observations brought to memory the many times when old platted subdivisions within a section have been used to ....
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J. Anthony Cavell 
Are Your Surveys Accurate?
This may not be an easy question to answer, off the cuff. For starters, what does it mean for something to be accurate? Experience shows several different meanings are attached to this word. Which one(s) should apply to surveys? [ac·cu·rate adjective \a-ky-rt, a-k(-)rt\¹] from error ....
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Oscar R. Cantu 
The Cloud—Changing the Dynamic of Field-To-Office
Cloud computing is not quite as omnipresent as the computer in Star Trek, but...give it time. Cloud computing, or "the cloud," is an interconnected group of powerful computers that collectively store data redundantly, host various services, and provide ....
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Mary Jo Wagner 
Capturing Amache's Life Story
Every other summer since 2008, Bonnie Clark has brought students and volunteers to the Amache Japanese American WWII internment camp in southeastern Colorado to hold history in their hands. Although four field seasons have yielded thousands of remnants of the internees confined ....
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Michael Jamieson & Michael Dunbar 
Space-Age Technology Comes Down to Earth: Improves Airport Safety
A German airport is the latest example of how 3D laser scanners are increasingly finding new applications beyond traditional survey and mapping. Dresden International Airport, as part of an airport tarmac safety project being conducted by Dresden's Technische Universität, is using space ....
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Carlton A. Brown 
The Curta Mechanical Pocket Calculator—History of Survey Computing
A Curta mechanical pocket calculator was donated to the Maine Society of Land Surveyors by the estate of John Cothern, and was auctioned off at the 2014 MSLS Scholarship Auction on January 31, 2014. John Cothern was a land surveyor (ME PLS #1006) and it is my understanding that John ....
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Sponsored by Trimble

Through September we are offering a special Trimble® VISION™ bundle for our customers. This bundle helps streamline workflows by providing a solution that allows you to capture complete data, including hard-to-reach features, and then process that information back in the office.

Click to get bundle details before time runs out.


feature You may have seen CST ads in our magazine or this very newsletter recently; these are as a result of our partnership with NSPS to support the CST program. With each passing year more and more organizations are requiring CST certification as a condition of employment. Technical colleges are beginning to use the CST exam for exit competency requirements. Individuals and employers are realizing the importance of certification for career advancement and as a standardized statement of aptitude. In order to support this upward trend and help prospective CST candidates prepare for the CST examinations, we’ve developed in conjunction with the NSPS CST Board of Directors.

Tapped to lead the program is Glen W. Thurow, a licensed surveyor and educator in New Mexico. Glen is a Certified Federal Surveyor, past president of the NM Professional Surveyors, and former NSPS Governor for the state. He currently serves on the NM State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors and has been actively involved in surveying education for more than a decade. Glen stated “I’m excited to be a part of this important effort and look forward to assisting survey technicians achieve certification by helping them prepare for the CST examinations.”

You can read our complete press release HERE. In addition to the coursework and discussion forums available at, we plan to offer exam-takers a CST handbook, webinars and other instructor engagement tools. Training for CST Level 1 is currently available for no charge, with Levels 2 & 3 in development.

Sponsored by Carlson Software

Introducing the Carlson BRx5 GNSS receiver, an integrated all-in-one pole-top GNSS receiver, from Carlson Software Inc. Each BRx5 contains a multi-constellation, multi-band 270-channel GNSS receiver, internal GSM cell modem, UHF radio, dual hot-swappable batteries and internal level sensors.

Designed for survey and GIS professionals, the Carlson BRx5 delivers both affordability and the highest positional accuracy. Visit us for more details.


New Oregon Topo Maps Feature National Scenic Trails
Washington Land Surveyor Releases Novel: Marked
No Change for Construction Materials Prices in August
SPAR Europe 3D Measurement & Imaging Conference Program Posted
Avenza Releases Geographic Imager 4.5 for Adobe Photoshop
Carlson Machine Control Announces Upgraded PDGrade
Trimble and Neptec Announce Agreements for the Mining Industry
Woolpert to Provide Geospatial Services for Atlanta's MARTA
Maptek Adds Evorelution Open Pit Scheduling Solutions to Product Suite
How Sculpteo 3D Enabled Creation of World's Smallest Breathalyzer
Septentrio Consolidates Sales for Americas in Altus Subsidiary
MicroSurvey Layout 2 Revamps Construction Layout
Arithmetica Releases Pointfuse Software at Intergeo
NSPS and Spatial Media Announce CST Program Cooperation
Topcon and MAVinci Announce Sirius Pro for RTK or NTRIP
Leica Geosystems Releases ALS80 Next-Gen LIDAR Mapping Solution
The Center for the Study of the Drone Releases Guide to Drones
FARO Hosts the 3DRV Driven by Design Tour
Nonresidential Construction Employment Retains Momentum in August
National Scenic Trails Added to Revised Michigan Topo Maps
Trimble Releases InSphere Data Marketplace
Trimble Introduces New Spectra Precision Laser Level for Construction
Velodyne Introduces 3D Real-Time ‘LiDAR Puck’ at $7,999
SBG Announces Ellipse Series of Miniature Inertial Sensors
LizardTech Launches GeoGofer for Powerful Image Searching and Sorting
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    Become a Certified Survey Technician (CST)

    This four-level certification program indicates official recognition by NSPS that a person can perform surveying tasks at a specific technical level. Certification provides employers with a method of determining job assignments and advancement since certification is an indication of one's ability to perform specific job tasks. Increase your skills. Enhance your career opportunities. Set a straight course to your future. Become a Certified Survey Technician (CST)! Visit the NSPS site for details.


    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]


    E-Magazine - August 2014: Vol. 11, #8
    • AEC Summit  • FieldTech  • 3D Reality  • FEMA  • Amanda and Boris  • Curt Brown Chronicles  • Dinosaur Surveyors  • Pemba  • HP 35S  • Feedback  • Coast & Geodetic Survey  • Error Free ..and more!
    E-Magazine - July 2014: Vol. 11, #7
    • Experts  • Alaska!  • Easements  • Surveyor's Roles  • 1967 ACSM  • Curt Brown Chronicles  • Slip Sliding Away  • New Zealand  • Sewer Mapping
    • FEMA  • The McShane Corner  • Measurement Experts ..and more!
    E-Magazine - June 2014: Vol. 11, #6
    • Monitoring Progress  • American Dream  • FieldTech  • Heritage Advocacy
    • Surveyor's Roles  • Flooding Events  • Curt Brown Chronicles  • FEMA
    • Claim Jumping  • Archaeology  • Bilby towers  • Observations Things I've Learned ..and more!
    E-Magazine - May 2014: Vol. 11, #5
    • The Streets  • American Dream  • When To Stop  • A Call To Action
    • Riparian Boundaries  • Land Locators & Claim Jumpers  • NCEES Exam
    • Vertical Datums  • Surveying In France  • Topcon's Roadshow  • Things I've Learned ..and more!

    Did-U-Know has compiled a state-by-state list of free imagery HERE

    bookHistoric Map Collection — A map of General Washington's farm of Mount Vernon from a drawing transmitted by the General. CREATED/PUBLISHED [S.l., 1801] NOTES Removed from: Letters from His Excellency George Washington, to Arthur Young, [etc.]. London, 1801. Scale 1:6,336. This map is 23"x18".

    Printed on high-quality photo paper, this poster is capable of being a center-piece for any room or space. These unique reproductions are both fascinating and sure to please.

    Our maps and posters make excellent gifts for clients or employees!

    Sponsored by Trimble Dimensions

    Trimble Dimensions, November 3-5, 2014 in Las Vegas addresses innovations in Surveying, Mapping, Engineering, Construction, Civil Infrastructure and many other industries. The Conference is one of the most educational and exciting industry events providing insight into how information technology can transform the way professionals work by using integrated workflows to increase productivity. For more information, visit


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