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Earle J. Fennell Award for Education Excellence awarded

Curt Sumner presents Fennell Award to John Fuehrer

On August 1, NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner and NSPS Office Manager/Programs Coordinator Trish Milburn made a surprise visit to a Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS) Board of Directors meeting in Harrisburg, PA for the presentation of the 2014 Earle J. Fennell Award to John G. Fuehrer II, PLS, PE in recognition of his distinguished educational contributions to the surveying and mapping profession.

Fuehrer, president of Fuehrer Associates, Ltd., Ephrata, Pa., has been a licensed Professional Land Surveyor since 1971 and a licensed Professional Engineer since 1976. His educational leadership roles include serving as chairman of the PSLS Education Committee and the annual Surveyors' Conference, which offer continuing education opportunities for surveyors. In addition, Fuehrer was instrumental in launching the first online educational webinar series for PSLS. He also oversees the PSLS Exam Subcommittee, which is responsible for developing the Pennsylvania State Specific Surveying Exam for professional licensure, and serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Land Surveyors Foundation, which disseminates up to $20,000 in scholarships to surveying students each year.

Furthering his educational contributions to the surveying profession, Fuehrer has served as chairman of the Industrial Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania State University Surveying Program since its inception in 1996. In this role, he ensures that the program meets quality academic standards to prepare students for entering the field of surveying. Additionally, he volunteers as the PSLS liaison to the Pennsylvania State Registration Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists.

About the Earle J. Fennell Award: The former American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), which has since merged into the National Society of Professional Surveyor (NSPS), created this award in 1973 to honor of Earle J. Fennell, who had served as ACSM's president and executive director. Today, NSPS continues the tradition of this award. Recipients are individuals who make distinguished educational contributions to the surveying and mapping profession. The nominee may or may not be a professional educator, but should have a sustained record of superior performance in surveying and mapping education for more than 10 years at the local, state, or national level.

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NSPS Radio Hour — Aug. 18, 11 a.m. EDT
Ken Creighton is the Director of Professional Standards at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Ken will join host Curt Sumner to discuss International Standards and will specifically provide an update about the project, process and details of the work of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition. The IPMSC is a group of 44 professional and not-for-profit organizations from around the world, committed to the development and implementation of an international standard for measuring property assets.

At present, the way property assets — such as homes, offices or shopping centers — are measured varies dramatically. For example, in some parts of the world it is established practice to include common space (lift shafts; communal hallways, etc.) in floor area measurements; in others off-site parking might be included or even swimming pools.

With so many different methods of measurement in use, it makes it difficult for property users, investors, occupiers and developers to accurately compare space. Research by global property firm Jones Lang LaSalle shows that, depending on the method used, a property's floor area can deviate by as much as 24 percent.

The development of an International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) is intended to ensure that property assets are measured in a consistent way, creating a more transparent marketplace, greater public trust, stronger investor confidence, and increased market stability.

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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RENDEZVOUS! On the Old Spanish Line...

Come to the best national surveyor’s event of 2014 — the SHS RENDEZVOUS! Join the search for Andrew Ellicott’s lost ‘Spanish Mounds,’ on the old 1799 US border with Spain. Hosted by Surveyors Historical Society and the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors, it’s Sept. 17-20 at Mobile, Alabama. You’re invited.

ALTA/ACSM question!

We've been asked to prepare an ALTA/ACSM survey to include the following Table A optional items: 1 (unless prohibited by locality), 2, 3, 4, 6(b), 7(a), 7(b)(1), 7(c),8, 9, 11(a), 13, 14, 16, 18 19, 20(a) and 21.

This is for a large (60 acre) site with existing buildings, about half of the site is developed with multiple interconnected industrial buildings, that have connecting walkways, piping, and scaffolding, etc. It is a real spaghetti of a mess. The key is, however, that the potential client would demolish ALL of these existing improvements and completely redevelop the site. Clearly, we will be discussing/negotiating some of these Table A items, e.g., why would they need building heights known if the buildings are to be demolished?

My question to the ALTA/ACSM committee would be:

If we include Table A, Item 15 in the certification as the means of showing all interior improvements by some form of digital, or aerial map (with the understanding that we would still need to detail improvements within five (5) feet of the property line and tie improvements (utilities) that would be evidence of easements throughout the site), would this conflict with Table A Items 8 an 9 (Substantial Improvements, and Striping/Parking)?

In other words, if we include Table A, Item 8, is this implying these "substantial" features were field tied on the ground, or if Table A, Item 15 is also included, would the surveyor be okay with these "substantial" features being shown by that digital format.

Read more for Answer

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Click Here for Map of Active CSTs by State

NGS director to serve as NOAA designee to Technical Mapping Advisory Council
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced that National Geodetic Survey Director, Juliana Blackwell, will serve a two-year term as NOAA's designee to the Technical Mapping Advisory Council. The national flood-mapping program informs communities on the local flood risk and help set minimum floodplain standards so communities may build safely and resiliently. The flood insurance rate maps established under the program are used to set flood insurance premiums.

Contact: Juliana Blackwell

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Geospatial and engineering international conference announces program and registration discount
Focusing on the ability to help surveying, engineering, and geospatial firms expand their professional services into the international market, and providing a forum for education, business development, market research and networking, the Geospatial & Engineering International Conference program committee announced today the program for the two-day conference being held September 25-26, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.

"The program provides attendees with critical insight into assistance provided by U.S. government agencies to firms beginning to work in the international market and discover the clients in need of services provided by geospatial and engineering firms," said Brian Raber, Program Chair (Merrick & Company, Greenwood Village, CO). "No matter if a firm is exploring the possibility of entering the market outside the United States, or already working around the globe, the program will provide business leaders knowledge on how to effectively navigate the international market."

Conference attendees are eligible for a $50 discount in addition to the early registration fee by making a hotel reservation at the Westin Alexandria (Alexandria, VA). Once an attendee has reserved a room, contact MAPPS to receive a special promotional code to receive the $50 discount. This offer will expire on September 4. NSPS members receive an additional registration discount.

The full program and registration are available at

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NSPS participates in FGDC strategic plan for NSDI
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner recently participated in a strategic planning session hosted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC. The July 30 forum included representatives of several stakeholder associations to update the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the technologies, policies, and people necessary to promote sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community. The NSDI was first established by President Bill Clinton in 1994 by Executive Order 12906.
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NSPS members urged to contact U.S. Senators to cosponsor the Digital Coast Act
Congress is on its August recess, meaning Representatives and Senators are in their home states meeting with constituents and taking part in events. NSPS members and state surveying societies should use this time period to contact their Senators and urge them to cosponsor the soon-to-be-introduced "Digital Coast Act of 2014." Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) plans to introduce the Senate companion to H.R. 1382, a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House that is sponsored by Representatives "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Don Young (R-AK). This bill would formally authorize the highly popular "Digital Coast" project in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that provides geospatial data to our coastal communities.

Current cosponsors include Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). From this list, you will see that no Republican Senator is listed. The challenge is for surveyors and state societies from coastal states (including the Great Lakes) with a Republican Senator to contact your respective Senators and urge them to join Sen. Baldwin in cosponsoring this important bill.

At this point, visits, meetings, and communications should be focused on Republican Senators from Coastal states. Targeted Coastal Republican Senators are: AL: Sessions, Shelby; AK: Murkowski; FL: Rubio; GA: Chambliss, Isakson; IL: Kirk; IN: Coats; LA: Vitter; ME: Collins; MS: Cochran, Wicker; NC: Burr; OH: Portman; PA: Toomey; SC: Graham, Scott; TX: Cornyn, Cruz; and WI: Johnson.

You can also contact these Senators’ legislative staff in Washington, DC. To help identify staff, or for further assistance, please contact NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd at or 703-787-6665.

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Texas A&M Corpus Christi offering online course on introduction to surveying this fall
Classes begin August 27. Contact Prof. Richard Smith for more information on paperwork you need to complete before you can register for the course. You can take the course as a degree candidate or as a non-degree candidate. This course involves field work, and to complete the labs, you must have an agreement with a licensed land surveyor who will agree to supervise your labs, provide the equipment and make sure you follow the lab exercises as written. Course instructor: Dr. Joe Paiva. Read about the program and course at The course is called GISC 2470 for four semester hours.
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Employment opportunities
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.

NEW LISTINGS – 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.

Google's satellites could soon see your face from space
Google will soon have an unprecedented ability to spy on you from space. Theoretically, at least. How? Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the U.S. government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution — twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm.
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In the ocean, clues to change
The New York Times
A few weeks ago, some 300 miles off the coast of New Zealand, scientists aboard the research vessel Tangaroa gently lowered two funky-looking orange orbs into the sea. Soon they disappeared, plunging of their own accord toward the depths of the Pacific Ocean. They were prototypes, specialized robots designed to record temperature and other conditions all the way to the sea bottom, more than three miles down.
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UAVs vs. small sats — Which has the more viable business model today?
Directions Magazine
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, John Hickey, the No. 2 safety official at the Federal Aviation Administration, told a United Nations meeting over the weekend that regulatory approval to operate unmanned aerial vehicles alongside commercial aircraft is "not going to be as soon as some people tend to think."
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Environmental sensing: A revolution in GNSS applications
Inside GNSS
In the past 20 years, GPS has simultaneously revolutionized both our modern infrastructure (by providing real-time navigation, mapping and timing support) and our geodetic/surveying capabilities (by providing millimeter/centimeter-level positioning). At this point, most of the GNSS innovations we expect to see in the next decade will come from calculating positions more accurately and faster, while expanding from GPS to use of all available GNSS signals.
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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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