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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.



Railroad abandonment thwarted
Most surveyors know of the problems created by the removal of tracks and other features when railroad rights of way are abandoned. NSPS and state surveying societies across the country have worked for years to have some common sense legislation/regulation established that would prohibit the destruction of property boundary evidence, which typically occurs after abandonment.

Among those who are well informed about matters related to railroads in general, and who has been very helpful to NSPS in its efforts, is Charlie Tucker who is located in Colorado.

Regarding the recent action by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reject a notice of abandonment exemption for a portion of rail line, Charlie commented that, “This should at least get across that STB listens to comments submitted to the Board (as an Administrative Law Judge) and we can make a difference”, adding that “This whole response will be addressed the next go-around following rejection by STB of this exemption”.

Tucker further noted that we surveyors need to change our attitude about feeling left out of the abandonment process, and use the tools available (as PLSC did in this case), saying that we need to SPEAK-UP because things will never change until the surveyors speak up and get heard. We need to keep educating STB and the public about who we are, what we do as a profession, and what the public benefit is that we as surveyors provide.

Thanks from NSPS to PLSC, the folks at Kiowa Count, and our friend Charlie Tucker for their work on this situation.
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ALTA/ACSM standards
Please send questions/comments you may have about the standards to NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner via email at Responses will be posted in NSPS News and Views.

Last year we were contracted to provide an ALTA survey for a property in downtown Minneapolis, Torrens property. The survey went fine and we were paid. The client is coming to us now requesting an updated survey because they are only purchasing the parking structure. The parking structure is a 4-level parking garage below grade, under a 5-story above grade building. Another surveyor has been contracted by the seller to do a Registered Land Survey of the property, dividing it into both horizontal and vertical tracts that takes into account stairways, elevators, garage levels, and retail spaces. I am at a loss as how to respond to the request, I am not sure what I would be required to show, i.e. interior and exterior walls to the extent I can see them, support columns utilities ???, or is this something that just is not done? Seems crazy to me if they are going to have a new RLS in hand. Can you give me any advice?

Read more for Answer

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NSPS Radio Hour — June 23, 11 a.m. EDT
Host Curt Sumner will interview publisher Neil Sandler and contributor Gavin Schrock about the name change of Professional Surveyor magazine to xyHt.

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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  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. PLS and PE CEU-approved.

Water resources law includes QBS for surveying
When President Obama signed the "Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)" into Public Law 113-121, on June 10, he extended qualifications based selection (QBS) via the “Brooks Act” to local agency contracts for surveying and other design-related services financed by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act revolving fund. Section 5002 included language, originally in H.R. 1877, the "Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act” by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), which authorizes appropriations for State water pollution control revolving funds and calls for a contract to be carried out using funds directly made available by a capitalization grant “for program management, construction management, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, design, engineering, surveying, mapping, or architectural related services shall be negotiated in the same manner as a contract for architectural and engineering services is negotiated under chapter 11 of title 40, United States Code, or an equivalent State qualifications-based requirement (as determined by the Governor of the State).” The Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), of which NSPS is a member, pushed for the provision.
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Digital Coast Act to be introduced in U.S. Senate
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has delayed her introduction of the “Digital Coast Act” in the United States Senate until June 19 in order to garner more co-sponsors. Already adding their name to the bill are Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). NSPS members are urged to contact your Senators NOW and request they cosponsor the Digital Coast Act. Call or email your Senators and/or their staff today. View a short NSPS video message on the legislation.
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Introduction to federal contracting webinar offered to NSPS
The Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), of which NSPS is a member, will present a special webinar "An Introduction to Federal A/E Contracting" on Wednesday, June 25 at 3:00 PM (EDT). This webinar is intended for firms interested in entering the Federal market, employees who are new to marketing and business development with Federal agencies, and experienced personnel who want a refresher. It is focused on architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping services. If your firm is interested in expanding your business through Federal contracting, you will not want to miss this session. NSPS members receive a discount registration fee of $49.00. The non-member fee for this webinar is $99.00. Register today.
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NSPS to offer a 'Host Your Congressman' webinar
A free webinar advising NSPS members on how to effectively host a meeting with congressmen, senators or state legislators will be offered in the coming weeks. The free session will be held on Tuesday, Jun 24, from 2-3 p.m. EDT. The webinar, to be presented by John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc., the NSPS government affairs consultants, will provide step-by-step details on how surveyors can host meetings to introduce lawmakers to the profession and engage in discussions on legislation and government policies affecting the profession. Pre-registration is required.
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Click Here for Map of Active CSTs by State

NSPS, COFPAES win 'bid' reversal
A Bureau of Reclamation solicitation for ground survey and aerial LiDAR data acquisition services that was to be subject to bidding, and then proposed for a GSA Federal Supply Schedule acquisition, has been cancelled. The Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), of which NSPS is a member, advised the Bureau’s contracting officer that such practices would violate the federal “Brooks Act”, which requires qualifications based selection of such professional services. Any NSPS member who encounters a government agency procurement that violates a state licensing law or QBS statute should contact Executive Director Curt Sumner. NSPS, through COFPAES, will intervene to remedy the acquisition, without identifying the NSPS member who questions the contracting process.
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NSPS PAC meets with House candidate Paul DeMarco (AL)
On June 11, NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John "JB" Byrd met with Paul DeMarco, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 6th District of Alabama, currently held by retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus, (R-AL), in a special election runoff on July 15. Byrd, attending the meeting on behalf of the NSPS PAC, discussed surveying issues to work on with DeMarco in the next Congress. DeMarco, currently a State Representative, mentioned that he has worked with the Alabama Society of Surveyors on state legislation. In 2006, he was recipient of the Alabama Land Trust Government Partner of the Year for his sponsorship and work for passage of the bill that created the Red Mountain Park Commission, which manages one of the largest parks in the United States.
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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.

What's the significance of Google's purchase of Skybox, and the removal of imagery restrictions?
Sensors & Systems
Last week was a remarkable one for earth observation announcements. First was the news that Google would purchase Skybox Imaging and their low Earth orbit satellites and planned constellation for more than $500 million. Then there was the news that the Commerce Department was lifting imagery resolution restriction on DigitalGlobe, opening up what the company deems to be a $400 million market for higher resolution earth observation imagery.
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The 'consumerization' of GIS
Directions Magazine
A decade or so ago, most people would have balked at the idea of carrying around a device in their pocket that could transmit their current location to banks, insurance providers and other businesses. While we rarely think of smartphones in these terms, many of us have become increasingly reliant upon the convenience that geospatial technologies like mapping software and location-based applications offer us.
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New tech drives DOD's geospatial spending
The Department of Defense is strategically tapping innovations in geospatial technologies to ensure commanders at every level have a deeper understanding of rapidly evolving operational environments, according to a recent report from industry analyst Frost & Sullivan. Among the newer technologies are an increasing number of geospatial products that fuse multiple data sources and formats that provide intelligence to military commanders and civilian emergency responders.
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FAA approves first commercial drone over land
USA Today
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that permission for the first commercial drone to fly over U.S. land has gone to oil company BP and drone manufacturer AeroVironment to fly aerial surveys over Alaska's North Slope. AeroVironment flew a Puma AE drone on its first commercial flight to survey BP pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in the USA, according to the FAA.
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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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