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Do geospatial communities work together?
ACSM Bulletin (subscription or pay-per-issue)    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the technical side the design, GIS, remote sensing and surveying communities have never been more aligned than they are at the present time. Most geospatial technology works together, interoperability is high and many products even display advanced cross product functionality. However, on the conceptual side of the equation there seems to be a dusty trail with many explorers setting up homesteads — and staying in them. This has important ramifications for growth. Do you think the design, surveying, remote sensing and GIS communities are aligned? More

NSPS surveying USA
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NSPS Surveying USA Event was a great success on many different levels. Not only did it give surveyors across the nation an opportunity to participate in a simultaneously carried out project, it also gave the public an opportunity to learn about our profession by asking questions and, in many cases, experiencing firsthand what it is that surveyors do. The state events ranged from a one-person set-up on a lonely hillside to over 300 surveyors taking part (in Tennessee). We're almost done compiling all the data we received from the states and are printing out the photos. A spreadsheet with the points occupied during the NSPS Surveying USA Event will be sent to Donny Sosa of Esri. The points' coordinates and metadata will be mapped; the map will be made available during the 2011 Survey Summit and subsequently posted online for access by everyone interested. Eventually, we would like to produce a record of how many states and state surveyors participated in the event; which were the furthest North, South, East, and West points occupied; and which were the oldest, most historical, and "weirdest" points occupied. Thank you all for participating in this event and making it such a memorable occasion. — Debi Anderson, PLS, NSPS Governor Montana; NSPS Surveying USA Chair,

Rhode Island surveyors oppose 'Engineering Surveys' bill
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Concurrent bills H5470 and S0519 were introduced to the Rhode Island House and Senate earlier this year in an attempt to modify the Statute that defines Engineering by adding a section to include "Engineering Surveys." The House bill was sent to the House Commerce Committee for a hearing, and both sides were there prepared to testify. The bill for the moment is tabled in committee for further study, but as I write this I am informed that the climate has gotten very political and that there is some concern of the bill moving forward again.

Rhode Island has two separate boards of registration. From the surveyors' perspective, Surveying services are regulated in the State of Rhode Island under the State's inherent "police power" to promote public safety, health, morals, public convenience, and general prosperity." The problem with "Engineering Surveys" as defined by the Rhode Island bill (based on the NCEES Model Law) is that the activities described are already defined and regulated under the Surveying Statute. "Engineering Surveys" does not provide for any regulation of the four E's — Education, Experience, Examination, and Enforcement.

The Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors voted at the Last General Membership Meeting to write the NCEES to petition them to remove the term "Engineering Surveys" from the Model Law. The American Society of Civil Engineering has expressed concerns in a list of issues in its "Policy Statement 333 — Engineering Surveying Definition." In 2005, New Mexico removed the very same language from their state statutes. Whether the term "Engineering Surveys" is used in a state statute or not is indicative of a gray area of professional practice that is being played out in many states.

The days of transit and tape are gone; Surveying is no longer being taught to engineers as a core curriculum requirement. Surveying has become specialized. The states' education requirements to become a Registered Professional Land Surveyor, as well as the Continuing Education Requirements, reflect this fact. The term "Surveying" is no longer limited to property boundary surveys. — Edward J. O’Brien, PLS, RISPLS president, EJOBPLS2000@COX.NET

Share your work
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you have attended Esri's annual User Conference in the past, you have probably spent some time listening to Esri's Jack Dangermond during the plenary address. His talk is illustrated with visual examples of surveying and mapping work, and he is again inviting UC participants to contribute to this presentation with screenshots, photos, maps, and GIS animations that: 1. Helped make a decision; 2. Helped communities work together; 3. Helped communicate a message or tell a story; 4. Illustrate spatial analysis, modeling, and science; 5. Illustrate integration with other systems; and 6. ArcGIS technology applications. The illustrations can be submitted using Esri UC's online portal by May 27. If you have further questions, contact Karen Hurlbut. — Ilse Genovese, ACSM Communications Director,

Save the date!
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
  • SCSPLS (South Carolina Society of Professional Land Surveyors) Annual Convention, to be held in conjunction with the 2011 Annual S.C. Engineering Conference and Trade Show; June 9-11, Marriott Resort and Spa, Hilton Head Island, S.C. Forms will be available at a later date at
  • TSPS (Texas Society of Professional Surveyors) 2011 Annual Convention and Technology Exposition; Oct. 5-8, Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Frisco, Texas.
  • KSLS Annual Meeting, Oct. 21-22, in Dodge City, Kan. For more information, email

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Here's a surveying software solution that is extremely versatile as well as a real time- and money-saver—Carlson Survey 2011. As it always has, Carlson Survey in 2011 will connect to essentially every manufacturers' proprietary hardware and software.

New ways to exploit raw data may bring surge of innovation, a study says
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Math majors, rejoice. Businesses are going to need tens of thousands of you in the coming years as companies grapple with a growing mountain of data. Data is a vital raw material of the information economy, much as coal and iron ore were in the Industrial Revolution. But the business world is just beginning to learn how to process it all. More

Geospatial technology as a core tool
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Geospatial technology affects almost every aspect of life, from navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood to locating the world's most wanted terrorist. "They couldn't have found Osama bin Laden without it," says Phillip Davis, director of the National Geospatial Technology Center. More

Why we can have both reliable GPS and more broadband
The Hill (blog)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A major radio spectrum problem before the Federal Communications Commission this year is the dispute between the GPS community and a company called LightSquared, which seeks to operate a new mobile broadband service using terrestrial base stations that will compete with existing cellular carriers. Depending on your viewpoint, this dispute is either an attempt by greedy entrepreneurs to wreck the ubiquitous GPS system, endangering public safety or a spectrum fight between users of neighboring bands in which one group wants to solve a technical problem by putting all the burdens of the solution on the other. More

Analyzing tornadoes from a spatial perspective using GIS
GIS User    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spring in North America brings not only new flowers, but a new crop of tornadoes. As we are all aware, the 2011 tornado season has already been horrific, and our hearts go out to all those affected. Like most natural phenomena, tornadoes exhibit a spatial pattern on a continental, regional, and local scale, and can be examined and understood with the use of GIS. More

Selecting open source: A practical view
Directions Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the past few years, free open source software adoption has enjoyed tremendous growth in the IT industry. In the geospatial arena, growth is evidenced by the popularity of many tools and applications, and the emergence of a vibrant community of developers and users. Ignacio Guerrero, an IT consultant and former software director at Intergraph and Rolta, takes a look at the decision to evaluate and choose FOSS versus proprietary software from the standpoint of a typical GIS program manager. More

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Pursuing a state-driven national spatial data infrastructure
Vector 1 Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Effective spatial data management is essential to government administration at all levels from local to national. The City of Springfield, Ore., and NASA Ames Research Center have begun collaboration on the technology and framework needed for sustainable spatial data management across all levels of government. This technology is open source and purposed to enhance the sharing of data and the functionalities needed to administer that data. More

Is there an app for that?
GIS User    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seems government (in some cases) is rushing into the application world. For the purposes of this discussion, let's stick with mobile applications. Sure there are plenty of instances where innovation occurs through trial and error, but the building and deploying of mobile applications seems to be an area where government is generally wondering around in the dark. Think for just a second — what mobile application could government provide that people would actually use? More

New report on GIS market in the retail sector
GeoConnexion    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the latest TechNavio report from Research And Markets —l "Geographic Information System Market in Retail Sector 2010-2014" — analysts forecast that revenues will reach $456.5 million in 2014. One of the key factors contributing to this market's growth is the increasing adoption of GIS to identify the right location for stores and outlets. More

Location-based social media: Upping the value
GPS World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In January 2011, GPS World's Wireless Pulse editor Janice Partyka conducted a webinar discussing location-based social media, with guests Chad Reed of Pelago and Brian Cho of Booyah! What is a location based social network? What are its attributes? Gaming is big, we know that much. What else is coming our way? Coupons, offers and contests are already here, and check-ins are becoming big. More
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