News and Views
Mar. 12, 2014

FIG Young Surveyors to meet in San Diego
After the successful 1st FIG Young Surveyors (YS) European Meeting held this past October in Lisbon, Portugal, in which 150 young surveyors from 32 countries attended, the FIG Young Surveyors Network is organizing the 1st FIG Young Surveyors North American Meeting.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2014 California/Nevada Surveyors Conference and the annual NSPS Student Competition at the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego. The YS meeting will be held April 14-15. There is no charge for the Meeting. Please register at

We are almost there!
44 State Societies and the District of Columbia Society have now signed the MOU to participate in the joint membership program with NSPS, with the MOU from Iowa on its way. Click Here to view map.More

Surveyors, we salute you!
Click here to read the Allen Precision interview with Curt Sumner.

In honor of National Surveyors Week, Allen Precision Equipment is offering customers a special 10% discount on all online purchases through the entire month of March, with an additional 5% discount for NSPS members. Email Trish Milburn for your NSPS discount code.More

NSPS Radio Hour
REMINDER: Remember to download each of the monthly shows with Lisa Isom (Manager of the NSPS Insurance Program) in order to keep the content as a reference when planning for your insurance coverage. The shows air on the second Monday (Jan. 13; Feb.10; March 10 so far) of each month.

March 17, 11 a.m. EDT

Join host Curt Sumner and his guests, GeoLearn principals Joe Paiva and Bob Morris, for a discussion about a new education company that provides online courses for professionals and technicians in the geospatial field. Joe and Bob will talk about the concept on which they based their business, which is to allow licensed surveyors to capitalize on information that could actually help them achieve a stronger base of knowledge from which to deliver higher quality service to their clients, while fulfilling the requirements for their professional development.

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.

Click here for more details about GeoLearn. More

House-passed FEMA bill threatens flood mapping
After weeks of maneuvering and deal-making, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3370, the Homeowners Flood insurance Affordability Act on March 4 by a 306-91 margin. The bill may adversely affect the FEMA flood mapping program, as well as the USGS 3DEP initiative. NSPS government affairs consultant John Palatiello explains how.More

60 Minutes television show explores citizen privacy issues
The CBS television show 60 Minutes included a feature on Sunday, March 9 on the collection of data from consumers and individual citizen privacy concerns. The report provides valuable insight for surveyors on the wide broom with which the geospatial profession is being swept up by Congress, state legislatures, and the Federal Trade Commission. Many such proposals restrict private sector firms from collecting, storing or disseminating certain data about individual citizens, including “precise geolocation information” which is not defined but could include an address or parcel identification number. This is why the NSPS, individually and as a member of COGO (the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations) adopted resolutions to separate and differentiate the geospatial profession from this kind of activity.More

Court sides with landowner over abandoned railroad right of way
Is a railroad line an easement or a right-of-way? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that land reverts back to its original owner. The court found for the property owner that a railway line abandoned in 2004 was an easement, which becomes part of the owner’s property under an 1875 law, not a right of way that reverts to the public, as the government argued. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said once the railroad abandoned the line, “land became unburdened of the easement” which he noted conferred to the landowner “the same full rights over the right of way as he enjoyed over the rest of ... (his) parcel.”More

NSPS attends Coastal Zone briefing on Capitol Hill
NSPS government affairs consultant John "JB" Byrd attended a March 5 Congressional briefing by the Coastal States Organization on "Coastal Zone Management: Protecting Coastal Communities and Economies in Your District." Keynote remarks were provided by Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), Chair of the House Oceans Caucus and member of the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Farr emphasized the importance for stakeholders concerned with coastal resilience to make a business case as to the economic impact conservation and other protective efforts can have in generating tax revenue, especially from a tourism value. NSPS previously briefed the Congressman's staff on the society’s support for Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR/H.R. 916) Act and the Digital Coast Act (H.R. 1382). Following the Congressman's remarks, the briefing emphasized scientists and local officials who are working in coastal state programs to build resilient coastlines that better protect homes, businesses, and livelihoods. They highlighted examples of federal and state/local partnerships through the coastal zone programs and how they help build and maintain coastal resiliency. The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) allows states to manage finite resources, preserve coastal communities and ecosystems, harmonize economies and ecosystems, and maximize coastal partnership opportunities — all of which create opportunities for professional surveyors and a demand for surveying and mapping data.More

Federal judge strikes ban on small UAVs
A Federal Administrative law judge last week ruled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not have the authority to prohibit small UAVs flying for commercial purposes. The FAA announced it will appeal the ruling.More

North East Surveying Societies
September 10-12, 2014
Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, Vermont
Click Here for DetailsMore

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 percent discount off the regular registration fee. Enter code 108640 when prompted for "promo code" during the registration process. Click here to register: More

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

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

Unlocking the economic potential of geospatial data
Most people recognize the pervasive impact of geospatial technology even if they are not familiar with the terms. Location sensors are prevalent in cars, phones and even inhalers. On a daily basis, constellations of satellites provide updated images of the natural and manmade events that fill Earth's surface. Government investments in geospatial data have become a major boon to our economy and our lives. More

How will the need for geospatial skills change when there's a search engine for the planet?
Sensors & Systems
There is an explosion of readily accessible imagery and video for the globe that will soon be coming online, thanks to upstart micro satellite companies, new imaging platforms, and advances in mobile data collection from smartphones. This new flood of information will be enhanced by high-speed online platforms that integrate these inputs for faster visualization and greater insight. A key element of success for this flood of information lies in the syndication and cataloging for comparison. More

Geo for all: FOSS4G in geospatial education
Directions Magazine
Three years ago the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and the International Cartographic Association became partners and launched the ICA-OSGeo Labs Initiative. The network of labs focuses on education and research with free and open source geospatial technology. Directions Magazine interviewed Helena Mitasova, associate professor in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University, to get an update on the initiative. More

FY15 budget: GPS III procurement to slow, dual-launch funding cut
Inside GNSS
The Air Force is slowing GPS modernization and dropping part of the funding for dual launch of satellites, said defense officials describing the President's Fiscal Year 2015 budget. Air Force Undersecretary Eric Fanning said the Air Force would continue to "honor our investments and obligations" regarding the Global Positioning System but would "reprofile" the GPS III program so that it meets constellation sustainment demands. More