This newsletter for September 29, 2010 will be archived at

line News / Blog / Current Issue / Article Archives / Flickr Photos / Survey History
RTN-101 / GIS / LBS / Subscriptions / Contact / RSS Feed line
Our latest issue will mail soon... and it's another great edition! Leading the Hit Parade so far is Robert Young's report on how he's surviving the downturn. Granted, Robert happens to be well-situated to do work—oil & gas—that doesn't involve land development, but what he has to say applies to all surveying businesses.
More on the Hit Parade... Right behind Robert is our lead cover feature about scanning Mt. Rushmore. This is not the first time Rushmore has been scanned, but this time it was an international effort that included CyArk. The images are stunning. Also riding high on the Parade is a very timely article about staking a mosque in Tennessee.
Rounding out the line-up is an article about the use of the new OPUS-DB from NGS. This logical follow-on to the wildly popular OPUS can be of great use for surveyors interested in the quality of their measurements. Also, a new columnist, Jay Jones, a licensed and degreed surveyor fron New York, discusses a particularly thorny machine control problem he had to solve involving competing radios.
There's more, which you can see 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 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.

Make Me a Map of the Valley
Under clear skies and warmer than normal temperatures, nearly 100 people gathered for the 14th annual Surveyors Rendezvous. Guests were treated to an extraordinary three-night stay onboard the legendary Delta Queen steamboat. Designated as a National Historic Landmark with ....
Read the Article
Digitizing the Legacy
"We are missing data on Washington's brow and cravat." "Even with the data from the scans on the talus slope?" "The angle is just too steep. We have to use the rig." "What about the scans from Lincoln, or the chins?" Two clicks brought up a ....
Read the Article
Machine Control: Lessons Learned
I am continually asked about the opportunities for land surveyors in the machine control market and I have written a couple past articles about these opportunities. But I am more curious about what the next trend is for machine control. What else is over the horizon that we haven't ...
Read the Article
Not What, but Where is Qibla?
Back in the Spring of 2009, we received a routine request from one of our finer regular clients to perform a routine boundary and topographic survey. Sporting a brick rancher, the property backed up to an interstate highway, fronting on a ...
Read the Article
OPUS-DB and Uncertainty Testing
The Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science at Texas A&M University--Corpus Christi conducted a research project with the National Park Service (NPS) and National Geodetic Survey (NGS) to determine the heights of five peaks in the ...
Read the Article
Vantage Point: Safety or Fraud?
About six years ago, as I chatted with a client as he drove us through northeastern Missouri to visit a work site, the inevitable questions of origins arose. Mine is a complicated tale of a family on the move from coast to coast, but his was simpler: "I'm from a small town in Pennsylvania ....
Read the Article
More on Apprenticeship. I have been following the discussions about this subject at various locations and in many forms for many years now. In Dave Gibson's article "Licensure by Apprenticeship: Effects on the Surveying Profession" [Vol 7, Issue 4], he makes some good points. However ...
Read the Comments
Surveyors Report: Making the Most of the Recession
The Barnett Shale, the second largest producing onshore domestic natural gas field in the US, stretches over North Texas. It is still actively being discovered. Young and Associates Surveying and Mapping, LLC was formed in 2007 as the Barnett Shale was booming for natural gas exploration ...
Read the Article
Sponsored by Laser Technology

You're bound to encounter the unexpected in the field. Not to worry, though. LTI lasers let you adapt to ever-changing conditions and situations by allowing you to position anything without occupying it. Learn more about GPS laser offsets at our site. While there, share your craziest day in the field and enter to win a laser!

Visit Laser Technology for more info.


feature Rendezvous 2010... We had a great time at this year's gathering on the Delta Queen riverboat in Chattanooga. (You can read many of the details in my editorial above and we've posted the Rendezvous photographs on flickr HERE). Part of the field activities included old-style mapping with plane tables and alidades. Here, legendary surveyor Norman Brown from Missouri explains the use of an early alidade to Oak Ridge TN surveyor Joe Arnold, whom I wrote about HERE. I've become friends with Joe, his son Ben, and business partner George Hileman at several previous Rendezvous, and last saw Norman at the Rendezvous in St. Joseph MO in 2004.

For me, the most anticipated sessions had to do with the "invention" of the 7.5 minute quad we surveyors use so much. In the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority had a critical need to create a lot of maps in a short amount of time, and knew that planes tables and alidades wouldn't cut it, so they built on what the Europeans had invented: photogrammetry. Out of the TVA effort was born many of the photogrammetry firms that are still in business to this day. For instance, Milton Harden, then with the USGS, went on to start M.J. Harden (now owned by Geo-Eye) in Kansas City.

It's looking like the Rendezvous will return to Ohio next year for a program about early Ohio and Kentucky surveys, after that Council Bluffs and Omaha for the Pacific Railroad Surveys, Lewis and Clark and the 200th Anniversary of the Government Land Office, and after that Philadelphia for a program built around the Rittenhouse family and also possibly honoring Charles Mason of Mason and Dixon fame. You can check the Surveyors Historical Society website for updates on future events. I highly recommend attending these events. If you like history, I guarantee you'll be glad you did.
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.

Visit the Topcon GRS-1 for more information.


Merrick Purchases Additional Sensing Equipment for Helicopter-Acquired Data Products and Services
Creaform Launches VXelements 3D Data Acquisition Software
RDO Integrated Controls Announces New Partnership in Mining and Landfill Software
Global Mapper v12.00 Available - Tons of New Features!
The Recession Hangover Culture Cure: How Residual Negativity Is Costing Companies Big Bucks
Merrick & Company Selects GSI TerraPix Imaging Systems for Corridor Mapping
Pryme Radio Secures New US Patent for GPS Speaker Microphone
Willey Joins Sokkia as Central U.S. Regional Sales Manager
Esri President to Keynote INTERGEO Conference
Hemisphere GPS Introduces miniEclipse - The Smallest Dual Frequency GPS OEM Board Available
First Phases of Florida Coastal Mapping Project Complete
Intergeo to Highlight 3D as Day-to-day Business
Wacom Interactive Pen Display Technology Adds Precision and Speed to USGS Volcanic Mapping
Ashtech Introduces ProMark 200, Cost-Effective, Dual-Frequency RTK Rover
Ashtech Introduces ProMark 100 Compact GPS & GLONASS Receiver
Nothing But Blind Pitiless Indifference: Boundary Monuments, Deferral and the Public Interest
Pointools Names Joe Croser as Vice President of Products
Topcon’s Larranaga Named Software Business Development Manager for Construction Business Unit
Free Webinar: New Opportunities for Surveyors in GIS with SurvCE, Sept. 23
SAM, Inc. Announces that Rick Benson, PE Has Joined the Firm as Dallas Office Manager
RETTEW's Khan Earns LEED Accreditation
SECO Offers New Target Solution for Reflectorless Total Stations
Geotagged Photos Help Prioritize Oil Spill Response in Gulf
Getac Increases Performance on Popular B300 Rugged Notebook with Turbo-Boost Technology
Construction Backlog Indicator No Longer Expanding
Radiodetection Wins at International Utility Locate Rodeo 2010 in Atlanta
Septentrio announces PolaRxS
Euro-Brazilian Consortium to Tackle Ionospheric Scintillation for GNSS Operations in Latin America
Gulf Oil Spill: Photos You Haven’t Seen; Stories You Haven’t Heard
Trimble Takes Real-time Deformation Monitoring to the Next Level
Create Web Mapping Applications with No Programming
Got News? Drop a line to press [at] or Contact Us

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

  • 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 Trimble

    TRIMBLE S8: THE POWER TO EXCEL The most demanding jobs require the most advanced total station in the industry. Whether you need solutions to drive productivity for day to day survey tasks or precision solutions for demanding engineering projects, the Trimble S8 is the most advanced total station solution available today.

    Visit Trimble for more information.


    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]


    The following articles from the Vol.7, No.6 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 Map Collection -- Map of the United States of America : with the contiguous British and Spanish possessions / compiled from the latest & best authorities by John Melish ; engraved by J. Vallance & H.S. Tanner. Melish, John, 1771-1822. CREATED/PUBLISHED Philadelphia : J. Melish, c1816. NOTES Relief shown pictorially. Prime meridians: London and Washington. Fifth state. Includes inset of the West Indies. Scale [1:3,900,000] (W 1180--W 640/N 530--N 230).. Note: This huge map is 23"x37"!

    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!


    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.


    ADVERTISING with Spatial Media LLC (Amerisurv, GISuser, LBSzone & SymbianOne)
    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
    (c) 2010, Spatial Media LLC
    905 West Seventh Street, #331
    Frederick, Maryland, 21701