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LightSquared continues to be in the news. Our intrepid correspondent of all things GPS, Gavin Schrock, reports:
"The much anticipated report of the joint working group (GPS Industry Council and LightSquared), came and went anticlimactically like the predicted doomsday of May 21st because LightSquared asked for and was granted a two week extension; characterized by LightSquared as time to better compile test results. It appears that the extension is a desperate move to spin some alternatives. Two bombshell reports arrived just days prior to the 15th; One from the RTCA, an organization that develops GPS avionics specs for the FAA, and the other from the National Space-Based PNT (Position Navigation and Timing) Advisory Board, both citing tests that show broad interference and recommending NO! on the application. The hedge fund managers that dreamt this idea up cannot deny simple laws of physics.
"LightSquared (which has recently gained the nickname DarkSquared among some opponents to the plan) surely cannot deny the evidence showing widespread interference hazards. Those results and the greater-than-expected outcry from the positioning community and elected folks must surely be making some of the investors a wee bit nervous. Soon after the 15th, LightSquared announced a 15 year deal with Sprint to shuffle/swap spectrum to build out enhanced terrestrial satt wireless as reported in Daily Wireless. The situation has changed rapidly with new developments and “fixes” reported almost daily. As reported by Roger Cheng in the Wall Street Journal, LightSquared is now floating a scheme to work further away from GPS in the toxic spectrum in question (initially they note) in a plan to “reduce the risk of interference for 99.5% of U.S. GPS receivers” as LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja puts it. Notice he said “reduce” and not “eliminate”. And guess who uses that 0.5% that will be the acceptable collateral damage? Surveyors, construction, machine control, precision agriculture, and science. For the clueless (or heartless), comparing raw numbers of high precision gear to the 300 million plus low grade receiver chipsets out there in consumer-land, 0.5% seems rather insignificant.
"Efforts of surveyors and the GPS community have undeniably played a key role in keeping up the pressure for fair and open testing and process in this matter. But now more than ever, we MUST continue to act; write your elected folks, call them, become the “squeakiest of wheels,” march around their offices carrying your rovers, get creative! Enhanced broadband would undeniably be a good thing for our country, but what a sad irony that GPS, a highly successful system bought and paid for by the U.S. would end up working in high precision everywhere else in the world except the U.S., all in the name of broadband. As Barney Fife said "Nip it in the bud!""
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: Angular Accuracy
Whether you first learned it in an early science class, or recall it twirling across the opening episodes of The Twilight Zone, Einstein's E=mc² formula expressed a special theory of relativity. Based on that theory, the development of nuclear energy was made possible, and with it, the ....
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Mr. Bilby's Elegant Assembly, Beautiful and Sublime
Isolated and alone, it is known simply as Couba. Couba resides two feet above mean sea level on a now deserted island within a swamp in sight of any tall building along the narrow streets of the City of New Orleans, Louisiana. Standing sentinel over ...
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Star Crossings & Stone Monuments
I was very pleased to receive an autographed copy of the USGS Circular #1362 ("Star Crossings and Stone Monuments ­Field Astronomy by the Wheeler Survey in 1870s Colorado," by William E. Wilson, PhD). You may recall the story of the Wheeler ...
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The Story of a Stone: A Reflection on Surveying and Colonial History
Here in the metes and bounds states it's uncommon to come across a boundary line that has not been surveyed multiple times as the nation has grown. As properties are conveyed and as land owners maintain their bounds, evidence remains which renders boundary retracement a ...
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Peter Canter and Andrew Stott 
Mapping Interior Space with Speed, Ease & Accuracy
New technology quickly delivers interior geospatial data to cross discipline groups for multiple purposes, such as Situational Awareness and Building Information Modeling. Documenting the precise order and condition of indoor structures and ...
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Vantage Point: Signs of the Times
Signs are a ubiquitous part of our lives, telling us where we are, what to buy, who to vote for. They come in many forms, from street signs to posters plastered onto the sides of buildings to billboards mounted on the tops of buildings and now as digital signage lining our highways. They all ...
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Rj Zimmer, LS 
GIS Matters: Point Data as GIS Features—ASCII
Create a GIS point feature data set from an ASCII file, and then relate each point to a database record. The process described here works equally well with Excel spreadsheets with only minor differences on how the file is loaded into ArcMap. ASCII (the American Standard Code for Information ....
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Footsteps: A Review of Claudino versus Pereira
Alan Claudino owns a portion of Lot 1 of Block 8 in the Campo Seco Townsite in Calaveras County, California. Patricia Pereira owns a portion of Lot 2 in the same block. The common boundary between Lot 1 and Lot 2 is shown as a straight line on the townsite plat, although physical ...
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Gavin Schrock 
Broadband vs. GPS
By now you have probably read a lot about the ongoing Broadband-vs-GPS controversy (as some call it)--could this spell certain disaster for GPS? Or will this be as much of a non-event as Y2K? No one knows for certain the full impact of what will happen when the broadband provider in question ...
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feature Miltary Surveying Then and Now was the topic of a one-day seminar I recently drove to in Newton Falls, OH. Sponsored by the Western Reserve Chapter of PLSO, the seminar covered military surveying and mapping from antiquity to today.

Presenters included Mike and Ann Besch, the directors of the award-winning four-year surveying program at the University of Akron, and both military surveyors and mappers; Bob Akins, a construction surveyor in Viet Nam; and various members of the 290th Engineer Battalion of the Ohio National Guard.

Since Biblical days, terrain knowledge has been critical to success on the battlefield, hence the need for surveyors and mappers. Prior to the digital age, this information was manually drawn, collected and physically transmitted to decision-makers.

For today's warfighters, Northrop Grumman has developed something called ENFIRE (shown above), which is a backpack filled with a rugged tablet PC, long distance range finder (±6,000m), short distance range finder (±1,700m), precision range finder (DISTO, ±100m), DAGR GPS (capable of ±1.5cm standalone), camcorder, ADAPX digital pen, bar code scanner, printer, page scanner, external data storage drive, backpack (which fits inside the transit case), and transit case. Software includes ArcGIS and ArcMAP, Terramodel and AutoCAD Lite. ENFIRE will enable the "automatic population of field data on digital forms used for route, road, bridge, hasty minefield, and improvised explosive devices."

I will write extensively about the event in my next magazine editorial, covering the role of surveyors and mappers in the exploration of the West, the Civil War, Viet Nam, and the current operations in Afghanistan. The 290th is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan this August. My hat is off to the brave men and women who have risked and will risk their lives to provide this critical information.

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Topcon’s RL-H4C Laser Available with Power Options
Topcon MS Robotic Series Opens New Era in Precision Measurements
The Face of Surveying - ACSM and NSPS
LightSquared Gets Two Week Extension
Ordnance Survey Celebrates 220 Years of Mapping the Nation
Surveyors to Discuss LightSquared at Survey Summit-ACSM Conference
GPS Capability Now Integrated with ArcGIS Explorer Desktop
50th Space Wing Completes GPS Constellation Expansion
Geotagged Photos Guide Army Corps to Seeping Levees in Mississippi Floods
Construction Materials Prices Continue to Climb Despite Industry Weakness
City Employees in Iowa Help Property Owners Find Property Pins
First JAVAD GNSS Technical Competition
Optech and Cardinal Systems Announce Joint Initiative
Survey Summit and LightSquared
Trimble Extends its Range of Radios with the Trimble TDL 450H for Surveyors
XYGO Maps Chile's Major Cities with IP-S2 LiDAR
Texas Changes CEU Requirements to Include Ethics
Pacific Crest Announces New High-Power Advanced Data Link for Field Comms
Hemisphere GPS Supplying TechGeo with Crescent GPS in Brazil
Fugro Awarded News South Wales Coastal Survey Project with New Fugro LADS Mk 3 System
Topcon Makes Initial Purchase of Finnish Software Company
Summertime Underscores Need for Highway Bill Now
Revolutionary: The new Leica 3D Disto: Measure – Project – Record
5th Annual HAZUS Conference
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    The following articles from the Vol.8, No.3 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

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