News and Views
Nov. 30, 2011

NSPS to engage in discussions about GISCI's GIS profession position
NSPS has learned that the Board of Directors of the GIS Certification Institute has officially issued a statement of its position on the GIS profession in relation to other geospatial professions.

The position statement says, in part, "The GIS Certification Institute contends that state regulation of the many and varied tasks performed by GIS Professionals would be counterproductive. Instead of state regulation, we believe that voluntary certification of GIS professionals — with encouragement and support from employers — is the best means to promote high education standards, continuing professional development, and ethical practice in our rapidly growing and evolving field. GISCI contends that the practice of surveying should be defined narrowly, and that associated state regulations should be narrow in scope, reflecting the limited footprint of survey practice within the geospatial field."

NSPS will engage in discussions with GISCI to determine whether this statement is intended to be in conflict with the "Inclusions and Exclusions" section of the NCEES Model Rules related to the licensure of professional surveyors. The Inclusions and Exclusions section of the Model Rules addresses which geospatial activities should be regulated through licensure. GISCI Member organizations NSGIC and URISA were involved in the development of the Inclusions and Exclusions section of the Model Rules.More

When surveyors were revolting
ACSM Bulletin
The picture of Mount Rushmore with the slogan, "Three Surveyors and the Other Guy," is now almost a cliche among the surveying community. T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and all the commercial representations abound. And we feel good about it: "Hey, three of those guys were surveyors, just like me."More

Finding the courage to say, 'No'
The American Surveyor
Boundary surveying is a branch of surveying that is susceptible to shady practice, as it might seem easier to cut corners in the boundary surveying component of a project than in other areas. (How much time can you really shave off a topographic survey?)More

True zero
Point of Beginning
As part of its mission to "define, maintain and provide access to the National Spatial Reference System," the National Geodetic Survey issued a bold set of milestones for modernizing the NSRS in its 10-year plan, which was laid out in 2008. More

FCC's release of documents draws ire
Several outlets — including The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Des Moines Resister and Inside GNSS — reported on Sen. Grassley blasting the FCC about the release of documents related to LightSquared through Freedom of Information Act requests. Many noted that the FCC established a new website to post documents related to LightSquared. That website, available here, is described as a "public Web portal to provide ready access to publicly available documents and other responsive documents not otherwise exempt from release under the FOIA." The site also says the FCC is still in the process of releasing documents in response to FOIA requests.

The Washington Post article on the matter reported that the documents show that the FCC repeatedly defended its decision to grant LightSquared its conditional waiver "despite a growing chorus of warnings this year about the system's safety."More

Javad to discuss its filter technology in a GPS world webinar
GPS World
GPS World announced that Javad Ashjaee, president and CEO of JAVAD GNSS, will participate in a GPS World webinar on Dec. 8 to discuss his company's filter technology proposed to protect GPS receivers from interference by LightSquared. More

Going places with GIS and geography in education
Directions Magazine
Long-time educator Barbaree Duke has been integrating GIS into her classroom since 2000. As a staffer for the National Council for Geographic Education, she actively advocates the use of GIS for geography education in the K-12 environment. Here, she offers her thoughts on why that strategy makes sense, and what you as a GIS professional can do to support geography education.More

Professional Surveyor services in flood zones
ACSM Radio Hour
Join Karol Grove-Tomlinson and host Curt Sumner for the ACSM Radio Hour at 11 a.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 5, at They will talk about the services that Professional Surveyors provide in flood zones and the issues they encounter in their work. Karol is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan who provides services related to flood zone issues to a variety of clients. Her coming on the show is another way of sharing her knowledge with other professionals, local and state agencies and all other interested parties.More

LAS 1.4 Specification Approved
The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is pleased to announce LAS 1.4, a new release of the open file format for lidar data storage and delivery. ASPRS has been maintaining and updating this widely used specification since its inception in 2001. MORE

DMC-1 satellite retires after 8 years of service
DMC-1, one of the first generation disaster monitoring constellation satellites from the U.K., was retired from service after more than eight years in orbit, Space Daily reported. It was launched on Sept. 27, 2003, with fellow constellation satellites NigeriaSat-1 and BILSAT-1. It has exceeded its original five-year design lifetime by over 50 percent with an impressive eight years and one month of operation. MOREMore

Increase automation and accuracy of remote-sensing feature extraction
Today's geospatial analysts have a large array of tools and technologies available to rapidly and efficiently access, prepare and exploit remotely sensed information. However, they're increasingly unable to keep up with the large volumes of available information and the ever-increasing demands for extracted information. As a result, a different approach is needed to increase analytical efficiency and accuracy. More

Events of interest for the geo tech professional
GIS User
Online webinars are a popular form of professional development and are being offered by many players in the GIS/geo tech industry. A number of webinars are scheduled for the near future and GIS User has provided a quick look at some of the events that you might wish to consider attending.More

Revett receives favorable decision from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Revett Minerals Inc. is pleased to announce it has just received an affirmative decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relating to the Endangered Species Act appeal filed by the Rock Creek Alliance and other environmental groups. The Court affirmed that "the Fish and Wildlife Service's determination that the mine would entail 'no adverse modification' to bull trout critical habitat and would result in 'no jeopardy' to grizzly bears was not arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of the Endangered Species Act." More