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State Society/NSPS Membership Update
Twenty-two state surveying societies have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NSPS through which all members categorized as "Full/License" of the Society will be NSPS members. The following states are currently participating: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

If you are a resident member of one of these state societies, and not a current NSPS member, upon receipt by NSPS of membership dues from the state society for its members, you will receive a member packet containing information about benefits, as well as a membership card and certificate.

If you are a current NSPS member and a resident member of one of the named state societies you will receive a renewal card, and your NSPS dues will begin to run concurrently with the dues renewal cycle for your state society.

Depending on the specifics of the MOU for the respective states, there may be some exceptions for inclusion of non-resident Full/Licensed members and other categories of state society membership.

If you are current NSPS member but not a member of a state society which has signed the MOU, you may want to consider joining the state society in your state of residence in order to take advantage of the significantly reduced NSPS dues that result from the MOU.

If you are a member of a state society that has not signed a MOU for joint membership with NSPS, you should encourage your state society to join the program so that you can enjoy the benefits of both state and national representation, and help to develop a stronger national voice.
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NSPS Radio Show Highlight — April 22
Be sure to listen to the archive of Mondays broadcast which featured guests NSPS President Lamar Evers and NSPS Immediate Past President Bob Dahn sharing their views as working surveyors about the organization. The show should be archived by the end of this week. Click here to listen.
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NSPS Book Store Sale
Through Friday, May 31, NSPS is offering a 50 percent additional discount on the purchase of most items in stock. Purchasers will pay for shipping. This offer excludes the 2009 BLM Manual of Instruction, Definitions of Surveying and Associated Terms, Land Surveying in the District of Columbia 2010 Edition, and The Pinchusion Effect.

Quantities are limited! Sales will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to see the current book list. Offer valid only for phone-in orders (240-439-4615, ext. 105). WARNING — If you attempt to take advantage of this offer online, the NSPS eStore will automatically charge the full price.

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Surveyor/Author Extends Deadline of Competition Related to Lessons Learned from Novel
New Jersey Professional Land Surveyor Don Ackermann feels so strongly that his new book, The Three Keys, contains valuable lessons about elevating the surveying profession in the eyes of the public that he is offering a reward to the three individuals who best articulate how well the book achieves its goal. He has extended the deadline for submissions to Sept. 30.

The competition is open to all licensed surveyors and those pursuing a career in land surveying. In 400 words or less (one 8 1/2 x 11 inch page), entrants must tell the author what they learned about land surveying and about being a good surveyor after reading The Three Keys. Writing ability will be secondary to the substance of the responses. The author encourages the entrants to "not be afraid to voice your opinion just because you're not Stephen King."

The closing date for entries will be Sept. 30, with awards made by October 2013. Grand Prize, $500, Second Place, $300, Third Place $200. By entering the competition, winners agree to the publication of their entry in the NSPS News & Views newsletter, and on the NSPS website (if NSPS so desires). Send entries to

The author reserves the rights to quote excerpts from submittals to promote the book.

The Three Keys can be purchased online at the following bookstores:



Barnes and Noble:

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National Flood Hazard Layer Updates Postponed
Typically, the National Flood Hazard Layer is updated on a daily basis as newly effective Letters of Map Revision and flood study data are incorporated. From April 24 to June 21, NFHL data will not be updated while planned improvements are made to the system. NFHL data and traditional products will remain available through the existing channels. Although the NFHL will not be updated during this time, the traditional products will represent current available flood hazard information. For more information about the NFHL "data freeze," please see the Question and Answer section below.

For additional questions about NFHL data, please contact the FEMA Map Information eXchange by calling 1-877 FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will NFHL data still be available?
A: NFHL data services are still available but will not be updated between 5/24 – 6/21. NFHL data can still be accessed via:
  • the MIP Map Viewer;
  • Google Earth (NFHL KMZ);
  • the NFHL Web Mapping Service (WMS); and
  • the REST service for FEMA’s MAC and Geoportal
Q: Will Flood Hazard information that becomes effective during the NFHL "data freeze" be available?
A: Effective data is available for purchase/download from the MSC Store during this time (including studies and LOMCs that become effective during the NFHL "data freeze"), including:
  • LOMC pdfs;
  • FIRM & FIRMettes;
  • FIS Reports; and
  • FIRM Databases
Hardcopy data delivery to community officials will not be interrupted.

Q: How will users know what data has gone effective during the NFHL "data freeze?"
A: The Product Availability page on the Map Service Center website lists studies that will go effective during NFHL "data freeze." As studies and LOMR go effective, they will be listed on a NFHL DATA Freeze Queue spreadsheet that will be available on the MSC Product Availability page and sorted by state and county. This will allow users to check for data that has become effective since the NFHL data freeze

Q: What are the benefits of this project?
A: There are several:
  • This upgrade positions the NFHL to better meet the demands of the digital age:
    • NFHL digital downloads by community (when Phase 2 is complete by October 2013);
    • A modernized GIS software engine;
    • Updates NFHL schema to the new FIRM Database specifications for more efficient data production and distribution and a more effective use of datasets;
    • Focus on improved GIS services over outdated viewers; and
    • Capacity for longer term performance improvements and flexibility for growth with more efficient data management.
  • Google Earth KMZs will be improved to increase ease-of-use and align symbology with the more familiar FIRM Scan product that is used for FIRMettes.
  • NFHL REST services will now be publicly available for heavy users that desire constant updates for the whole nation.
Q: Where can I learn more about the NFHL?
A: Contact the FEMA Map Information eXchange by calling 1-877 FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627)

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U.S. Geological Survey Science Strategy Plans Announced
USGS is pleased to announce the completion of the U.S. Geological Survey's Science Strategy Plans for each of our mission areas.

These plans are the result of more than 80 of our scientists combining their expertise with feedback from the public and partners like you to forge a vision for what the future of our science could look like. You can read the finished reports at

It is critical for a science organization such as the USGS to regularly ask itself what it should look like five or 10 years from now, and beyond.

As a reminder of our intent, these documents are meant to be a guide and a blueprint as we plan our activities and form our budgets. We will not attempt to execute everything discussed in them, but we will refer to these as what is possible at the USGS with our expertise and capabilities.

To that end, USGS leadership has been working on how these plans will play out in tangible, practical ways in the near future, and on taking advantage of the useful ways the plans link with each other.

We will keep you informed and involved in the ways we are applying these strategies to our mission. Thank you, again, for your contributions to this effort and your support of the USGS.

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'Map It Once, Use It Many Times' Act Reintroduced in Congress
The "Map It Once, Use It Many Times" Act has been reintroduced in the 113th Congress by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO). The new bill, H.R. 1604, includes several revisions from the bill offered in the last Congress.

NSPS Government Affairs Consultants John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. worked with Rep. Lamborn to advocate for revisions the society sought when it testified at a field hearing on the bill in Colorado Springs, CO in May of last year. H.R. 1604 differs from its predecessor in that a definition of the term "licensed geospatial data" was added to distinguish between data obtained by USGS and other agencies via a fee for service contract process, whereby the government has all right to data, and licensed data whereby the government buys a license to use commercial off the shelf data products, and to make clear the term "licensed" when used to describe data is not confused with the term "licensed" as it is used to describe an individual authorized to practice in a certain profession, such as a licensed surveyor. Additionally the National Geospatial Policy Commission created by the bill would now assure that at least one private sector member is a licensed professional surveyor. For information, see

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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Coordinates as Boundary Evidence (Professional Surveyor)
NSPS News Release summarizing 2013 Spring Business Meetings (NSPS)
When Inches Count (The American Surveyor)
Galileo satellite achieves high Earth orbit positioning with GPS (Inside GNSS)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

NSPS Attends NOAA Budget Briefing
On April 19, NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John Byrd attended the NOAA briefing on President Barack Obama's FY 14 budget proposal. Byrd met with by Acting Administrator Kathryn Sullivan at the Department of Commerce Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he discussed program budgets for the Digital Coast program in the NOAA Coastal Services Center in Charleston, S.C., as well as the National Geodetic Survey programs for Height Modernization and GRAV-D. NOAA personnel responded that both programs receive increases in their respective budgets under the president's request and acknowledged the importance for each program.
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NOAA Seeks Public Comments on Research Plan
NOAA is seeking public comments from May 3 through June 3 on their development of a five-year research and development plan for 2013-2017. This plan will help guide NOAA's future research and development priorities, and will focus on a number of research and development priorities that expand across line offices and are vital to fulfilling NOAA's mission and providing science and services useful to society. The areas of focus include: climate adaptation and mitigation; weather ready nation; healthy oceans; resilient coastal communities and economies; and cross-cutting science and technology. Additionally, the plan will discuss: core capabilities and assets for research and development; and keys to success-administering NOAA's R&D Enterprise. NSPS members can access the draft plan at
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NSPS Cosigns Coalition Letter to Prompt U.S. Senate Action on WRDA
NSPS has joined scores of organizations calling on the U.S. Senate to promptly pass a Water Resources Development Act, authorizing projects and programs of the civil works branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The April 19 letter NSPS cosigned calls on the Senate to move forward on S. 601, reauthorizing WRDA, as soon as practical.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed a WRDA reauthorization bill on March 20. The next step is consideration of the bill by the full Senate. S. 601, the "Water Resources Development Act" would reform and authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works programs and policies related to navigation, flood risk management, recreation, infrastructure and environmental stewardship, creating a significant demand for surveying and mapping. Presently, the Corps of Engineers has a backlog of more than 1,000 authorized studies and construction projects. Due to funding shortages and current programmatic directives, critical new investments along the inland waterways and in marine ports are being delayed. Furthermore, those projects that do receive funds move slowly as severely limited resources are splintered across multiple priorities. America's inland waterways and marine ports are the backbone of the American marine transportation infrastructure system and are vital to American competitiveness and economic growth.

NSPS Members may view the April 19 letter here:

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NSPS ALTA/ACSM Committee Chair Speaks on Express Map Issue

In response to multiple comments from around the country related to the use of Express Map, Gary Kent has written an article addressing the concerns expressed. To read the article published in The American Surveyor, visit

NSPS will continue to monitor the situation, and solicit further input from surveyors. Contact Gary Kent or Curt Sumner.

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News & Views
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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