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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Click Here to download the National Surveyors Week Resource Kit.
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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.
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 percent discount on all online purchases through the entire month of March, with an additional 5 percent discount for NSPS members. Email Trish Milburn for your NSPS discount code.
Readers Respond to Request for Stories
Sent in by Michael C. Mauro, LS
Since I survey for VDOT, we mostly work along the highways and on this particular day it was I-64 in Louisa County, Virginia. The next thing I know, we look up and a van load of prisoners stop and get out to cut brush, which was exactly what I was doing when they arrived. We all had hard hats and vests on and sort of looked alike. Well, I started getting closer to the group and one of the prisoners looked at me and said, "How many years do you have to go?" I could not refuse and answered, "30," and he said "hoooo weeee — I only gots two."
Needless to say, I laughed all the way back to the office and shared that one with many fellow coworkers.
Sent in by Ken Johnson, L.S.
Here is a story that I have cherished and remembered for over thirty five years, working my way up from hired rear chainman to owner of a small surveying firm.
It begins shortly after starting work for the firm in which I am now a principal and partner. One of my mentors (and at that time partners, in a small three man surveying and engineering firm in rural Kansas) and I, were out in the field working on small parcel rural survey. We had searched for several section corner monuments using a magnetic locator and known corner reference ties, and had recovered two out of the four we needed. My mentor, a man in his late fifties, had a saying, "If you have exhausted all of the easy ways to find a monument, then the next step is to get out the shovel and pick and start digging." Read More
Are you taking full advantage of your NSPS member benefits?
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NSPS would like to congratulate the following for passing the Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) exam
Jeffrey Donahue (WA), Jeffrey Lenherr (WA), Amy Orange-Posma (AK), Chad Pringle (CO), Thomas Shuman (OR), Nicholas Stattelman (ND), and Ryan Versteeg (CA).
House reschedules flood insurance reform bill
The U.S. House of Representatives is struggling with its version of a FEMA flood insurance reform bill. H.R. 3370, The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, has been scheduled for floor action in the U.S. Houses of Representatives for the past two weeks, but postponed due to opposition from conservative and taxpayer groups. The House is now expected to consider a revised bill on Wednesday, March 5. The U.S. Senate passed its bill, S. 1926, on January 30 by a vote of 67-32.
Tax reform proposal seeks limits to surveyors' use of cash accounting
Some surveying firms may be impacted by a comprehensive tax reform bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The proposal lowers corporate tax rates, but makes offsets through various reforms, including limits on the use of cash-based accounting. When the 1986 tax reform act was before Congress, ACSM, the predecessor of NSPS, succeeded in preserving cash accounting for certain firms that are in the performance of services in the fields of health, veterinary services, law, engineering (including surveying and mapping), architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, or consulting.
Did you know that there are more than 1,300 active CSTs in the United States?
Legislation would limit 'reverse auctions'
The House Small Business Committee is scheduled to vote today on H.R. 2751, Common Sense Construction Contracting Act of 2013. The bill would prohibit federal agencies from procuring small business construction services through reverse auctions. The bill includes several construction-related services from the bidding ban, including some related to architecture and engineering. Such services, including surveying and mapping, are subject to the qualifications based selection (QBS) procedures in the Brooks Act, 40 USC 1101. NSPS, working with the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), is supporting H.R. 2751 and is seeking further clarification that reverse auctions should not be used for architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping contacts.
Reports from Surveyors Indicate Uptick in Project Opportunities
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner and members of the NSPS leadership team have been visiting state society conferences all across the country during the past couple of months, and report having heard encouraging signs of improved job opportunities from across the country. From Hawaii to the Northeast, the deep South to the Northwest, and the upper Midwest to the Southwest, it appears that things are looking up. This is certainly good to hear. NSPS is hopeful that the trend will continue.
NSPS Radio Hour — March 10, 11 a.m. EDT
Lisa Isom (Manager of the NSPS Insurance Program) will join host Curt Sumner for the third in a continuing series of shows dedicated to insurance issues that affect surveyors. To be sure that you don’t miss the show, don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour to “Daylight Savings Time” on Sunday March 9.
If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, listen to the archive of the show at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php. 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 email@example.com 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.
SPAR International 3D Measurement & Imaging Conference
April 14-17, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
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 register.
Job Opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.
Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
10 things you need to know about Esri's open data initiative
Executive Editor Adena Schutzberg had a valuable one-on-one conversation with Esri's Andrew Turner, the chief technical officer at Esri's R&D Center in Washington, D.C. She shares the takeaways as the company prepares to roll out the first set of tools in its Open Data Initiative.
How has geodesign sparked geospatial technology innovation?
Sensors & Systems
Often, a really good problem to solve is needed in order to spur technology innovation. The evolution of geographic information systems from primarily recording conditions into an environment where it becomes the impetus for environmental or urban actions certainly has proven to be a challenge. This challenge comes at a time when CAD, BIM, and GIS are converging, and there are increasing numbers of sensors to inform our understanding of the world, often in real time.
Penn State's GIS lab helps uncover mysteries from the ancient world
Penn State University
Ken Hirth, a Penn State anthropology professor, is sitting in the University's Anthropology geographic information system lab. He clicks a button on his mouse and an aerial map of Mexico City fills the screen of the computer — yellow dots cover the landscape in a near-perfect grid. The dots represent survey points from the 1970s, when a team of researchers plotted a grid and recorded any archaeological material they discovered and its density at each point.
New geospatial standard a 'key enabler' for Internet of Things
Spar Point Group
The Open Geospatial Consortium said it approved the Sensor Model Language 2.0 Encoding Standard. The OGC is an international consortium of more than 470 companies, government agencies, research groups and universities developing publicly available, or "open," geospatial standards, which support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.