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The biggest news continues to be the LightSquared issue. Over the weekend, several news items popped up about system testing in the Southwest. One in particular sounds what I consider to be the death knell for the current LightSquared configuration, and that's the fact that first responders GPS units were rendered inoperable by the test. You can read about it HERE.
Granted, the article says that the outages were close to the LightSquared transmission tower, but as Gavin Schrock has said, "The danger to the precise community is and continues to be the position by the FCC of an 'acceptable' amount of interference. For those surveyors who depend on GPS for their livelihood, there is no acceptable amount. Squeaky wheels must become an unbearable din." Javad Ashjaee also weighed in, HERE.
In my opinion, the test failure means it's back to the drawing board for LightSquared. Even so, Schrock says we need to remain vigilant: "Many of us end users have been pestering as many elected folks as possible and some of the efforts came to fruition when 32 senators signed a letter of concern that went out last week. Also on topic is a letter Senator Grassley of the Judiciary Committee fired across the bow of the FCC Chairman last month."
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: SPAR 2011
Gene Roe, the editor of LiDAR News, and I attended the eighth annual SPAR, held outside Houston, and as always, it was well worth our time. A record 800+ attendees, 20 percent of whom were from outside the U.S., met and learned about the latest and greatest in scanning. Under the banner ....
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Wienhenge: The Weeks Field Sundial Project
How do you make a clock that has a four-foot dial, a seven-foot hour hand, no moving parts and is solar powered? Make it a heliochronometer and it'll tell time all year long except on cloudy days and at night. But will a sundial work near the Arctic ...
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Conference Review: Trimble Dimensions 2010
"Ten years ago Trimble was proud to be known as a GPS company," said Steve Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble, in his keynote address at Trimble Dimensions 2010 world users' conference. Berglund went on to highlight the eventful ...
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Look Closer: Using Pictures in Boundary Research
A number of months ago I began a personal search for the two meridian monuments set in Marshall, North Carolina in 1898 by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. The monuments were used by local land surveyors to test their surveying compass on a ...
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Boundary Hunters
When David Webb describes a place called Andres Thicket, he calls it a "10 to 12-year cut-over," meaning the stretch of land was last cut 10 to 12 years ago and then left in order for the vegetation to grow back on its own. As president of Webb Surveying in Hope, Arkansas, David knows quite ...
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Vantage Point: Future Tense
Surely the economy makes us all tense about our future prosperity. At least we as surveyors in the United States do not suffer the fate of Romanian gypsies, who are not only taxed for predicting the future but also imprisoned if their prognostications fail to come true. Our futures are somewhat ...
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Footsteps: Title Industry Changes Affect Surveying, Part 2
Part One of this article focused on three major changes in the land title industry and what caused them. This article will focus on three areas in which those changes have impacted the boundary surveyor and how they can be mitigated. Preliminary Title Reports: The poor quality of many ....
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Changes in ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards for 2011
Surveyors now have an opportunity to take a big step toward resolving issues about certifications thanks to the new 2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey standards. Effective February 23, 2011 all ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys must conform to the new Standards. While there have been ...
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Hexagon 2011 International Conference

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Register now! You’ll learn about an unprecedented breadth of technologies and solutions, gain insight into the latest trends that will fundamentally impact the way you do business, and network like there’s no tomorrow.


feature Laser scanning has come a long way since I interviewed Ben Kacyra—the cofounder of Cyra Technologies, which became Leica HDS—back in 1999. The first magazine cover about scanning came from Hollywood as an article about the use of scanning in the movie Starship Troopers. From there we began seeing articles about highway projects, most notably bridges.

Since then, scanning has become much more mainstream as we have witnessed the technology being used on an incredible variety of projects, from extremely close-range to "in the air." And as we have seen with the most recent downturn, a diversification of not only the types of work we do—but also the technologies employed—is the only way to survive uncertain economic times.

Last week, the Appalachian Chapter of the Maryland Society of Surveyors presented a scanning seminar (with CEU credit) right here in my home town. Hosted by Caron East, a Maryland Topcon dealer, and Carlson Software, the all-day seminar presented A-Z basics. The photo shows Chris Robson from Caron East, and after gathering two scans Scott Griffin from Carlson demonstrated processing the collected data into an AutoCAD drawing.

I stopped by to check it out and was impressed not only by the breadth and detail of the presentation, but also by the age of the participants. Conventional wisdom has held that older surveyors are not interested in new-fangled technology, but based on what I saw, this is not the case. If you care to see our photos of the event, we have posted them to our flickr account HERE.

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LightSquared Cell Network Knocks Out First Responders' GPS in Tests
Our Kids Need To Know More About Geography!
Blue Marble to Speak at this Year’s Optech LiDAR Solutions Conference
Velodyne Donates LiDAR and Robotic Artifacts to Smithsonian
NGS Free Webinar - Modernization of the National Spatial Reference System
Prosurv Releases SD Quads: Topo Maps & Software for Windows on SD Cards
DiamondBack Introduces New Options For Surveyors
ASPRS Board Approves Formation Of Lidar Division
Construction Backlog Grows 4 Percent in First Quarter of 2011
Altus Positioning Systems Supplies GNSS Survey Receivers to Royal Canadian Mounted Police for Collision Reconstruction
Airborne Imaging Takes Delivery of Lynx Mobile Mapper M1
ASPRS 77th Annual Conference – Very Successful with Good Attendance
Avenza Releases Geographic Imager 3.3 for Adobe Photoshop
Refinement of the Geoid—The Gravity Probe B Experiment
JAVAD GNSS Releases TRIUMPH-VS v1.4 Software
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Aids Flood, Tornado Disasters
ILS to Conduct User Needs Analysis in Trinidad & Tobago
Fugro Launches New Airborne Lidar Bathymetry System
Topcon Opens VIP Center at California ‘Solutions Site’
Geography Students Found Bin Laden's Hideout Long Before the CIA
ASPRS Launches Revised Website
Trimble Navigation Offers to Acquire All Shares in Building Information Modeling ("BIM") Leader Tekla Corporation
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