News and Views
Feb. 26, 2014

National Surveyors Week Activities Highlighted
In honor of National Surveyors Week, we want to hear your most interesting surveying stories! Send us a quick couple of paragraphs with the most interesting thing that's happened to you in the field, any related surveying activities, and anything else you think our readers will find interesting! We'll pick our favorites to feature on our social media accounts and blog each week leading up to NSW. Send your submissions to Click Here to download the National Surveyors Week Resource Kit.More

National Geodetic Survey — 2014 GPS on Benchmarks Campaign
The site includes all of the information you need for participating in the program in one place, including a link to NGS Advisors and a sample data sheet.More

ALTA/ACSM Standards
Please send questions/comments you may have about the standards to NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner via email at Responses will be posted in NSPS News and Views.


I have a general question regarding the preparation of ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys that always concerned me. What is considered a "current" title binder? All of my contracts state that the client will provide me with a current title binder with the supportive referenced documents, prior to the completion and issuance of the survey. Even though I engage in doing my own research for the project as well, I will not issue the final survey until I can review the title binder being prepared for the closing.

In the past, some clients will send me what I consider to be an out of date binder (more than 6 months since it was issued), to which I will always request an update to, or a letter from the title company, stating that the binder is still in force and that there have been no updates or additions to it since its last issuance. Some clients have sent me 6, 8, or 10 year old title binders and insisted that this is what is to be used for the preparation of the current ALTA/ACSM Land Title survey.

Of course I object and then the question always comes up as to "what is considered a current title binder?" Is there some language that ALTA/ACSM has that defines that? If so, can you please share same?

Read More for AnswerMore

NSPS Nominee Gary Thompson Reappointed to Interior Department's National Geospatial Advisory Committee
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has appointed 17 new and continuing members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The advisory committee provides recommendations on geospatial policy and management issues to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs. Read MoreMore

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee begins P3 panel roundtables
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's special Public-Private Partnership (P3) Panel has begun roundtable sessions on the role and impact P3s have in transportation projects and funding agreements. This first panel evaluated what circumstances P3s can help to advance infrastructure projects, across types of projects and modes; examined the long-term advantages and disadvantages of different P3 structures, including the range of involvement, scope of responsibility, and degree of risk assumed by the private sector in the project; explored challenges that states and public sponsors experienced in developing P3 contractual agreements; and gained insight into what the private sector looks for when investing in infrastructure projects. Among the examples of projects were the Presidio Parkway (CA), Purple Line (MD), Ohio River Bridges (OH & IN), Pocahontas Parkway (VA), Midtown Tunnels (VA), Indiana Toll Road (IN), Denver Eagle Project (CO), and the Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes (VA). More

National Public Radio highlights surveyors' role in mapping Detroit's blighted properties
National Public Radio (NPR) recently highlighted the role professional surveyors have in mapping Detroit's 380,000 parcels of land stretched across 139 square miles. Last fall, White House officials created a Blight Task Force in Detroit to determine just what property is salvageable among the estimated 80,000 abandoned buildings. That information is now pouring into a long room, referred to as "Mission Control", with dozens of people poised over laptops — a White House Situation Room-style mapping area with computerized images of all of the buildings in the city, and outlines of what should be done with them. A map of Detroit covers one table. It's replicated on the laptop screens and overlaid by a computer grid of the city. Blue dots represent surveyors out in the field, and they're all over the city right now. Detroit officials spent decades trying to tear down such homes, but each demolition costs between $5,000 and $10,000. The mapping project's manager, Sean Jackson, says the new database will help them better use the scarce funding by compiling information that the city and county departments' outdated computers could never integrate. Detroit's mayor Mike Duggan needs the information from the mapping database to improve Detroit beyond its thriving downtown and midtown areas.More

Changes to FEMA flood insurance stirs controversy in U.S. House
A bill, H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, scheduled for action in the U.S. Houses of Representatives this week, is facing an avalanche of opposition from conservative and taxpayer groups. The bill would delay or repeal provisions of the Biggert-Waters Act, a new law enacted in 2012 to stem the losses the U.S. government experienced after Hurricane Katrina. The federal flood insurance program is currently $24 billion in debt, with significant recent losses from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Negotiations on amendments to be offered on the floor of the House were ongoing even in the days leading up to anticipated action on Wednesday, February 26 or Thursday, February 27. A similar bill, S. 1926, passed the Senate on January 30 by a 67-32 vote.More

NSPS Tellers to Meet
Members of the NSPS Tellers Committee will come to NSPS Headquarters on March 5 to count ballots for officers and directors for the term which will begin during the NSPS Spring Business Meetings in April. Results will be posted in News and Views.More

NSPS Radio Hour — March 3, 11 a.m. EDT
Kris Kline will join host Curt Sumner to discuss some interesting experiences/feedback during his appearances at state surveying conferences this seminar season. Kris will also discuss some topics he is just beginning to develop, such as "Wars between the States," which will explore litigation between states over a number of issues. He will also talk about research for his next book which will be based on his seminar "How to Fix a Boundary Line."

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, listen to the archive of the show at Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months. More

Height Modernization Eastern States Regional Webinar
March 4, 2014
1:00 – 5:00 pm ET
This webinar will cover the following topics:

Read more: More

SPAR International 3D Measurement & Imaging Conference
April 14-17, 2014
The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colo.

SPAR International 3D Measurement & Imaging Conference brings together professionals from diverse markets to discover the latest advances and technologies in 3D data capture, processing and delivery to drive efficiency, improve workflows, reduce project timelines, save money, improve safety and mitigate risk. In addition to robust conference programming, the events feature an exhibition full of hardware and software solutions, mobile mapping vehicles, live demonstrations, roundtable discussions and multiple networking events. Members of National Society of Professional Surveyors are entitled to a 10% discount off the regular registration fee. Enter code 108640 when prompted for "promo code" during the registration process. Click here to registerMore

Job Opportunities
Job Opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.

Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at More

Upcoming Seminars/Conferences
Due to the volume of requests we received to publish information about State Society conferences, use this link to access the information from the NSPS website.More

Online media tackle geography and mapping
Directions Magazine
Three popular online media properties have been taking on geography and mapping since at least the last Esri User Conference last July. James Fallows American Futures project is partnership between The Atlantic, Marketplace and Esri. Wired's MapLab follows two bloggers who "indulge their obsession with maps and chronicle their quest to become mapmakers." Reddit's MapPorn page shares a variety of interesting maps.More

What impact will Google's new mapping phone have on our digital realities?
Sensors & Systems
Google has just released details of an initiative dubbed Project Tango that provisions an Android smartphone with the ability to map and remember location. The phone builds on the company's model of harnessing Android phone users in combination with phone sensors to inform applications, to date this capacity populates maps with traffic volume and speed. This next-generation onboard sensor fusion adds 3-D mapping capacity. More

Making sense of sensors
GPS World
At the turn of the century, the premise was that GPS was revolutionary, would work everywhere we needed it, and everything else was old hat. Turns out that we need something that works indoors and in critical outdoor applications without a clear view of the sky, like downtown cores, dense forests, and in-and-out of coverage places like mountain valleys. More

Why LiDAR has become the go to technology for utility corridor mapping
Directions Magazine
In December, Infotech Enterprises and DTS GIS participated in a Directions Magazine webinar to present a cost-effective solution to the NERC-mandated transmission line monitoring. This webinar sparked more good questions than could be answered during the allotted time. Here those answers are presented in detail. More