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Hello Amerisurv user... I love to drive, especially in the West. Back here on the East Coast, there's hardly any need for cruise control! To bring you the magazine, we have to travel a lot, so since ACSM is in Salt Lake City, and Trimble Dimensions is immediately thereafter in Las Vegas, I decided to drive. Plus, I have three interviews scheduled in Arizona, Kansas and Missouri after Dimensions, so if you're working alongside a highway, don't be surprised if the American Surveyor Suburban stops to say hello!
Our February issue is in the mail! I've written about machine control before, and my latest editorial—which you can read by scrolling down—is about an encouraging experience I received at the NY State annual convention. Many survey equipment manufacturers are also involved in machine control, and we have been encouraged by them to diversify into that area. So, it was with great pleasure that we announced our latest website,, at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas last month. You can read all about it in our press release HERE.
Not too much new to report on the economy, but if you want to see an exhaustive economic roundup, primarily about construction, check out THIS REPORT by the Case construction equipment company. Although geared to equipment, the 24-page report goes into great detail, by region, including forecasts about construction activity. I must admit that the outlook is pessimistic, but everybody I talk to is still confident that the construction funding contained in the stimulus package will help surveyors.
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: Raising the Stakes
Having once spent time blue-topping hubs for I-40 west of Oklahoma City, I can probably safely say that wood pounding is something surveyors won't miss when it comes to new technology methods—­like machine control...
Read the Article
Point to Point: GIS Follies
This just in from the You've Got To Be Kidding Department: There has been a serious attempt to develop algorithms to convert vague metes and bounds calls into mathematical data...
Read the Article
The Caves of Naica
Since it began operation in the late 1800s, the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico has proven to be one of the richest silver deposits in the world. In 1910, at a depth of 120 meters, a small cave was discovered. Named the Cueva de las Espadas...
Read the Article
Descending to the Challenge
In one sense, it was an exceptionally straightforward job: all that Illinois' V3 Companies was being asked to do was survey a mostly straight, 1,600-foot long, limestone quarry tunnel...
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Training Recruiters: A New "TwiST"
A question often asked of surveyors is "Are we doing all we can to get the word out to the next generation of potential surveyors?" As a professor of geomatics at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT)...
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A Visit to Altus Positioning Systems
For Olympians "Citius, Altius, Fortius" is Latin for "faster, higher, stronger." For surveyors, Altus Positioning Systems draws its name from the Latin word meaning high and deep. High (in terms of their GNSS satellite-related equipment) and deep (from the heavyweight lineup of...
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A Visit to Septentrio Satellite Navigation
I first became acquainted with Septentrio Satellite Navigation in 2001 when the company's CEO, Peter Grognard, made a presentation that was favorably received at a Civil Global Positioning System Service Interface Committee (CGSIC) conference...
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Vantage Point: Selling the Profession
A few months ago, I was deposed by the plaintiff in a suit for which I was serving as expert witness. The peculiar part was that the defendant had hired me, so I had an inkling that this would be an adversarial affair...
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Parallax: Acts of Notice
Years ago, making the transition from strictly construction surveying to land surveying, I took employment with a tactless, rude and crusty old surveyor that really had a massive heart of gold. This fellow suffered from an affliction that I have unfortunately witnessed far too many times in our profession ...
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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 In the November newsletter, I mentioned Amberg Technologies, the Swiss company who applies positoning and measurement technolgy to tunnel and rail surveying and mapping. The article I've written will appear in our March issue, and I must say that writing it was fun because I learned so much. When we went to Switzerland, I was thinking the Amberg approach must be simple, but it's not. For several reasons—detailed in the article—Amberg has become the world leader in this area, in part because it uses its own surveyors—but only in Switzerland—to refine the products.

Based on something it calls a trolley, the Amberg system combines tradtional angle and distance surveying and scanning into a highly precise method of as-builting existing tracks and building new ones. The Chinese are using Amberg's gear to build 7.5 miles of new track per day! Modern rail construction is based on what they call slab track (the pic shows a trolley on a slab track). Slab tracks up to 8 meters in length are built offsite. Once in place, the rails can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically to within 2mm, critical for high-speed trains. I see this as a growth area for American surveyors, and Brian Daniel (who I wrote about in our June 2007 issue) is heading up the North American effort.
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.


Trimble Launches a New Online Rover Tracking Service for Trimble VRS Now Subscribers
Carlson Natural Regrade to be Used to Eliminate Abandoned Mine Hazards at Ted Turner's Vermejo Park
ESRI Press Publishes Map Use, the Quintessential Book on How to Read and Analyze Maps
Will the Strategy of Spending Our Way Out of Recession Be Money Well Spent?
Leica Geosystems Partners with Maptek for Long Range, Mine Scanning Products
Stakemill Announces New Plastic Survey Caps
ABC Supports Efforts to Curb Waste in Construction Stimulus Spending
Carlson PointCloud Webinar Feb. 26, 12 noon
ESRI ArcGIS Server Provides Foundation for Maryland's MD iMap
Laser Technology Inc, CartoPac Field Solutions Join Forces To Simplify Data Collection, Management
Surveyors Face Penalties for Elevation Certificates
Mark A. Yeager Named PLSO Surveyor of the Year
ABC Denounces Executive Order That Discriminates Against 84 Percent of the Construction Workforce
ABC Says Stimulus Should Focus on Investment in Construction, Not Wasteful Spending
RETTEW Receives Engineering Excellence Award for New Sports Complex
Judge Awards $405K in Lincoln Flood Plain Suit
Leica Geosystems Announces 2D & 3D Machine Control Interface Solution
Inaugural Parade Features NASA Lunar Rover and Ladybug3 Panoramic Images
DigitalGlobe Announces Multi-year Agreement with Nokia For Use of Imagery in Nokia Location Services
Birds Movements Reveal Global Warming Threat in Action
FEMA Requests Applicants For The National Advisory Council
2009 GIS for Oil & Gas Conference Call for Papers Announced
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    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 more events, please visit our online calendar HERE.

    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.

    Geography in Las Vegas - March 22–27, 2009. Join 8,000 geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists from around the world in Las Vegas for the very latest in research, policy, and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience, during the annual conference of  the Association of American Geographers.

    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]
    << event calendar >>


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    The following articles from our January, 2009 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

    bookHistoric Poster Collection -- Christian Hurtin Compass
    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.

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