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Important second notice!!!!!!!
Since posting the announcement below in the December 17, 2014 edition of the newsletter, we have received only a few responses from surveyors willing to assist in this effort. We have, however, received quite a few comments (apparently from people who did not see the solicitation below) from people who have learned about the O*NET project from some other source, and who are concerned that the Department of Labor will establish descriptions for surveyors and surveying technicians without input from surveyors. The only way to prevent that from happening is that surveyors and survey technicians participate in the process. Please consider doing so!!

Attention professional surveyors and survey technicians:
Occupational Information Network (O*NET) again seeks help from NSPS members

NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner has recently been approached by the Skill Assessment Team of O*NET to again assist in a U.S. Department of Labor effort to identify occupation experts who can help to insure that occupation descriptions listed in the O*NET database are current and accurate. The two categories for which descriptions are being updated are Surveyor and Surveying Technician.

Volunteer participants identified by NSPS should have five (5) or more years of experience, or supervisory/training experience, in the respective categories for which they will provide input. Participants will be asked to complete O*NET questionnaires. The O*NET team has specifically asked that NSPS seek out current Surveying Technicians as part of the group that reviews the technician category.

Anyone interested in participating, or has staff they believe can contribute, should contact Curt at There is likely to be a time lag between the time a person volunteers and when they are contacted by O*NET.
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Executive Order affecting floodplain development issued January 31, 2015
An Executive Order has been issued that is very important information for anyone working in the Special Flood Hazard Area. It takes future conditions into account and requires Design Elevations for lowest floors to be 2 feet above BFE for standard construction and 3 feet above BFE for critical facilities, or construction to the 500 year / 0.2%. Implementation of this new standard will not occur until the end of the 60-day public input period and agencies have been able to update their standards and regulations, which will also trigger public comment periods.

Executive Order

Fact Sheet.

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NSPS-MAPPS national surveying, mapping conference gains attention
POB magazine has called the upcoming NSPS-MAPPS conference, to be held April 13-16 in Crystal City (Arlington,), VA, just outside Washington, DC, "the place to be" this spring. Information is available on the conference website, while exhibit, sponsorship and registration will be posted in the coming days.
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  RTK Corrections Where Others Fail

“We use the RTK Bridge-X to grab a correction through the Internet where a typical cell phone won’t connect,” says Chuck Hutchins, Vectors, Inc. “Since the RTK Bridge-X can be put in a truck, it serves as a mobile platform to maintain crew’s connections when no other options exist.” MORE

NSPS Radio Hour — Feb. 9, 11 a.m. EDT
Lisa Isom and host Curt Sumner will continue the ongoing dialog about the NSPS insurance program, and specifics on a variety of potential issues. 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.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to 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.

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NSPS meets with Rep. Keith Rothfus
Recently, NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd met with Representative Keith Rothfus (R-PA), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the House Energy Action Team, and the Republican Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Jobs and Economic Development.
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GPS Act re-introduced in Congress
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Peter Welch (D-VT), and John Conyers (D-MI) in bipartisan re-introduction of S. 237 & H.R. 491, the "Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act." This bill creates a legal framework designed to give government agencies, commercial entities and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used. The bill also prohibits commercial service providers from sharing customers' geolocational information with outside entities without customer consent.
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Government report uncertain on bid shopping on Federal construction
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report was not able to determine whether or not bid shopping occurs when prime contractors select subcontractors on federal construction projects, but rather GAO found that the selection process could lead to subcontractors' perceptions of bid shopping. Negotiation procedures between prime contractors and subcontractors may create the impression of bid shopping among subcontractors that submit bids. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government obligated almost $32 billion for construction projects using primarily competitive, fixed-price contracts.
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Want to see what's in President Obama's FY16 budget proposal?
President Obama submitted his fiscal year 2016 budget request to Congress this week. A summary is available. Among items of interest to NSPS members, his proposal for the Interior Department is up, which the Corps of Engineers is proposed for a reduction. Interested in the proposed FY16 NOAA budget? Check out the NOAA "blue book."
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Obama proposes Federal study of state licensing
President Obama’s budget proposal for FY16 includes a request that Congress fund a study of state licensing. NSPS government affairs representatives John Palatiello and John Byrd had earlier met with the Small Business Administration to emphasize that A/E and surveying licensing is indeed tied to public health, safety and welfare, and is not an example of limiting the market and restraining competition. COFPAES, of which NSPS is a member, also did a letter to this effect.
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Employment opportunities
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

Upcoming seminars/conferences
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.

GPS budget cut by nearly $100 million as White House pares GPS III funds
Inside GNSS
The White House showed continuing support for the GPS program with a budget request that was, with one key exception, comparable to that of previous years. That exception though, a cut to GPS III procurement including the zeroing out of advance procurement monies, resulted in an overall program reductions of roughly $100 million.
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What exactly is GPS NMEA data?
GPS World
You may have heard about "NMEA data" with respect to GPS. NMEA is an acronym for the National Marine Electronics Association. NMEA existed well before GPS was invented. According to the NMEA website, the association was formed in 1957 by a group of electronic dealers to create better communications with manufacturers.
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Miss an issue of News & Views? Click here to visit the News & Views archive page.

Okay, so I'm likely to get lynched but before all the lovers/haters come out of the woodwork, I'd like to remind everyone that these two systems are both great achievements. We are looking at software that has changed the way we look at the world and the way we think about the world around us.
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With 10 years of Google Maps and Earth, what's the impact?
Sensors & Systems
It's hard to remember the geospatial industry prior to the arrival of Google Maps and Google Earth early in 2005. There was an overnight acceleration of engagement with mapping technologies that went far beyond just getting to Grandma's house. The entry of these technologies was truly disruptive with revolutionary innovations that increased the size of the geospatial tent, while also pushing a few companies out.
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News & Views

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Dennis Hall, Executive Editor, 469.420.2656   
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