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Busy weeks with both SPAR and ConExpo. Gene Roe, the editor of LiDAR News, and I attended SPAR, 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 of Where 3D Innovators Connect, the conference was chock full of the state-of-the-art.
Of the opening keynotes, my favorite was by Brian Matthews from Autodesk Labs. Matthews described a future in which 3D will be king. Interestingly, his first point was that smaller and smaller sensors will generate larger and larger databases, creating work for positioning experts and data managers. Because 90 percent of indoor spaces are unmapped, he said indoor mobile scanning will be huge. Amazing things are happening with 3D, much of which will be consumer-driven. But as Matthews pointed out, data is useless: people want information.
In talking with surveyors across the country, I've encountered a few who want nothing to do with new technology. But we can all see that the future is going to require more tools in the toolbox, not less. At The American Surveyor, while continuing to publish the things we know surveyors like in the magazine, we have struck a different course by separating the new technologies into different publications.
The first of these, Machine Control Magazine, launched at ConExpo in Vegas. You can view it HERE. Next will be LiDAR Magazine. Unlike land development construction (which I discuss further below), both machine control and scanning are bright spots in our economy. As you've been hearing for years, GIS is another growth area for surveyors. We encourage you to carefully examine your practice and see how these technologies can fit.
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: The Things We Gather
You can tell a lot about people by the things they collect. Whatever the motivation, for most of us the process of collecting is a pleasurable pursuit. Many of our writers own fine collections--old surveying instruments, classic cars, antique clocks, coins, photographs and more. Personally, I've ....
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An Integrated Solution for Mining
The Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is potentially one of the most exciting undeveloped gold deposits in the world today. Exploration and mining activities across what are today Banro's four ...
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What Separates the Rich from the Poor?
"The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted." —James Madison. Of the 6 billion people on Earth, 2 billion try to survive on a few dollars a day. They don't businesses, or...
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Montana's GIS-Based Cadastre Layered with Riches
As the fourth largest state in the United States, Montana is synonymous with frontier. Under the state's famous "big sky" are 145,552 square miles of sparsely populated open land, and-- ranked forty-fourth in total population and forty-eighth in ...
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Harnessing a GPS Network
It's a powerful system, this SmartNet North America. Launched by Leica on March 1, 2010, SmartNet is a subscription-based service offering GNSS Network RTK corrections throughout North America. Geographically, SmartNet covers Ontario, Quebec ...
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Using Google Earth
I'm sure many surveyors like myself have downloaded and played with Google Earth. I have virtual map pins stuck in places where I've lived and worked, and pins placed at Air Force bases where I was stationed in the United States, Europe and North Africa. There are pins in the ...
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Vantage Point: Life Behind Levees: an Overview and Update
Throughout history, mankind's interaction with water has been a love/hate relationship. We have loved to be near water for drinking, bathing, fishing, watering crops, navigating our ships, and just plain aesthetics. On the other hand we have hated the unpredictability of water rising up out of ....
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Footsteps: Title Industry Changes Affect Surveying
Several changes have recently occurred in the land title industry. What caused these changes and what impact they have had on the boundary surveyor are the topics that this article will address. The land title industry is the group of companies that offer insurance to the purchaser of ...
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The economy continues to dominate every aspect of our lives. In an interview at ConExpo, Thomas Schulz, Sandvik's Mining and Construction president, gave some interesting statistics: “Looking at the market, it is clear that it has always been a cyclical business and there has been a traceable eight-to-10-year cycle since the end of the Second World War. Normally there will be a boom over a six-year period with a decline over a two-to-three-year timespan and I am optimistic that we reached the bottom of the market last year.”

Granted, many of the companies who exhibited at ConExpo are global players, and don't depend on the U.S. for the bulk of their sales, but everybody at the show seemed to be bullish on America. For sure, the current downturn doesn't fit with Schulz' model, so we're in new territory. Some are saying that it'll be two more years, but I remain confident that with the right government policies, we can begin to climb out of this mess.

In a recent Fact and Comment column titled Help Housing? Dump Uncle Sam, Steve Forbes said this: "If the government would leave the housing market alone, folks who should never have been able to buy these structures in the first place will finally make the break from their mistakes and rebuild their financial lives. Once people sense that housing prices aren't going to drop further, home buying will pick up sharply. Within three years, when current inventories are depleted, we'll be experiencing a housing boom. In a normal economy 1.5 million new structures are needed every year just to meet population growth and replace abodes done in by the wear and tear of time or tastes."

We had hoped that the government stimulus money would help, but it seems to have only helped a little. We know there's plenty of infrastructure work that still needs to be done, but our bread and butter has always been light commercial and residential construction. Until the government discontinues its ruinous policies, surveyors who have built America will continue to close their doors. The stories I'm hearing are heart-breaking, but as I've been saying for years, until the work comes back, technology and diversification will be the only ways to survive.

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INTERGEO 2011: Natural Disaster in Japan Emphasises Need for International Networking Among Geo Experts
Blue Marble’s GeoCalc Engine Now Supports Time Stamped Coordinate Reference Frames
China Manages and Serves Forestry Data with ERDAS APOLLO
Leica Geosystems Calls for Papers and Presentations for Hexagon 2011 International Conference
Pointools Software Helps Time Team Archaeologists Reveal Jersey’s Past
GEO-11 To Host Product Launches, Software Demonstrations and Promotions
JAVAD GNSS TRIUMPH-VS Tracks Galileo E5 altBOC Signal
Roger Tomlinson's Updated Thinking About GIS Reflects New Technology Trends
SkyTraq Introduces Compact-Sized GLONASS/GPS Receiver
Esri ArcGIS 10 Now Supported by MAPublisher
Intuicom Announces Support for Trimble IBSS On Their Popular RTK Bridge Products
DigitalGlobe Reaches Major Milestone in China, Collecting 34 Million Square Kilometers of Satellite Imagery
CGSIC U.S. States and Local Government Subcommittee Meeting Announcement
Trimble Introduces First Integrated Grade Control and Telematics Solution for the Construction Industry
Trimble GCS900 Grade Control System Offers More Flexibility for More Jobs
CG˛ Announces LIDAR Fusion for Geospatial Intelligence Community
Topcon Announces 3D-MC2 System for Motor Graders
Leica Geosystems Enhances SP Technology: Total Precision in Any Environment
MDL to Deliver Pointools Software with Every New 3D Laser Scanner
Topcon Group Companies Respond to Japan Disaster
kubit Announces Release of “PointSense Plant” for AutoCAD at Spar 2011
Topcon’s SiteLINK 3D Connects Range of Grade Control Products
Certainty 3D Offers Pay-for-Use TopoDOT License Program
AVEVA Laser Modeller Launched at SPAR 2011
Japan Nuclear Impact, Earthquake, and Tsunami Map Apps Made Available by Esri
Velodyne to Demo HDL-32E LiDAR Sensor at SPAR 2011
FODIS Measure3D - The Next Generation of Imaging Solution for 3D Measurement
Gatewing X100 Revolutionizing Aerial Mapping
Topcon’s GR-5 Satellite Receiver Sets New Standard in Signal Tracking, Job Site Precision
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    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.
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    The following articles from the Vol.8, No.1 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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