This newsletter for August 28, 2013 will be archived at

line News / Current Issue / Archives / Photos / Subscriptions / eMagazine
LiDAR / Machine Control / GIS / LBS / Survey History / RSS Feed line
Our next issue will soon be in the mail. You can scroll down to see the line-up. As expected, Shawn Billings' article about dealing with ground versus grid distances is tracking well.
Of particular note in the new issue is Gary Jeffress' guest editorial about charging for our work. If you recall, Issue No 8 contained an article about the work Gary is doing with students in Texas. The article discusses our value to society.
In his editorial Gary proposes that we shift to an ad valorem method of pricing. Keeping in mind the infamous Arkansas case where the FTC went after surveyors for price-fixing, I never have understood how realtors get away with their 6% fee, or architects similarly charge a percentage, but the fact is, our liability and the value we add to a project warrants a reasonable fee, what some would call a living wage.
Please scroll down to see the rest of the line-up, and as always please don't hesitate to contact me if you've got a project or story you'd like to share.
Until next time,
Marc Cheves, PS
The American Surveyor

[Send your comments, announcements, tips, gripes, or kudos to Marc]
Sponsored by Blue Marble Geographics

Global Mapper is the GIS toolkit everyone is talking about. With prices starting at $399, support for over 200 geospatial formats, geometry and attribute editing, tons of free online data sources, a 3D viewer and massive LiDAR point could support it's no wonder.

Learn why hundreds of thousands of GIS professionals around the world rely on Global Mapper.

Gary Jeffress, Ph.D., PS 
Guest Editorial: Our Value to Society
I have just finished reading an article in The Economist titled "Thinking twice about price. -- In an age of austerity businesses needs to get better at charging more" (July 27th 2013 Issue). The article says that businesses coming out of the financial crisis have trimmed their workforce, and ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
Angle Points: Rules of Research and Evidence Evaluation for Conducting a Boundary Survey
In a society consumed by modern technology, computers, electronic map making and satellites, all too often, the basic art of boundary line determination is too frequently overlooked. Absent any guidelines or continuing education, many satellite surveyors rely on word of mouth ....
Read the Article
Ground versus Grid: Low Distortion Projections—Part 1
According to an interesting read entitled Geodetic Surveys in the United States: The Beginning and the Next 100 Years1 and in a letter from January of 1937, presented by the Federal Board of Surveys and Maps2, the State Plane Coordinate System was developed in the early 1930's by a ....
Read the Article
The American Theodolite
In 1939, the European continent was in the midst of a second major conflict after the passage of just two decades. There existed little doubt that the United States would be drawn into the war despite the nation's desire not to be involved ....
Read the Article
Terri L Turner, AICP, CFM 
The Dawn of A New Day...Biggert-Waters-12 Part 1
Wendy Lathrop and Barton Crattie did an excellent job describing the BiggertWaters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (what I lovingly refer to as BW-12) and its impact on land surveyors in the Vol 9, No 8 edition of The American Surveyor. I am not totally sure that anyone realizes yet the ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
LiDAR Hits the Rails
Much like the apps that proliferate on our smart phones today, LiDAR is one of those technologies for which the possibilities seem, quite literally, endless. Already proven in a host of survey and construction-based operations, LiDAR has also proven ....
Read the Article
Michael J. Pallamary, PS 
The Curt Brown Chronicles: Notes on Swamp Lands, Navigable Streams, and Lakes
Recently I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak at the Eleventh Annual Surveyors Institute at the University of Wisconsin. During the course of the program, it was informative and worthwhile to note the ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS 
Vantage Point: Persistence
We are told constantly that persistence is a wonderful trait, one that is necessary to succeed in life and in business. Perhaps that's true to some extent, but let me tell you a story. I live in a house that is more than a century old. So when I started hearing erratic clicking noises a few ....
Read the Article
Albert “Skip” Theberge 
Velocipedes, or handcars, as they came to be known, were a transportation mainstay for Coast and Geodetic Surveyors in the late years of the Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century. As they evolved, they became motorized by the ....
Read the Article
The Royal Observatory: Your author Fred Roeder (who has written of the various Prime Meridians) may be interested to learn of the discrepancy between the Bradley Prime Meridian (in use until December 31, 1850) and the Airy Prime Meridian (in use after January 4, 1851). This is ....
Read the Article
Landon Blake, PS 
Footsteps: Measurement Isn't Dead Yet
Is measurement dead? At times this expression is used to express the importance of evidence evaluation in boundary surveys. (This is in contrast to the survey that ignores evidence and pays attention only to measurements.) In this installment of Footsteps I wanted to talk ....
Read the Article
Sponsored by FARO

FARO is proud to host the 2nd annual 3D Documentation Conference Oct 16th-18th at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. Building upon the success from last year’s event, the 2013 conference will offer laser scanning professionals a platform to exchange ideas, discuss emerging technologies and participate in cooperative workshops. Early-Bird registration is now open. Visit for more details.


feature To address vertical markets, we launched LiDAR Magazine and Machine Control Magazine. Both have been well-received. The latest issue of MCM is now out, and it contains articles that surveyors should be interested in. Sure, it has articles about dozers using machine control, but the columnists write about such things as building 3D models and FCC radio regs, both of which are something surveyors need to know about.

Of particular note in the new MCM is an article about doing topos from space. A Canadian company is using GeoEye and DigitalGlobe satellites to achieve 20-30cm vertical accuracies. In mining, it's all about volumes, and this new capability has been used all over the world. I suspect it'll get the attention of the UAV and photo-g crowd.

The reason why this is important is because it's yet one more example of how technology is eating away at our traditional work. So far, it's only useful on large scale projects, so our small development projects are safe. But with the rumored "read a license plate from space" satellites we keep hearing about, can the 1-2 acre topos be far behind? If you'd like to check out the article, it's HERE, and if you'd like to check out the flippy version of the entire issue, it's HERE.

Sponsored by Altus Positioning Systems

Founded in 2006, Altus Positioning Systems is based in Torrance, Calif. The privately held company provides high-precision GNSS surveying equipment through an international network of sales representatives in key countries around the world.

For more information, visit


FARO Technologies Announces Its 2nd Annual 3D Documentation Conference
CHC Introduces the LT400HS GNSS Handheld
rapidlasso Exhibits PulseWaves Full Waveform LiDAR Format
Esri's Jack Dangermond Headlines International Cartographic Conference
3D Laser Mapping Launches New Mobile Mapping Data Logger
SkyTraq Introduces Fastest Consumer GPS/GNSS Receiver
SURV-KAP Serves Up New User Friendly Website
Featured Speakers Announced for the 2013 Blue Marble User Conference
3D Scanning Conducted at John Muir’s Home in Martinez, California
ASPRS Executive Director Position Announcement
GCS Big Data Webinar #2 Now Online
Crowd-Sourcing the National Map: Now a National Effort
Juniper Aspect 1.2 – A Faster, Easier-to-Use Field Mapping Software
DroneMetrex Maps a Railway With TopoDrone-100
Bluesky Aerial Mapping Helps Restore Peak District National Park
CGSIC States and Local Government Subcommittee Meeting Announcement
Construction Materials Prices Remain Flat in July
Trimble Launches AP15 GNSS-Inertial Board Set
RIEGL USA to exhibit at FSMS 58th Annual Conference
Visual Intelligence Releases Multi-Purpose Oblique/3D Sensor
GIS Field Survey Application for Agriculture Planning and Development
Septentrio’s GNSS Heading Receiver Used on Tethered Aerostat Systems
Got News? Drop a line to press [at] or Contact Us

  • LiDAR News - >>
  • Geospatial News - >>
  • Land Surveying News - >>
  • Machine Control News - >>

  • LiDAR News RSS Feed - LiDAR News FeedBurn >> Get our LiDAR News RSS feed
  • Geospatial RSS Feed - GISuser FeedBurn >> Get our GISuser RSS feed
  • Land Surveying RSS feed - Amerisurv FeedBlitz >> Get our Land Surveying RSS feed
  • Machine Control RSS Feed - Machine Control FeedBurn >> Get our Machine Control RSS feed
  • line
    Sponsored by LFM Software

    LFM is part of the AVEVA laser scanning technology suite. LFM Software improves project and operational efficiency with powerful 3D laser scanning software that can be used throughout the laser data and asset lifecycle. LFM solutions are hardware and software vendor neutral, accepting data from all 3D laser scanners and exporting to 3D integrated plant design systems, CAD and Review platforms.


    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 a complete listing of events, please visit our online calendar HERE.
    Send your event info to editor[at]


    E-Magazine - August 2013: Vol. 10, #8
    • Survey Summit 2013 • San Diego • Wet Work • Extensive Mechanization • Lost World • Surveying's Societal Value • Surveying California Coast • Otay Mesa • Feedback • Curt Brown Chronicles ...and more!
    E-Magazine - July 2013: : Vol. 10, #7
    • Dykes v. Arnold • San Diego • Rockies Campus • Royal Observatory • California Coast • Sharing Photos • Trucks • The Parcel Map • Curt Brown • Feedback • Exactions vs Extortion ...and more!
    E-Magazine - June 2013: : Vol. 10, #6
    • Keyboarding  • PGA Tour  • Aerial Sensors  • Missouri River  • Brady Memorial  • FEMA Elevation Certificates   • Do No Harm   • Curt Brown   • Knapp vs. Hughes   • Continuing Education ...and more!
    E-Magazine - May 2013: : Vol. 10, #5
    • Carlson's 30th  • Visit to Breithaupt  • Safety  • Mesoamericans
    • ExpressMap  • SurvPC  • $15,000 Question   • Monument Placement   • Feedback   • Curt Brown   • Haunted by the Past ...and more!

    Did-U-Know has compiled a state-by-state list of free imagery HERE

    bookHistoric Map Collection — A map of General Washington's farm of Mount Vernon from a drawing transmitted by the General. CREATED/PUBLISHED [S.l., 1801] NOTES Removed from: Letters from His Excellency George Washington, to Arthur Young, [etc.]. London, 1801. Scale 1:6,336. This map is 23"x18".

    Printed on high-quality photo paper, this poster is capable of being a center-piece for any room or space. These unique reproductions are both fascinating and sure to please.

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

    Sponsored by Microsurvey

    MicroSurvey embeddedCAD, Powered with Autodesk Technology™, is 100.0% compatible with AutoCAD® DWG® files. It's a fully-featured standalone surveying powerhouse with an industry-leading CAD engine. Old habits are hard to break. This program is built for surveyors that want to stick with a traditional CAD interface and engine, while having the ability to compute coordinates, balance traverses, annotate drawings, compute areas, and every other tool relevent to the modern surveyor.


    ADVERTISING with Spatial Media (Amerisurv, GISuser, MachineControl, LiDAR News)
    Request our Electronic Media Planner - complete with rates and promotion options. Connect with our large, targeted audience of Land Surveyors, Civil Engineers, GISusers, LBS professionals, SmartPhone Developers, technology managers, and other key decision makers.

    About | Privacy Policy
    © 2013, Spatial Media LLC
    905 West Seventh Street, #331
    Frederick, Maryland, 21701 USA