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Our latest issue will mail soon... and as always, it's full of great content. Taking off like a rocket on the Hit Parade is Rj Zimmer's article about free GIS software, the kind of software that surveyors can use for data management and map production activities. This tells me that our website visitors are keenly interested in finding ways to become involved in GIS.
My personal favorite this time around is Alaska surveyor Eric Stahlke's well-written article about the Arctic Circle. The title of the article gives no clue, but I was attracted to the story by the fact that this well-known line of latitude is not fixed in place, but rather somewhat like the magnetic north pole, moves over time. Eric's images and diagrams are stellar!
Rounding out this issue are more great articles, including a Gavin Schrock recap of the most recent CGSIC in Portland, an excellent Shawn Billings review of the Nikon Nivo C (in which he illustrates an intriguing use, Run 'n Gun), and a great article by former NGS Director Lew Lapine about where NGS is headed with passive marks. Finally, Gary Kent provides a heads-up about the new soon-to-take-effect ALTA Standards.
Regarding Gavin's article, a greatly expanded version is available HERE. The last article Gavin did along these lines—titled Comments on the "GPS is Failing Hype"—has received more than 12,000 hits.
All the new articles can be seen by scrolling down. 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]
Sponsored by Intuicom

The Intuicom RTK Bridge provides connectivity to the Real-Time Network data required for precision GPS/GNSS applications such as Survey, Construction, and Machine Control. Compatible with all the major GNSS equipment, the RTK Bridge gets you on the network, makes you more efficient and saves time and money. No more base stations, less equipment, faster set-up.

Get more productive—GET CONNECTED!

Guest Editorial: The Sky Refuses to Fall...GPS is NOT Dead!
The GPS constellation is not dying. Really. While yet another GAO (Government Accountability Office) report issued in September 2010 warned of potential risks to the constellation, this one titled "Global Positioning System--Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading and Upgrading ....
Read the Article
Tech Show 
New Tech Showcase: Environment Analysis from JAVAD GNSS
Ever wonder why your RTK sometimes takes two minutes to go from float to fixed rather than five seconds? To address the fact that sometimes GNSS doesn't work on one or more bands, and to provide a tool that explains why, JAVAD GNSS announced its latest (patent pending) enhancement for ....
Read the Article
Tech Show 
New Tech Showcase: MOVE3 Moves to the U.S. Survey Market
Given redundant and imperfect measurements, Network Least Squares finds the most probable position of points. It produces estimates of point accuracy in the form of "error ellipses" or confidence regions, typically at the 95% or 99% level. Network Least Squares is a tool that allows you ....
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Just Say You've Been There
Fellow surveyors, who among us has not, at some point in our careers, lost a little sleep thinking about an error in our work that others may not even notice? After all, the public trusts our judgment in matter of boundaries and we have ...
Read the Article
Hard Work, Miserable Conditions—Surveying Tennessee's Cumberland Trail
Land surveyors are often attracted to the trade by the prospect of working outdoors, preferably in the woods. But even so, the surveyors at The RLS Group must have wondered if they ...
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Another Coordinate System—This Time Without Survey Marks
The National Geodetic Survey Federal Geospatial Summit was held in Silver Spring, MD on May 11­12, 2010 to introduce recommended replacements for the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) introduced to interested federal agencies a ...
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Product Review: Nikon Nivo C
Nikon's history stretches back over 90 years. It began as a merger of several smaller firms in Japan along with eight German technicians. Originating as Nippon Kogaku, K.K., or Japanese Optical Company, today Nikon is in a strategic joint venture with Trimble Navigation to ....
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Vantage Point: Misperceptions
This is a different kind of story than what I usually write. It is about people who look normal but are not. That is not to say that they are strange, only that they have something different about them that is not immediately evident. And that can cause troubles with other people who ...
Read the Comments
GIS Matters: Something for Nothing
This article compares several free GIS software programs related to types of data management and map production activities of interest to the land surveyor. The list is not comprehensive; I simply chose to test and compare the software that is easy to find on the Internet, readily available ...
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Reconnaissance: Society Committees Adopt Draft of New 2011 ALTA/ACSM Survey Standards
The final draft of the proposed 2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ ACSM Land Title Survey Standards was approved by a joint committee of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the ...
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Sponsored by Altus Positioning Systems

Altus Positioning Systems is a company designed to bring to market products which directly meet the needs of the Surveyor without compromise. Altus is about simplicity, supplying what's needed, what's essential in today's survey workplace and planning for the needs of tomorrow too. We understand what's required in the market place and we deliver. Our motto is "Better by Design".

Visit Altus Positioning Systems for more info.


feature New Technology Showcase... The new issue contains information from a couple of companies. First is an enhancement JAVAD GNSS has made for the Triumph VS: Environment Analysis. While the name might make you think of a different industry, I'm sure surveyors will welcome the capability. In short, Environment Analysis shows the user, both numerically and graphically, what interference exists where he is working.

If you've ever wondered why your rover is slow to initialize, it might be because of local interference, such as that emitted by radio and TV stations, or even from the illegal GPS jammers truckers use to prevent the home office from knowing where they are. This capability will allow you to pinpoint not only which GNSS signal is being affected, but the exact frequency and magnitude of the interference. So, if there are certain times of the day when GNSS simply won't work for you, this tool can be used to tell you why. Armed with that information, you might be able to do something about it.

feature New to the U.S. market, and as a partnership with Carlson Software, MOVE3 least squares software from Grontmij in the The Netherlands shows yet another use for least squares. Assuming that buildings corners represent 90º angles, surveyors can shoot a few corners with a total station and then quickly hand-measure the building sides. The software then uses these redundant measurements to accurately position the building within the survey.

To me, one of the key lines in the article is this: "Network Least Squares is a tool that allows you to calculate, analyze and defend both the positions you publish and the measurements you made to determine them." Given the past controversy surrounding positional accuracy for ALTA surveys, and given the litigous nature of our society, it seems to me that having something that's defensible might be a good thing.

You can learn more about both Environment Analysis and MOVE3 software HERE.

Sponsored by Ashtech

Ashtech ProMark 500 V4: More features, enhanced performance and a new price offer. Contact us today to learn more about the new RTK capabilities of the latest Ashtech GNSS receiver for land surveyors.

Visit Ashtech for more information.


Sokkia introduces the new generation of the SRX robotic total stations
Avenza Releases Geographic Imager 3.2 for Adobe Photoshop
TerraEchos Receives Frost & Sullivan’s ‘New Product Innovation of the Year’
Milan Cathedral Restoration Goes Hi-Tech with Pointools 3D Laser Model
Final Days to Register for the Second Annual Blue Marble Users Conference
GeoDesign Summit Explores the Power of Geography and Design
Russia to Launch 8 GLONASS Navigation Satellites in 2011-2013
George Ross Appointed Director of Manufacturing at Velodyne LiDAR
Ashtech ProFlex 500 GNSS Teams with FieldSens 3-D Undersea Utility Geopositioning
Facilities Managers Examine whether BIM and GIS Can Coexist
Natural Resources Canada Recognized for Boosting National Mapping Productivity Using ESRI Technology
New Getac S400 Semi-Rugged Notebook Designed Specifically For Utilities, Public Safety, Field Service, And Military Applications
Taking Off with a New Innovative Survey Aircraft
JAVAD GNSS Introduces Environment Analysis for Triumph VS
German Mapping Satellites Enter Orbital Formation
RailWorks Deploys Amberg Technologies’ GRP Track Measurement System
Zoller+Fröhlich Announces the IMAGER 5010
Hemisphere GPS Announces HQ Asset Tracking System
Gerhard Adam Lengemann, 1932-2010
New Zealand Modernizes Its Infrastructure Network With Trimble GNSS
Leica Cyclone v7.1 Software Speeds Point Cloud Processing
CAD Models Supported in Leica TruView Software for Point Clouds
Leica ScanStation C10 FW v.2.0 – Unequalled Productivity and Versatility
Topcon Releases Latest Version of Powerful Laser Scanner Software: ScanMaster 2.0
Stantec Joins ACE Mentor Program as National Sponsor
Prices for Construction Materials Down in September
International Land Systems to Strengthen Land Information in Cross River State, Nigeria
Creaform Introduces the MetraSCAN 3D Scanner
Coast Survey Announces Special Map, Chart and Document Collection
Topcon’s Jones New Regional Construction Sales Manager
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    Sponsored by Topcon

    Topcon's GRS-1 is the world's first fully integrated dual constellation network enabled RTK rover system. It is an all-in-one handheld GNSS receiver and field controller featuring high-speed processor, increased memory, built-in camera, digital compass, optional internal GSM or CDMA modem, and wireless connectivity via Wireless LAN and Bluetooth® wireless technology.

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    The following articles from the Vol.7, No.7 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

    bookHistoric Print Collection -- Christian Hurtin / 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.

    Our maps and posters make excellent gifts for clients or employees!

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