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We are finishing out the year with a combined November-December issue. As we expected, Mike Pallamary's article about the two million dollar house screw-up in Rhode Island is leading the Hit Parade. Close behind is Wendy Lathrop's explanation of an odd title procedure in Pennsyvania.
As I write this, Skip Theberge's article about artillery surveying in World War II is in third place, and my article about Ben Kacyra, the man who introduced those of us in the United States to laser scanning, is in fourth. And don't miss the images in Larry Trojak's story about the visible-from-space-face on our National Mall in DC.
My editorial is titled A Perfect Storm (see the Spotlight below for more about that). Scroll down to see the rest of the new issue, and 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 exclusively to land surveying.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
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Editorial: A Perfect Storm
As I was assembling the material for this issue, I came to believe that because three of the articles are interrelated, they represent a perfect storm. First is Mike Pallamary's article about a two million dollar screw-up in Rhode Island. A civil engineer prepared a site plan, which included ....
Read the Article
Book Review: Modernizing American Land Records: Order Upon Chaos
In order to appreciate Modernizing American Land Records, by Earl Epstein and Bernard Niemann, Jr. (Esri Press, 2014) readers must have the ability to set aside their paradigms about what constitutes "land records" in the twenty-first century. If we consider the tremendous amount of "data" ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop 
Vantage Point: Unseating Mineral Claims
Sometimes one piece of news relates to another in a chance encounter that makes both stand out more than they might separately, as happened in May of this year. One is ongoing as an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding what is called "title washing" in this state relating to gas, oil ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Tie Points
In many municipalities "tie point" sheets are an invaluable source of information for historic survey information; in some places they are essential. The term generally refers to tie outs, once a common practice before the advent of electronic measurement. Unfortunately, in the age of ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion—Part 3
John Love's observations distinguish the Professional Surveyor in America from the singular technical act of measurement. Love identifies the natural cause for professional development and through his work he championed that cause on the American Continent. Rather than entrusting his ....
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Monumental Challenge: Ben Kacyra's Perseverance
Although there is still some dispute as to who "invented" laser scanning as we know it, one name is synonymous in this country: Ben Kacyra. From his early years in Iraq to his education and work in the US, Ben's experience ultimately led to his ....
Read the Article
Chad & Linda Erickson 
The Fox is Guarding the Hen House
A time-sensitive issue compels us to postpone the article on increasing your client base. The Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ISPLS), as well as societies of other states, in conjunction with their state boards, are in the process of ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Civil Engineer Places Two-Million Dollar Home on Wrong Lot
In 1984, Robert Lamoureux purchased an oceanfront parcel of land on Ocean Road in Narragansett, Rhode Island, described by The Surfrider foundation as "a diamond on the necklace that is Rhode Island's beautiful coastline." Lamoureux subdivided the land into two parcels, one of which was ....
Read the Article
Albert “skip” Theberge 
Artillery Surveyors in WWII—Africa & Europe: Part 1 of 3
Prior to leaving the United States, the 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion (FAOB) was being reviewed following maneuvers at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. General Lear was not alone in his ignorance of these units. With few exceptions ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Putting a Face on the Country
The intrinsic power of GPS is its effectiveness in so many diverse, disparate applications. But while many, understandably, tout the technology's ability to pave a runway to millimeter specs, or efficiently plant and maintain thousands of acres of crops ....
Read the Article
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It seems to me that three of the new articles above are related in that they all pertain to threats to, or the degradation of, our profession. First, we have an engineer practicing boundary surveying and the subsequent disaster. Can you say "We told you so?" Next we have a review of a new Esri book about our "broken" land records system and the suggestion that GIS could fix it. Do we really want property corners to be replaced by coordinates? Finally, we have an article about a supposed move by NCEES, through its Model Law, to remove boundary surveying experience from the requirements to sit for a licensing exam, or even to make the survey license "mobile" from state to state like an engineers license. Any of you see a problem with either of these proposals? Many of us are scratching our heads, wondering what the heck is going on in our country. It seems to me a storm is gathering. Feel free to weigh in.

Something else you might find interesting is a cool video Bart Crattie found about how the Coast & Geodetic Surveyors helped build America. I checked with Skip Theberge, the resident NOAA historian and frequent contributor to the magazine (see his latest article above), and he says the video was created as part of Coast Survey's 200th anniversary. Skip helped with the still imagery. You can access the video HERE.

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Construction Backlog Indicator Reaches Another All-Time High
Construction Materials Prices Dip in October
EngineerSupply Expands to Offer SitePro Surveying Equipment
The Coast and Geodetic Surveyors: Charting America's Course
Explosive Ordnance Detection Aided by ProMark 120
Topcon Accepts Wichmann Innovation Award for LN-100
Topcon Announces New GLONASS Signal Tracking Capability
Mobexx Launches Rugged Tablet for Mobile GIS
Rosetta’s Philae Lander Touches Down on Comet 67P
Ransen Software Announces Shape to DXF GIS File Converter
Milestone Achieved with 1,200 Counties Now eRecording
TSA Releases New Railway Surveys Guidance Note
Nonresidential Construction Employment Slips in October
Bentley Announces Winners of 2014 Be Inspired Awards
Velodyne 3D LiDAR Sensor at Maritime RobotX in Singapore
National Water-Use at Lowest Levels Since Before 1970
Trimble RTX Technology for Spectra Precision GNSS
Spectra Precision High-Accuracy GIS for Smartphones
Trimble Launches Trimble Connect
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