NSPS and Spatial Media Announce CST Program Cooperation
Spatial Media LLC
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and Spatial Media LLC, publisher of The American Surveyor Magazine, have announced an effort to support the recognition and development of certified survey technicians via an ongoing ad program and NSPS-endorsed eLearning website. Curt Sumner, Executive Director of NSPS, devoted the September 8th NSPS Radio Hour to the initiative. To listen, visit: http://www.americaswebradio.com/showpages/ACSM.php.
With each passing year more and more organizations are requiring CST certification as a condition of employment. Technical colleges are beginning to use the CST exam for exit competency requirements. Individuals and employers are realizing the importance of certification for career advancement and as a standardized statement of aptitude. In order to support this upward trend and help prospective CST candidates prepare for the CST examinations, www.learnCST.com has been developed by Spatial Media in conjunction with the NSPS CST Board of Directors.
Tapped to lead the program is Glen W. Thurow, a licensed surveyor and educator in New Mexico. Glen is a Certified Federal Surveyor, past president of the NM Professional Surveyors, and former NSPS Governor for the state society. He currently serves on the NM State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors and has been actively involved in surveying education for more than a decade. Glen stated “I’m excited to be a part of this important effort and look forward to assisting survey technicians achieve certification by helping them prepare for the CST examinations."
Spatial Media Publisher Allen E. Cheves remarked “Beyond promoting the CST program, we felt we could assist exam-takers most by developing eLearning modules. We’re committed to the modernity of CST and support its evolution.”
In addition to the coursework and discussion forums available at www.learnCST.com, Spatial Media will offer exam-takers a CST handbook, webinars and other instructor engagement tools. Training for CST Level 1 is currently available for no charge, with Levels 2 & 3 in development.
For more information, visit www.nsps.us.com; www.amerisurv.com or contact:
Allen Cheves, Spatial Media: email@example.com: Tel: +1 (301) 620-0784
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Spring 2015 Conference site inquiries sent
As many readers of NSPS News & Views are aware, NSPS for quite some time has been working to determine if reestablishing an annual national conference is a viable option.
You may recall that in the spring of 2014, after discussions with leaders from a significant number of other national geospatial organizations and agencies, NSPS and MAPPS circulated a document called Collaboration: The Map to the Future, A national surveying and mapping conference in order to gauge the level of interest for a large conference encompassing a broad range of geospatial entities and topics. NSPS and MAPPS knew that many of these entities, although potentially interested in such an idea, may already have made plans for a 2015 event.
The results of that investigation included expressions of interest from NGS, DHS, Fish and Wildlife as participants for presentations/symposia that would be part of a joint NSPS/ MAPPS conference, Lobby Day, and exhibition.
The next step in the process for pursuing a conference, that both NSPS and MAPPS hope will become more all-encompassing of geospatial organizations and exhibitors as time goes on, is to seek proposals from conference facilities in the Washington DC area for an “initial” collaboration effort. The potential meeting dates selected for inquiries are April 12-17, 2015.
Stay tuned as NSPS and MAPPS determine the results of these inquiries.
NSPS members urged to contribute to the NSPS PAC
In less than 60 days, the American people will go to the polls to elect all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 36 U.S. Senators. The question for NSPS members across the country is “will the 114th Congress be pro-surveyors?”
The NSPS political action committee (NSPS PAC) is a special fund that accepts voluntary, personal contributions from individual NSPS members, pools those funds, and contributes to the campaigns of candidates for Congress who are supportive of the surveying profession. It is the ethical and professional way for surveyors to be engaged in America’s great political process.
Please make your personal contribution of $5, $10, $25, $50, $250, $500, or $1,000. Under the law, individuals may contribute up to $5,000 per year, but any amount will help elevate the surveying profession and improve the professional image of surveyors.
The NSPS PAC is bipartisan. We support Republicans and Democrats who support surveyors. The goal of the PAC is to elect a Congress that understands and appreciates the important role of surveyors in our society and economy. The PAC helps elect incumbents and challengers who have backgrounds and records of support for surveyors.
There are numerous issues before Congress that affect surveyors – Davis-Bacon Act, location of pipelines and underground utilities, a Federal land inventory, national elevation data (3DEP), the national geodetic network, flood mapping, reform of Federal geospatial coordination, and many others. The PAC will help elect to Congress those who are willing to work on legislation that serves the public, and the surveying profession.
Contributions to the PAC must be personal (no corporate funds), and from U.S. citizens. To contribute, click here and select “PAC Fund” from the drop-down menu titled “Fund”.
Come to the best national surveyor’s event of 2014 — the SHS RENDEZVOUS! Join the search for Andrew Ellicott’s lost ‘Spanish Mounds,’ on the old 1799 US border with Spain. Hosted by Surveyors Historical Society and the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors, it’s Sept. 17-20 at Mobile, Alabama. You’re invited.
NSPS PAC Auction at Fall 2014 Business Meetings? Got Items to Donate?
One way NSPS works to supplement direct donations to its PAC from members and other interested parties is to occasionally hold a live auction during its periodic leadership meetings, and/or conferences. Currently, NSPS is seeking “notice of intent to contribute” PAC auction items from members, and others, for the upcoming NSPS Fall 2014 business meetings to be held October 22-24 in Overland Park, KS in conjunction with the joint Kansas Society of Surveyors/Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors conference.
Please contact Trish Milburn at NSPS headquarters if you are interested in donating items.
House passes tsunami bill, includes coastal mapping
The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, September 8 passed H.R. 5309 the Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act of 2014. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and originated in the House Science Committee. It authorizes and strengthens the tsunami detection, forecast, warning, research, and mitigation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including provisions to “improve and develop standards and guidelines for mapping, modeling, and assessment efforts to improve tsunami detection, forecasting, warnings, notification, mitigation, resiliency, response, outreach, and recovery” as well as to “develop the technical basis for validation of tsunami maps, numerical tsunami models, digital elevation models, and forecasts”. This bill was considered under a "suspension of the rules," a process for noncontroversial bills where there is limited debate, which requires 2/3 approval, and permits no amendments. The bill passed on a voice vote.
Highway rules on value engineering relaxed
The Federal Highway Administration is loosening the rules on federal grants provided to states to help fund new transportation projects. The change in regulation eliminates the need for value engineering studies on any highway improvement project that costs more than $25 million, or any bridge project that costs more than $20 million.
NSPS Radio Hour — Sept. 15, 11 a.m. EDT
NSPS Insurance Program manager Lisa Isom (Assurance Risk Managers) will again join host Curt Sumner to talk about insurance issues that are of importance to surveyors, and to continue discussion about the various aspects of the NSPS Insurance Program. Lisa will also share responses that have been provided to questions that have come from listeners of previous installments of this series.
The NSPS Insurance Program is designed to provide NSPS members with a variety of flexible coverage options for their businesses, and personal insurance options for business owners and their staff.
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.
Have you had clients wanting an ALTA survey using a title opinion vs a title commitment? All I was given was basically copies out of an abstract and a two page title opinion (August 26, 2014) listing restrictions and limitations along with a legal from a title company in 2009.
I have not personally had that, but that is in the suggestions I have for the next revision.
In my opinion, “the most current” title opinion should be perfectly acceptable in lieu of a commitment – at least until or unless the next version of the standards says otherwise! You would want to reference the source and date of the opinion on your survey, obviously.
This probably would not happen anywhere except Iowa, where it probably would not be unheard of.
Time is running out to register for the Geospatial and Engineering International Conference, September 25-26
Looking for growth markets? Learn about exports at geospatial-engineering international conference!
The latest report from the U.S. government shows why the Geospatial and Engineering International Conference is the place to be. Government data shows that exports are one bright spot in the U.S. economy, with nearly one-third of economic growth since mid-2009 driven by exports and 11.3 million Americans holding export-supported jobs, according to the Commerce Department.
To participate in the Geospatial and Engineering International Conference, September 25-26 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA (just outside of Washington, DC), visit the conference web site, www.geointernational.org and register today. NSPS is a participating organization and members qualify for special discounts.
This unique conference will provide information for those who are new to or exploring markets outside the United States. It will include information on how to work globally with experiences and best practices from firms that are successfully exporting. There are numerous Federal agencies that hire U.S. firms to work overseas, and they will present information on their projects and requirements. The conference program also features presentations by U.S. government agencies that assist companies, large and small, in exporting. Nowhere else will you get all this information together at one place, at one time, with a focus on the geospatial and engineering market. Global demand is growing. And doing business with foreign clients is NOT as daunting as some believe. While some think there are logistical challenges to working outside the United States, there are firms that successfully do so. Additionally, UAVs are changing the game and making exporting of aerial surveying services much easier. Don’t forget, exporting does not necessarily mean working half-way around the world. The largest U.S. trading partners are Canada and Mexico. Don't miss out on this opportunity to keep or create jobs, increase revenue, open new markets, and establish new clients.
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.
Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at email@example.com.
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.
Library of Congress plans geospatial search engine
The Library of Congress may soon have search engine software that can locate and manage geospatial information in and outside the library system and work with a variety of geographic mapping and analysis tools. The LOC said it needs the ability to locate, inventory, audit, index, search and generate reports and usage statistics, as well as easily exchange geographic information on local and remote file storage systems or servers.
Observing Earth today and tomorrow: A national plan
Humans have been observing Earth for a very long time simply because the conditions of the Earth are basic to our survival and our prosperity. Even the most ancient written records are filled with accounts of great floods, famines, and earthquakes. When to plant and when to harvest, how to use precious water resources most effectively, and ways to avoid natural disasters are all age-old challenges that have encouraged Earth observation from the beginning of civilization.
Smartphones and the uncertain future of 'spatial thinking'
By Henry Grabar: Like most New Yorkers, I spend an inordinate amount of time in transit. I have an unlimited Metrocard and a Citi Bike key, two bicycles and a motorcycle, and a dozen pairs of shoes. Proper wayfinding is my lifelong neurosis, as if a personal score could be tallied from the 10,000 rounds of Navigation I've played against the city.
GIS gaining enterprise-wide use
Geospatial technology is moving out of the backroom and into the frontline of everyday business operations, according to an international expert. A technical evangelist for Esri, Nate Bennett is at the coal-face of integrating the ArcGIS platform into the world's most important enterprise systems such as Microsoft Office, SAP, Salesforce and IBM Cognos.