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Surveying Instruments Since 1958.

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Economical land surveying and land development software for land surveyors, engineers, architects and construction.



NSPS Proposed Bylaws Changes to be Considered
As the 100% joint state society/NSPS membership program moves forward, some NSPS Bylaws changes are required to accommodate the agreements between the parties, and to address the structural changes in NSPS governance. Accordingly, a vote will be taken on the currently proposed changes during the NSPS General Membership meeting which is scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM PDT on April 15, 2014 at the Town & Country Resort and Conference Center in San Diego, CA.

The proposed changes are posted on the NSPS website for review and comment.
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Ask Vic!
Question: Our surveying firm has 20 employees. We were recently approached by a civil engineering firm, which has engaged our firm in the past, with a proposal that the two firms form a joint venture to respond to a Request for Proposals from a county agency so that the joint venture can present the resources of both firms to the client. We have never formed a joint venture before. What are some of the issues that we need to consider?

Read More for Response

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A follow-up to National Surveyors Week — a useful and helpful sidenote
Frank Lenik, NSPS Area 2 Director
Many of the benchmarks which we considered for occupation during National Surveyors Week were along active railroad lines. I spoke to a number of surveyors about this and reminded them that this was trespassing, as well as dangerous. However, I still saw photographs of surveyors along railroads using their GPS.

I was told by a railroad company representative that the penalty for trespassing on a railroad right-of-way was $300. He said there could also be a federal penalty of $1,500 assessed to the individual, not the company. He provided to me a document entitled "Compilation of State Laws and Regulations Affecting Highway Rail Grade Crossings". This is a U.S. Department of Transportation document that spells out the various laws and penalties that apply to this situation.

Please familiarize yourself with it and pass it along to your colleagues and members.

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  SPAR International 3D Measurement & Imaging Conference

SPAR International focuses on business and technology considerations for end-to-end 3D measurement for surveyors including tools to use for specific applications; balancing need for accuracy with cost; processing large data sets. April 14-17, 2014, Colorado Springs. PLS and PE CEU-approved.

Crime against surveyors hitting too close to home
Richard D. Pryce, PSM
Below is a follow up to a recent NSPS News & Views article regarding the theft of surveying equipment in Florida.


Attached is a PDF copy of the updated database of all of the crimes, including a recent one in Georgia.

I have totaled the costs per year off to the right of the database and did a grand total in the lower right on the last page.

I had to estimate a few this year because I don't have the crime reports back yet from some of the recent companies that were hit, but we are very close to $1 million for 2014 so far, and a grand total of $4.6 million since 2002.

This year is already our worst so far. Let's all be more careful out there and do what you can to not be another victim.

Let me know if anything happens as soon as you can so I can warn others.

Thanks for supporting FSMS and our crime database.

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Labor secretary questioned about Davis-Bacon policy on survey crews
In a recent Congressional hearing, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez was questioned about his department's actions defining members of survey crews as "laborers and mechanics" under the Davis-Bacon Act. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Labor Department, asked the question during a hearing on the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2015 funding proposal. Perez claimed "there has not been a change in policy." View the video starting at 1:41:05.
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Special presentation on Davis-Bacon at NSPS, California-Nevada conference
NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner, LS, and NSPS government affairs consultant John Palatiello will give a presentation on the Davis-Bacon Act and issues surrounding its impact on the surveying profession during the NSPS 2014 Spring Business Meetings which are being held in conjunction with the CLSA/NALS conference in San Diego, CA. The presentation will be during the NSPS Joint Government Affairs Committee (JGAC) meeting on Monday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sunset Room of the Town and Country Resort and Conference Center.
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FEMA flood insurance data still controversial
Despite enactment of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which repealed and modified several provisions of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, issues surrounding surveying and mapping data in support of the FEMA flood insurance program persist. Homeowners are being advised not to cancel their flood insurance policies. Legislation has been introduced to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct periodic reviews of the flood insurance rates and flood insurance rate maps under the national flood insurance program.
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Click Here for Map of Active CSTs by State

Obama executive order requires government contractors to report pay data
President Barack Obama has issued an executive order requiring government contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race to the Labor Department, and prohibiting contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other.
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USDA highlights need for geospatial data for agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding its use of geospatial data to conduct crop forecasts, and has begun coordinating with counterpart agencies in Canada and Mexico on data needs across the North American continent.
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FLAIR Act picks up additional support
The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, which is intended to create a current, accurate inventory or "cadastre" of land owned by the Federal government, continues to gain support. Three members of Congress, one Republican and two Democrats, were added as cosponsors in the past week — Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), and Rep. James Moran (D-VA). NSPS supports the bill, H.R. 916, and has testified before Congress on two occasions.
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NSPS Radio Hour — April 14, 11 a.m. EST
Lisa Isom (Manager of the NSPS Insurance Program) will join host Curt Sumner for the fourth in a continuing series of shows dedicated to insurance issues that affect surveyors.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, 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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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.

Is innovation of geospatial technology destined to always be driven by military budgets?
Sensors & Systems
Many of the roots of innovation in the geospatial toolbox come from military initiatives, including the Global Positioning System, many earth observation satellites and sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and a phenomenal push in the last decade away from paper-based maps and toward global map databases. Innovation follows investment, and the budget and market for military geospatial technology has been leading in procurements for quite some time, if not always.
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Why GPS will continue to dominate consumer GNSS
Inside GNSS
In this article, we will take a look at the various GNSS signals from the perspective of their cost-benefit tradeoffs. First, we'll look at the evolution of consumer GPS architecture to date — where acquisition speed and sensitivity have been the main drivers of receiver architecture. That architecture has evolved rapidly to take full advantage of the characteristics of the GPS C/A code.
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New Earth observation satellites and a rush to video imagery from space
Directions Magazine
Ever since the first remote sensing earth observation satellite was put into space and allowed geoscientists to peer at the surface there's been a call to get the data faster. With the release of the first imagery today from UrthCast and before that from Skybox's SkySat-1 last December 27th, high definitation video is coming closer to reality. While today's UrthCast data is only a multispectral, 6-meter spatial resolution image, it was a precursor to the company's ultimate goal of delivering Ultra High-Definition video.
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Infographic: Men and women use their mobiles and social media differently
GIS User
No huge surprise here, I guess, as research has shown that men and women differ in their use of mobile social media. For example, 38 percent of women play games on their smartphones and they outnumber men by 10 percent, 13 percent of men use social media for dating in comparison to only 7 percent of women, and 71 percent of women on Facebook are willing to "like" a brand for deals. Only 18 percent of men do that.
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News & Views
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Dennis Hall, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2656   
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