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NSPS balloting nears April 6 deadline
With the deadline fast approaching to vote in the 2015 NSPS elections, only about 25% of NSPS members have cast a ballot. If you are among those who have not yet voted, and you have received from NSPS headquarters an email message containing a link to the online voting site, along with your unique voter ID number, please use that information to cast your vote by Monday, April 6.

There is a fairly significant number of NSPS members for whom there is no email address in our database. A letter was sent to each of these members via the postal service when the balloting period began. Although many among that group have responded to request their voter ID number, many others have not.

If you have not received an email message from NSPS containing the ballot, candidate bios (use the link by each candidate's name to view), and your voter ID, or if you have not received a letter from NSPS with instructions to contact our office, please do so right away so you will be able to cast your ballot.

Contact Trish Milburn at
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NSPS to vote on proposed bylaws changes during general membership meeting
In continuation of adjusting the NSPS Bylaws to accommodate changes associated with the 100% joint membership program with the respective state surveying societies, NSPS members will vote on several such changes during the NSPS General Membership meeting to be held at 8 AM on April 16, 2015 in Arlington, VA, at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel. The attached file contains both the existing language and the proposed new Bylaws language for each affected item.

The changes are primarily related to a change in the Area Director positions, and to a proposal to eliminate the current position of Secretary-Treasurer and create separate positions for Secretary and Treasurer.

The attached file contains both the current and the proposed amended Bylaws language for each item being considered. The current and the proposed language is highlighted.

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West Virginia surveyors win statute of repose
John L. Green PLS, Chairman of the West Virginia Society of Professional Surveyors (WVSPS) Legislative Committee, has reported that the organization is pleased to announce that a Statute of Limitations (actually a Statute of Repose) for boundary surveying in WV passed the Senate on February 25, the House on March 10, and was signed into law by Governor Tomblin on March 24, 2015. SB 489 will take effect on June 8, 2015.

This law adds property surveying to the existing statute of repose covering planning, design, and surveying and construction of improvements to real property. Basically the new law says that no action to recover damages for any deficiency in the surveying of real property may be brought more than ten (10) years after the performance of the survey.

Green says, "This is a huge deal for WV surveyors, WVSPS members and non-members alike. It represents the most significant legislative accomplishment we have achieved in many years; and one we have pursued for as long as I can remember."

He went on to say, "I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who had a hand in this effort. To Senator Mitch Carmichael for sponsoring the bill; Senator David Sypolt for covering our back while we were all at the convention by testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee (which really started this bill rolling), and advocating for its passage in the Senate; our government relations consultant and lobbyist for all their hard work behind the scenes; Curt Sumner and NSPS for their informational help and support which was very important; our new executive director and administrative staff for their effective handling of critical communications; and all of you who promptly answered my alerts and calls to contact your representatives in support of this legislation. This accomplishment demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together with a unified voice. I ask that you all take a few minutes to reflect on this. Think what this means to you, your profession, and your business. This is truly what the WVSPS is all about.

Lastly I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to serve the society in this capacity and to have the honor of making such a momentous announcement."

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Surveying students explore ancient measurement practices
Kelly Ness PLS (Principal Instructor in the Surveying and Civil Engineering Technology program at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis) reports that after studying Greek astronomer Eratosthenes’ methods to calculate the circumference of the earth, his students in the Geodetic & Controls Surveys class recreated the process using ancient (276 BC) methods, and modern technology.

Read more:

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Defining the true title status of railroad right-of-way in the American West — A review of the California position announced
Printed with permission of the author
Brian Portwood, is a licensed professional land surveyor who has been recognized as a leader in the advanced education of professionals working in the land rights industry.

Early in 2014, the problematic nature of railroad right-of-way (RR R/W) from a title perspective was vividly displayed in the case of Brandt Revocable Trust v United States (US) (134 S. Ct. 1257) and the potential impact of that decision upon certain very popular yet highly controversial surface uses of former RR R/W has been well documented. In reaching the High Court, the Brandt case focused the attention of land rights professionals around the nation upon the fate of RR R/W that is no longer in use for its originally intended purpose, which of course is not an uncommon scenario, since extensive railroad abandonment has occurred in recent decades. Near the close of 2014 however, the California Court of Appeals (CCOA) addressed another case involving RR R/W, which appears to be well positioned to unleash an even more powerful legal shock wave, with truly enormous consequences for participants in the utility industry, as this time the controversy relates to subsurface land use of both former RR R/W and currently active RR R/W. While both the Brandt case and the one reviewed herein are, at their core, controversies implicating title to land, this latter battle, which is now awaiting attention from the California Supreme Court, could ultimately produce the most explicit and detailed clarification of the legal status of vast portions of the existing network of RR R/W traversing the American West that has ever been handed down.

Read the entire article:

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NSPS Radio Hour — April 6, 11 a.m. EDT
NSPS is excited about its upcoming joint conference with MAPPS, and wants to share the experience with its members, and others, who cannot attend. In order to do that, NSPS is teaming with GeoLearn to share the experience using social media outlets Facebook, Twitter (and perhaps LinkedIn posts), as well as posting conference highlights of the YouTube channel.

There will be "man (or woman) on the street" interviews with presenters, attendees, exhibitors, etc., anything that seems to be newsworthy.

Join host Curt Sumner and Joe Paiva (GeoLearn) for a conversation about the upcoming broadcasts, and an overview of the benefits social media can bring to any organization, or business.

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 conference lineup continues to grow
The lineup of speakers for the NSPS-MAPPS conference continues to grow, with several sessions, presentations and key government officials now confirmed. A program of presentations on current business, technical and professional issues has been announced. Additionally, NSPS and MAPPS is pleased to announce that Jim Williams, manager of UAS operations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Tuesday, April 14. The NSPS-MAPPS day on Capitol Hill will start with a Congressional breakfast featuring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). Full registration for the conference is required for attendance at these events.

Moreover, members of the new Jefferson Club of the NSPS PAC will hear U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). 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. Jefferson Club members are provided special benefits, including free admission (PAC contributor and spouse) to a special dinner on Tuesday, April 14 in at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC, during the NSPS-MAPPS joint conference. That event will also include members of the MAPPS PAC "Inner Circle" and other special guests from Congress to be announced.

To join the Jefferson Club, please complete the online form. On that form, indicate "PAC Fund" on the drop-down menu for "Fund:" and contribute $500 or more, or, 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. Pledges for installment contributions will be accepted. Admission to the PAC dinner is separate from conference registration.

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.

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UAS to be featured at NSPS-MAPPS conference
One of the most revolutionary technologies ever to be introduced to the surveying and mapping profession is unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The NSPS-MAPPS conference will feature several activities to inform surveyors of information needed to enter this exciting new line of business, including technical and business requirements, as well as law and regulations. This includes a session on "What You Need to Know Before Starting Up Your Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Department" by Bryan Baker of Leica, and a keynote address by Jim Williams, manager of the UAS office of the Federal Aviation Administration. Full conference registration is required to attend these events. To register, click here.

Meanwhile FAA has announced a streamlined process for airspace authorizations for section 333 exemption holders, while enforcement and "grounding" of unauthorized commercial UAS operators has increased.

Bipartisan UAV legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Judiciary Committee members Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) jointly introduced H.R. 1385, the "Preserving American Privacy Act of 2015." This bill provides for a legal framework for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems. NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd has met with staff of Rep. Poe to discuss the positive uses of UAS-UAV by licensed professional surveyors and possible amendments to the bill to recognize the benefits society will experience from surveying and mapping activities conducted by UAVs.

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NGAC reports and presentations from recent meeting now available
NSPS Lobbyist John "JB" Byrd attended the recent National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) meeting in Washington, D.C. The complete list of documents and presentations is now available.
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NSPS meets with Rep. Curbelo (R-FL), sponsor of small business contracting bill
Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), representing Florida's 26th Congressional District, recently met with NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd to discuss. H.R. 1386, the "Small Entrepreneur Subcontracting Opportunities (SESO) Act of 2015," a bill Rep. Curbelo recently introduced. This bill adds subcontracting goals for small business concerns in the responsibilities of certain Federal agency officials responsible for acquisition, thereby encouraging more contracts and subcontracts for small businesses. Rep. Curbelo serves on the House Committees for Transportation and Infrastructure, Education and the Workforce, and Small Business. These panels authorize and provide oversight of highway, aviation and other-related infrastructure projects, STEM education and small business contracting policies and regulations.
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Employment opportunities
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.

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.

Missed an issue of News & Views? Click here to visit the News & Views archive page.

Who's doing what in 3-D surveying?
Point of Beginning
Fair or not, surveying professionals have long been labeled as staunchly independent. There is little doubt of the pride that prevails throughout the profession, but so too does the demand for savvy business techniques, perhaps no more so than today. To identify trends in 3-D surveying, BNP Media's market research division again worked with the editorial staff of POB magazine to develop and conduct a detailed market study.
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Where does BYOD fit in for field data collection?
Sensors & Systems
The bring your own device movement for more personal control of our computing environment is taking hold. This is less about a mutiny against restrictive IT overlords, and more about comfort and convenience. The consumerization of the workplace where we can use our own phones, tablets and laptops has some positive impacts on productivity and can cut costs.
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Reveal attribute data with just a click in updated Gmap4
Directions Magazine
In August 2013, we introduced our readers to Gmap4, an enhanced Google map viewer and GIS client that is free for non-commercial use. According to its creator, Joseph Elfelt, it was the first general purpose REST and WMS viewer built on the Google Maps API. Why was that important? Because it gave everyone with access to the internet the ability to display user-specified GIS data on a map, then view it through the familiar and user-friendly Google Map interface.
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Two Galileo satellites launched for Europe's navigation constellation
GPS World
Two more Galileo satellites were successfully launched from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The seventh and eighth Galileo satellites were lifted aloft on time Friday at 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET) atop a Soyuz ST-B rocket. The first three stages of the Soyuz rocket are delivering the Galileo satellites and their Fregat upper stage into low orbit.
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News & Views

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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