News & Views
Jul. 1, 2015

TMAC Meeting Report, June 23 & 24, 2015
Wendy Lathrop, PLS, CFM - NSPS Representative
Technical Mapping Advisory Committee (TMAC) members have been busily writing on both the Annual Report and the Future Conditions Report (both due in October) since our last physical meeting in early May. The majority of the two-day meeting at NOAA offices in Silver Springs, MD was spent commenting on, discussing, and revising outlines of chapters in both reports. Over the prior two weeks, we had all reviewed the outlines for both documents (approximately 180 pages of outlines and text) to prepare for fuller discussion in person.

Read the full reportMore

NSPS Foundation, Inc., Legacy Program
Joseph M. Dolan, P.L.S., Chairman
What is a legacy?

The dictionary says: noun, plural legacies.

  1. Law: a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
  2. Something that is handed down or remains from a previous generation or time.
I think of establishing a legacy as being remembered for the accomplishments and contributions achieved by an individual. Being certain that one is remembered in a manner they determine, and not depending on others who might not get it exactly right. Most surveyors and mapping professionals I know have chosen their field because they love it! They would never be truly happy doing anything else! Many of us own our own firms, or are principals in large multi-disciplined companies, and have been very successful financially. In some cases our children have decided to enter other professions and are financially independent. Some of us have no heirs to whom we can leave anything!

It is never too early to think about what your legacy might be! Perhaps you want to establish a scholarship in your name, or fund a project. The choices are limited only by your imagination! The choices do not have to be limited to your profession, and you don’t have to fund them all at once! You can set up a schedule of donations over time to reach your goal!

How do you want to be remembered?

Think about it! Contact the Foundation to discuss your ideas, and we will help you make them a reality! More

NSPS Radio Hour — July 6, 11 a.m. EDT
Denny DeMeyer and John Thalacker, two members of the Surveyors Historical Society 2015 Rendezvous Committee, will join host Curt Sumner to discuss specifics about the planning leading up to the event, and what attendees can expect during the July 9-13 program.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, 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. More

NSPS wins 3DEP funding Interior spending bill
Prior to Congress adjourning for the 4th of July Holiday, the House began consideration of H.R. 2822, the spending bill for the Department of the Interior, which includes surveying and mapping activities within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Geological Survey (USGS), among other Federal agencies. The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee marked-up the Senate companion bill, S. 1645. One of the programs NSPS advocated during its April 15, 2015 day on Capitol Hill was the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) managed by USGS. The Senate Committee report language for 3DEP includes, "Program levels include: $3,000,000 for 3D elevation activities; $500,000 for 3D elevation: coastal lidar, and $1,322,000 to fund the Alaska mapping program." Further work on appropriations bills is expected to resume next week when Congress reconvenes.More

Congressional panel seeks answers on pipeline safety issues
Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote bipartisan letters seeking information on pipeline infrastructure, including the need for various location and logistical data which is likely to increase the need for more exact and accurate surveying and mapping data for above and below ground pipeline transmission and distribution themes, and options from Federal agencies and a private operator. Underground infrastructure and pipelines was one of the issues NSPS brought to Congress on April 15. Congress is scheduled to reauthorize the pipeline safety legislation before current law expires on September 30, 2015.More

NSPS meets with Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA)
NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd recently met with Representative Rick Allen (R-GA). Representing Georgia's 12th Congressional District, Congressman Allen serves on the House Agricultural and Education Workforce Committees. On these panels, he has oversight of issues such as precision agriculture, Davis-Bacon Act compliance on Federally-funded construction projects, STEM education, and the Higher Education Act. Mr. Byrd is pictured with Rep. Allen.More

Hydrographic Services Review Panel nominations sought
NOAA is soliciting nominations for membership for the 2016 Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a Federal Advisory Committee. HSRP applications for year 2016 must be received by NO LATER THAN August 10, 2015, preferably via email to The Call for Nominations is available by the PDF attached and at the following Federal Register website.

The panel advises NOAA on operations and research issues related to hydrographic surveying, nautical charts, tides and currents, geodetic and geospatial data and measurements, coastal intelligence and resilience, and emerging Arctic priorities. Applicants should have expertise in marine navigation, port administration, maritime shipping or other intermodal transportation industries, cartography and geographic information systems, geodesy, geospatial data, physical oceanography, coastal resource management, including coastal resilience and emergency response, or other science-related fields.

Information on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel can be found at:

The Federal Register Notice for solicitation for 2016 HSRP nominations:

Esri to release ArcGIS Earth to make 3-D GIS easy
GIS User
Something on the Esri blogs this week giving us a clue as to what we can expect to see on the main stage at ESRIUC this July — ArcGIS Earth — Esri's new effort to support the transition to an ESRI solution from the Google Earth Pro environment. Created to address the growing demand for 3-D, Esri is rolling out a new tool to provide an "immersive and visually compelling experience only 3-D can provide." More

Are there special considerations for dealing with raw GNSS data?
Inside GNSS
Q: Are there special considerations for dealing with raw GNSS data?

A: Most GNSS users are only interested in position, velocity, and/or time (PVT) information provided by a receiver. In fact, most mass-market GNSS receivers (e.g., those in cell phones or in your vehicle) only provide PVT information along with some supporting data (such as the number of satellites tracked, dilution of precision, course over ground, and so forth). More

Will your company fail without GIS?
Directions Magazine
Large corporations have been using GIS software analysis for years now, and the impact is clear: the information they gain is helping save time, money and resources. The fast food giant Wendy's, for example, has a team of analysts that scrutinize GIS collected data to determine what the annual profits of a new location are likely to be. Thanks to this GIS investment, company executives estimate that they've saved over $750,000 over the past two years on marketing research costs. More

Uber acquires part of Bing's mapping assets
Tech Crunch
Uber will acquire assets from Microsoft Bing, including roughly 100 employees focused on the product's image collection activities. In short, Uber is absorbing data-collection engineers from Microsoft to bolster its own mapping work. The companies confirmed the transaction with TechCrunch, but each declined to name the terms of the agreement. More