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NSPS announces results of 2015 Excellence in Journalism competition
Judging for the annual Excellence in Journalism awards has been completed. Each year, NSPS sponsors this competition in four categories: Best Editorial, Best Original Feature Article, Best Newsletter, and Best Magazine. Judging for the newsletter and magazine categories is based on individual monthly or quarterly entries, and not on the collective annual body of work. Congratulations to the three state societies who submitted the winning entries for 2015.
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NSPS, MAPPS members to promote geospatial profession before Congress
More than 115 members of NSPS and MAPPS will go to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, April 15, to discuss legislative issues important to the profession. Representatives of surveying and mapping professionals from 36 states will visit some 72 U.S. Senators and more than 100 members of Congress to discuss the 3DEP national elevation program, underground utility location, the FLAIR Act and utilization of the private sector. The meetings with Congress are part of the National Surveying and Mapping and Geospatial Conference to be held April 13-16, across the Potomac River from the Nation’s Capital at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City (Arlington), Va.
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NOAA's National Geodetic Survey hosts 2015 Geospatial Summit, April 13-14
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is hosting a 2015 Geospatial Summit on April 13-14 to share updates on the planned 2022 release of new geodetic datums being developed to replace the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88). The summit will provide the opportunity for NGS to outline its road map for retiring NAD 83 and NAVD 88 and apprise participants of the tools available to ease the transition to the new, more accurate datums.

Huge benefits are associated with the adoption of the new datums. The new vertical reference system alone is estimated to produce $522 million in annual economic benefits to the nation, with approximately $240 million saved from improved floodplain management.

At the summit, NGS will share strategies to better enable the mapping and surveying communities and other constituents to prepare for the new datums well in advance of the 2022 release. Surveyors; GIS professionals; federal, state, and local government agencies; university students and educators; and other interested parties will participate and share their comments, questions, and concerns regarding the effect the new datums will have on their work.

The event will be held at the Crystal City Hilton in Arlington, Virginia, in conjunction with the National Surveying, Mapping, and Geospatial Conference, and it is the first summit held since 2010 when NGS hosted a similar event geared towards preparing federal agencies for the release of the new datums. The NGS 2015 Geospatial Summit will also be available via remote access for participants unable to attend in person.

For more information about the new datums and related NGS projects and programs, visit:

For more information about the NGS 2015 Geospatial Summit, visit:

If you have additional questions about this NGS event, please contact us at:

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NSPS Radio Hour — April 13, 11 a.m. EDT
Host Curt Sumner will be attending the National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference on Monday, April 13, resulting in a replay of a previously recorded NSPS Radio Hour.

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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Legislation would prohibit reverse auctions for professional services
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), chairman of Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce of the House Small Business Committee has introduced H.R. 1444, the "Commonsense Contracting Act of 2015." This bill would amend the Small Business Act to prohibit the use of reverse auctions for procurements of covered contracts including for architectural and engineering services as defined in section 1102 of title 40, United States Code, the Brooks Act, which includes surveying and mapping. NSPS is part of the Construction Industry Procurement Coalition that continues to work with members of Congress to prevent professional services, such as surveying and mapping, from having to bid on price rather than compete on qualifications.
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Federal prison industry reform reintroduced in Congress
On March 26, Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced H.R. 1699, the Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act. This comprehensive reform legislation would require Federal Prison Industries to compete for its contracts, rather than utilizing its mandatory source status, thus minimizing its unfair competition with private sector firms. The bill includes provisions, long supported by NSPS, that prohibits inmate access to certain personal and geographic information, and clarifies that services provided by inmates cannot be sold in the commercial market.
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Government report explains domestic use of UAS and privacy citing 'geospatial' and 'data collection'
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report summarizing that while Congress has enacted no law explicitly regulating the potential privacy impacts of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights, the courts have had no occasion to rule on the constitutionality of UAS surveillance, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not include privacy provisions in its proposed rule on small UAS. CRS cited the Obama Administration's report on big data highlighting "the declining cost of collection, storage, and processing of data, combined with new sources of data like sensors, cameras, geospatial and other observational technologies, means that we live in a world of near-ubiquitous data collection."
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NSPS meets with Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV)
NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd recently met with Representative Cresent Hardy (R-NV). Representing Nevada's 4th Congressional District, Rep. Hardy serves as vice chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. That panel is drafting the Highway Bill Reauthorization, MAP-21. He is also a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and is the chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. Last month, Rep. Hardy introduced the Land Acquisition to cut National Debt (LAND) Act, H.R. 1445, to prohibit the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture from using federal dollars to purchase land resulting in a net increase in acreage, during years in which the federal budget is not balanced.
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NSPS, HUD begin dialogue on multifamily housing policies
NSPS has opened a dialogue with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on standards, certifications and best practices in surveying for multifamily housing projects. The federal agency has asked NSPS for proposals and comments on its Multifamily Accelerated Processing MAP Guide, the HUD guidebook for loan underwriting relative to multifamily programs. NSPS had earlier raised issues regarding inconsistencies in some HUD policies and practices.
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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.

FAA grants 30 more commercial UAS exemptions
GPS World
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved 30 more commercial unmanned aircraft systems exemptions, bringing the total number of approved operations to 99, reports AUVSI News. AUVSI is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Among those receiving exemptions are the insurance companies USAA and AIG.
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Maximizing the sun
Solar power is booming in the United States. "Every three weeks," President Obama said in his 2015 State of the Union address, "we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008." Geospatial technologies — especially remote sensing and surveying &dmash; play an important role in siting, designing and constructing solar arrays, from a few panels on the roof of a house to hundreds of thousands of panels in huge solar farms.
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Imagery collaboratives deliver Big Data at big savings to small groups
Directions Magazine
Let's face it: collecting and managing high resolution geospatial imagery is expensive and difficult. There are good reasons why only the largest, most monolithic organizations collect their own imagery. Smaller organizations have many of the same requirements as larger entities, but they often lack the budget necessary to implement solutions. Lower cost drone-acquired data is starting to lift the burden somewhat, but logistical and regulatory issues impede progress.
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A question of ethics
The American Surveyor
Society places great demands on folks, especially in today's hectic world. There are far too many situations that tempt one's sense of right or wrong. As challenging as this may seem, conscious decisions to do the wrong thing does not make it acceptable, especially "when everyone else does it."
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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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