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Welcome! I'm writing from Houston, as SPAR 2012 winds down. We've had quite a week, tradeshow-wise. In addition to distributing American Surveyor, we released the latest edition of LiDAR Magazine here at the show. While I took in SPAR (brief recap below), the rest of our team covered Intermat in Paris, unveiling the latest Machine Control Magazine. Between both shows, we encountered enough stuff to fill several publications, so we'll do just that!
Scroll down for our latest group of articles. Leading the hit parade is Shawn Billings' review of the Leica Disto 3D, followed by our cover-story about a pioneering system for monitoring rockslides on Norway's fjords. This month's articles cover several cutting-edge projects.
As always, I hope things are well where you are. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a project or story you'd like to share. We appreciate your support.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
Sponsored by The Survey Summit

Partnering with ACSM for the second year, the Survey Summit is designed to deliver the latest survey related content and business opportunities. Attendees can also expect to see the latest emerging technologies exhibiting at the Survey Summit Expo. Additionally, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is holding their Federal Geospatial Summit at the Summit and bringing hundreds of attendees focused on geodetic models and tools. Visit us for details.

Editorial: A Global Community
Our LinkedIn Surveyors group with nearly 4,300 members continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It has become a unique global community. As manager of the group my only stipulation for membership is some kind of connection to surveying. With locations that span the globe, as expected ....
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Guardians of the Rock
More than 50 years ago, a Norwegian farm boy left his family home near the shore of a remote fjord to climb the 40 percent slope towering above. A stocky, healthy lad, Per Åknes managed the climb with the same ease as the family goats ....
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Checking Industrial Equipment Tolerances
In several European countries, citywide monitoring of infrastructure is commonplace and typically focuses on existing structures that are adjacent to new ones that are being constructed, e.g., tunnels. By locating the positions ....
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Fearful Excitement: The Surveys of David Douglas
When Scottish naturalist David Douglas returned to London from North America in the late fall of 1827, he was received with remarkable acclaim for the relatively unschooled son of a village stonemason. Working as a collector for the London ....
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{Not Your Typical} Success Story
The Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Red Line is Chicago's busiest rail line with an average weekday ridership exceeding 250,000. It's a vital artery of the city, and runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This creates a classic urban ....
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Replacing NAVD 88—Challenges and Benefits (Part 3 of 4)
A transformation tool will be developed by NGS to convert between National Vertical Datum (NVD) and NAVD 88 heights. This tool will be based on the national data set of GPSBMs at the time NVD is released. Continuing to determine accurate and current NAD 83 ellipsoid heights on ....
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Product Review: Leica Disto 3D
I've never really done a survey of an interior space. On numerous occasions I have set up total stations in the office or in my home to measure interior objects and have always found the process to be a real pain. Finding a suitable location for the instrument that allows me to move ....
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Vantage Point: Congressional Land Actions
While there are times we complain that government gets in our way, at other times Congressional intervention may be the only means of resolving land problems. While checking a bill on the Library of Congress website recently, curiosity drew me to some other bill summaries that ....
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Sponsored by Topcon

Sometimes you need a quick and agile network rover. Other times you need the most sophisticated, rugged receiver on the planet. No matter what you need, you deserve the most advanced technology.

For over a decade, Topcon has led the way in innovative GNSS technology. And we still do today.


feature With 800+ attendees from 30 countries, the 9th annual SPAR conference in Houston was another success. The mobile contingent was stronger than ever, and even had one mounted on a Smart car and an ultralight! As soon as I have time, I'll post all my pictures in our flickr account. As is often the case with a successful conference, there were more sessions than I could attend, and of the keynotes, the most fascinating to me was given by Dr. Phil Manning, the head of the paleontology research group at the University of Manchester in the UK. As you can imagine, he's using laser scanning to document his dig sites, but he's taken scanning much farther.

Dr. Manning studies dinosaurs, primarily in the U.S. and China, and has developed a cool method of scanning fossils. Using the synchrotron at Stanford, which produces light a million times brighter than the sun, he non-destructively scans the fossils at the atomic level. Doing so releases the chemical signature of the fossil—what he calls the migration of elements—and from that he can determine the chemical makeup of the original object which created the fossil. From that, he can determine the color of the original animal skin or bird feather, and it's nothing like the fanciful artist's conception we're so familiar with.

Now, here's the cool part: using the technique as a kind of reverse time machine, he feels that this kind of information can be used to determine, for instance, the length of time radioactive waste will remain a threat. It's a great example of a spinoff benefit.

Look for a recap in a future issue of The American Surveyor. Next year, the event will be held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, and it promises to be another stellar conference.
Sponsored by Carlson Software

The "SuperG," the Carlson Supervisor+ GPS Tablet, is Carlson's popular Supervisor tablet computer, a super rugged tablet PC that can be used anywhere, upgraded to include an integrated high-precision GNSS receiver and providing wireless support for Bluetooth, 802.11, GSM and CDMA. Use it with Carlson SurvPC, the Windows version of Carlson's popular data collection software SurvCE and operate natively on Esri®.


The Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS) Announces a New Focused and Reinvigorated Organization
New Rugged Trimble Pro Series GNSS Receivers Provide Total Flexibility for GIS and Mobile Mapping Productivity
Taoglas Leads the Market with Full Range of GLONASS and GPS Enabled Antennas for M2M Devices
Peoria County Parcel Data Now an iOS App
Escambia County Chooses Manatron’s Integrated Property Tax Software
Pöyry Selects AVEVA PDMS as Preferred 3D Engineering Design Tool
URISA Announces LiDAR Webinar Series
Bluesky Streams 3D Aerial Maps Over Web
New Release of Bentley Descartes Extends Bentley’s Comprehensive Point-cloud Processing and Management Capabilities
Trimble Announces Several New Products at Intermat 2012
3D Systems' CEO Keynotes SPAR International 2012
Trimble Introduces New Positioning Solution for Tunnel Construction
TRIUMPH-VS software updates 1.9 have been released
Indianapolis Awards Multi-Million Dollar Mapping Contract to Woolpert
AVEVA Laser Modeller Reduces 3D Modelling Time By Up to 50%
iSTAR The World's First Automatic Rapid 360º Camera Launches
kubit enhances the PointSense Family with Major Upgrades to Plant and the Addition of Heritage
Product Review: Leica Disto 3D
New FME Store to Provide Head Start on Data Transformation Tasks
Construction Materials Prices Increase 1.4 Percent in March
Returning Veterans Offer Valuable Skills to Tech Employers
Maptek Releases Vulcan 64-Bit Mining Software to Global Market
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