Happy National Surveyor Week: March 15-21
Article by Amber Anderson, NYSAPLS
The purpose of Surveyors Week is to bring visibility to the profession. During Surveyors Week, land surveyors across the nation celebrate by educating the public on what they do & why it is important; encouraging students to consider surveying as a career choice; and participating in activities that promote and bring awareness to the surveying profession. All licensees, governmental agencies, technical professional organizations and citizens groups are encouraged to join the celebration.
Surveyors Week is a perfect opportunity to introduce elementary, junior high and senior high school students to the surveying profession. Surveyors in many areas stage demonstrations of new surveying technologies or displays of ancient and modern surveying instruments to which students and the public are invited.
The National Society of Professional Surveyor’s Trig-Star program-through which a surveyor works with local high schools to promote a math competition in trigonometry is a ready-made activity that can be used in conjunction with Surveyors Week. Please contact your state surveying society office, or NSPS headquarters, if you are interested in participating in the Trig-Star program.
Helpful Volunteer Kit Available for Download from NSPS
For more ideas and step-by-step assistance, download the 2015 Surveyors Week Volunteer Kit.
Another way to get youth involved is to visit with your local Boy Scouts troop. One of the most challenging badges to earn is the surveying merit badge, one of the few “original” badges to still be in existence. As a licensed land surveyor, consider visiting a local troop to teach them about the tools you use and the importance of land surveying. Information about assisting scouts with obtaining the merit badge can be found on the NSPS website.
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Did You Miss the NGS Webinar on 'GPS on Bench Marks Campaign'
On March 5, NGS held the webinar “GPS on Bench Marks” to inform constituents about the campaign being held in conjunction with National Surveyors Week (March 15-21). More than 400 people participated. The webinar took place on a day when the Federal Government was closed due to heavy snowfall in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and all moderators and presenters were remotely connected.
For more information, contact: Brian.Shaw@noaa.gov
View the webinar:
More information about the campaign at:
Technical Mapping Advisory Council to FEMA: March 10 and 11, 2015 Meeting Report
Submitted by Wendy Lathrop, PLS, CFM (NSPS representative to TMAC)
The physical meeting that TMAC was supposed to have during the first week of February did not happen due to some kind of scheduling problem just a few weeks before the session was to occur, so this was our first face to face session since December. That is not to say that TMAC has not been active in the interim. On the contrary, each of the three subcommittees (Future Conditions, Hazard and Risk Mapping, and Operations) has been holding conference calls every two to three weeks during which we work on outlining sections of our first annual report and hold webinars with subject matter experts to provide information that will help us write background text supporting recommendations we formulate to include in our report. Between meetings we have been very busy writing draft material, after listening to briefings and reading a lot of supporting materials.
See full report.
Intuicom’s exclusive Base-2-Socket™ Technology lets the RTK Bridge®-X host corrections from your base station and host them on the Internet. These corrections can be accessed by up to 10 rovers over the Internet and still broadcast corrections via radio when cell coverage isn’t available. MORE
NSPS Radio Hour — March 23, 11 a.m. EDT
Some readers of NSPS News & Views will recognize the name of Tom Little from having heard him speak about flood issues, and Smart Vent products. Tom will join host Curt Sumner to share his experiences and expertise in this all-important field.
If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
O*NET Asks for more Participants, especially Survey Technicians
About a month after NSPS provided the contact information for about 80 people for participation in a study being conducted by the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to assist the Department of Labor in defining the positions of Surveyor and Survey Technician, O*NET has requested that NSPS attempt to get more Survey Technicians nationwide to volunteer, as well as more Professional Surveyors from the Northeastern states.
It is anticipated that there are not too many survey technicians who read NSPS News & Views so, in addition to those who have already done so, we are asking Surveyors to provide names of Survey Technicians in their companies who could participate. Please send the name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of prospective participants to email@example.com.
As noted before, the O*NET contractor will select a number of the volunteers from the name we provide, and sometime near the end of summer 2015 will contact those selected with details for the study.
GAO continues to criticize Federal geospatial activities
"Federal agencies report spending billions of dollars on geospatial investments; however, the estimates are understated because agencies do not always track geospatial investments". That is just one of many findings by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report on Federal geospatial activities. The report "recommends that OMB improve its oversight of FGDC and Federal agency initiatives, and that FGDC and selected agencies fully implement initiatives. NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner, LS testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 on recommendations to improve Federal surveying and mapping.
Geospatial Data Act introduced in the U.S. Senate
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced S. 740, the Geospatial Data Act, a bill to improve coordination and use of geospatial data. The legislation seeks to strengthen and reform the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), providing more processes for accountability, including to address the GAO finding that agencies cannot track geospatial expenditures.
NSPS explores 'one-call', 'miss utility' systems
Are "one-call" or "miss utility" systems adequately serving the surveying profession? That is the subject of a study NSPS is launching. A brief questionnaire has been developed. Input from NSPS members in all 50 states is requested. Take a few moments and share your knowledge and experience. To complete the questionnaire, click here.
NSPS Invited to 3DEP stakeholder meeting
NSPS has been invited to participate in the first 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Stakeholders Meeting, to be held on April 15, during the NSPS-MAPPS National Conference. 3DEP is operational and USGS has begun to implement the 8 year goal for national LIDAR coverage, with IFSAR in Alaska. Funding and partnerships for 3DEP are growing due to the support of valued stakeholders like NSPS. The meeting will focus on the status of 3DEP and provide a forum to discuss strategies, challenges and opportunities to fully implement 3DEP.
NSPS discusses surveying with Rep. Walker (NC)
Recently, NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd met with Representative Mark Walker (R-NC). Representing North Carolina's 6th Congressional District, Rep. Walker serves on the Homeland Security Committee as well as Oversight and Government Reform. These panels, respectively, oversee border patrol, Federal spending, procurement and organization.
Support grows for NSPS conference
P.O.B. magazine has called the NSPS-MAPPS Conference, "Collaboration: The Map to the Future", the “place to be”. Register today for the national surveying and mapping conference April 13-16 in Crystal City (Arlington), Virginia.
For one, low price registration fee, NSPS members can participate in general education sessions, an exhibit hall, and social/networking activities, including NSPS committee and business meetings. Additionally forums by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NSPS members will visit Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 15, along with colleagues from MAPPS, an activity also included in the registration. Moreover, conference registration fees enable NSPS members to attend a “Federal programs conference”, organized by MAPPS, on Tuesday, April 14. In one day, you can learn about millions of dollars in Federal agency programs, budgets and procurements for contracts with private sector surveying and mapping firms.
Visit www.surveyingandmapping.net for the program, registration, hotel information, sponsorships, exhibits and a call for presentations. If you would like to make a technical, business or professional presentation at the conference, please submit your proposal, along with a title, 50 word abstract, and name of the presenter or panel member(s), to John Palatiello.
'Jefferson Club', formed in NSPS PAC, will host April 14 dinner
As previously reported in NSPS News & Views, the NSPS Political Action Committee (PAC) has created the “Jefferson Club,” a group of committed and dedicated NSPS members who contribute $500 per year to the NSPS PAC. Contributors need not send the entire amount at once. Pledges for installment contributions will be accepted.
Jefferson Club members (and spouses) are invited to an event in April in Washington, DC, during the NSPS-MAPPS joint conference. That event is a special dinner on Tuesday, April 14 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC which will also include members of the MAPPS PAC “Inner Circle” and special guests from Congress.
To join the Jefferson Club, please complete the on-line form
. On that form, indicate “PAC Fund” on the drop-down menu for “Fund:” and contribute $500 or more, send a personal check (payable to NSPS PAC) or credit card information or call the NSPS headquarters office, NSPS, 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704, phone: 240-439-4615.
Please make your contribution on a personal check or credit card. Corporate contributions are prohibited by law. U.S. citizens only. Contributions to the NSPS PAC are not deductible as charitable donations on Federal income tax returns. Authorized by NSPS PAC.
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.
Check out new listings:
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.
Miss an issue of News & Views? Click here to visit the News & Views archive page.
What happens when drones get much more powerful processors?
Sensors & Systems
Did you catch the recent news that Qualcomm has become a major investor in the unmanned aircraft system maker 3D Robotics? 3D Robotics raised $50 million on this round and has indicated that more money is flowing in. This could be a game-changing alliance, giving the chipmaker an interesting platform for robotics research and development, and giving 3D Robotics an edge with first-of-its-kind functionality.
Senators: More transparency needed on geospatial data spending
Federal News Radio
Coinciding with Sunshine Week, two senators introduced a bill they hope will increase transparency on geospatial data.
"The federal government is the largest purchaser of geospatial data, but some very basic questions about how and where agencies are already investing in this data can't be answered," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) who introduced the Geospatial Data Reform Act along with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
NSDI's ability to meet future needs 'at risk'
The ability of the U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure to meet future needs is at risk, according to the recently released Report Card on the U. S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The report card officially awarded the NSDI a D in the Future Need category, and its other grades weren't much better. In fact, the NSDI earned an average of a C for its individual data categories, and a C- across seven other overview categories, indicating that the entire infrastructure "needs attention."
GAO report: More delays, Cost increases for OCX, GPS III
New delays and higher costs should be expected for both the GPS III satellite program and GPS-OCX, the new GPS ground system, federal watchdogs warned in a new report. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said both programs are in the process of rebaselining, that is, resetting their estimated schedules and costs.