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NSPS Lobby Day visits gain quick results
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Among the topics discussed with legislators and their respective staff during the NSPS Lobby Day on Sept. 27 was the fact that the issue that has come to be known as LightSquared still has not been resolved. Lobby Day participants urged legislators to prompt the FCC for progress on a resolution so that GPS users (in particular high-precision users like surveyors) will know what is ahead. Will there be no inference allowed at all? Will users need to plan for replacement or upgrades/refitting of existing equipment? The unknown has an impact on how users will plan for the future.

On Friday Sept. 28, while attending the NSPS Board of Governors meeting in Gaithersburg, Md., one of the Lobby Day participants received a cell phone call from a staff person in one of the Senatorial offices, informing him of an FCC filing by LightSquared that morning. Clearly, the visit to that office the day before is what precipitated the call. The filing became a topic of discussion throughout the remainder of the NSPS Fall business meetings. Since that time, NSPS has written to the FCC to request an Ex Parte Presentation on the LightSquared matter, IB Docket No. 11-109, to discuss the concerns that NSPS and the GPS user community have with LightSquared's Petition for Rulemaking (filed Sept. 28) and their recent Application for Modification.

The recent filing by LightSquared also sparked a conversation about the matter on the Oct. 8 NSPS Radio Hour which airs each Monday at 11 a.m. Eastern on the web at Host Curt Sumner's guests were NSPS Government Affairs Consultant Laurence Socci, NSPS Government Affairs Chairman John Matonich and Eric Gakstatter, who writes for GPS World and is among the most knowledgeable people on this topic.

The archive for the Oct. 8 show can be heard by visiting the "Archives" section of the website listed above. There will be many more episodes to come on this topic, and NSPS is determined to remain diligent throughout.

NSPS prepares for 2013 National Boy Scouts Jamboree
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Learn about it by listening to the NSPS Radio Hour Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern on

Since 1989, NSPS has taken the lead role in operating the Surveying Merit Badge booth during Boy Scouts of America's periodic Jamboree, and has been responsible for several re-writes of the manual that is used by Scouts to achieve that badge. NSPS will continue its role for the 2013 Jamboree. It is worth noting that the Surveying Merit Badge was among the original badges to be offered, and remains among the few badges that have existed continually since then.

The 2013 Jamboree marks the first time in many years that the Jamboree will not be held at Fort A.P. Hill, located north of Richmond, Va. The new site will be the Bechtel Summit property located along the New River Gorge in Southeastern West Virginia.

This means that a new group of local volunteer surveyors will need to be recruited and prepared for the event. NSPS hopes that some of its faithful group of long-serving volunteer surveyors from Virginia and other states will be able to attend, but many will not be able to do so. Adding to the challenge is the fact that the primary leaders of the volunteers for the past several Jamborees will likely not be able to attend in 2013, at least not as full-time participants.

Those two leaders, Tommy Brooks (Alabama) and Wayne Hebert (Texas) will join host Curt Sumner on the NSPS Radio Hour Oct. 15 at 11 A.M. Eastern to provide information about how surveyors can join the effort for the July 15-24, 2013 Jamboree. Listen "live" to the show on, or listen to it later from the Archives section of the website.

Ask Vic
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Q. One of my clients is about to restart a project that had been put on hold during the recent economic downturn. He has a partially completed survey in his possession that had been performed by another surveyor, and wants to hire our firm to review the survey and do the additional work required to complete it. What are some of the issues that I need to be concerned about? More

Insights on the future of surveying
Professional Surveyor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We last interviewed Topcon Positioning System's president and CEO Ray O'Connor in 2009. His recent promotion to senior managing executive officer of parent company Topcon Corporation adds to his growing lists of duties. We wanted to know what the promotion meant for Ray and the future of TPS (based in Livermore, Calif.). Ray has always been a dynamic innovator and strong promoter of growth in the surveying industry, so we also asked for his perspectives on the future of surveying. More

The road from Palm Springs
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The 2012 Esri International User Conference, "GIS — Opening Our World," was held July 23-27 at the San Diego Convention Center in California. The conference and GIS traveled far from their humble beginnings decades ago. The conference opened with an address by Esri's President, Jack Dangermond, in which he acknowledged the evolving nature of Geographic Information Systems and introduced the concept of Geography as a Platform. More

A geospatial prediction of the 2012 presidential election
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From David Miller: I have lived in many of the swing, or battleground, states, and I am a keen observer of trends in electoral geography, which I will use to (humbly) predict this election. Both Democrats and Republicans have received my vote in the past. This geospatial forecast is based on an analysis of the electoral map in previous elections rather than my own views on the election. More

Why some old-school survey methods die hard
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When Francisco Fierro Jr. was called in to assist with the Olmsted Locks and Dam project near Olmsted, Ill., it wasn't because of his equipment expertise or software savvy, although the seasoned construction surveyor is adept on both fronts. It also wasn't because of his notoriety as an author and public speaker, though Fierro has written articles and a book on construction surveying and has presented seminars and workshops on the subject. More

A superior effort
The American Surveyor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even though it's been a valuable and beneficial technology for decades now, GPS — by nature of its accuracy and inherent versatility — continues to find new uses and make inroads into new markets. Companies faced with difficult or seemingly impossible tasks are discovering that GPS can often provide the means to get the answers they need, even in the unlikeliest of situations. No one understands that better than Barr Engineering. More

Stop the data leaks: Use Web GIS to collect and use information
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Stopping data from leaking out of an organization is an issue that many IT departments are facing today. Historically, key data points critical to business operations have been stored in spreadsheets, local databases or even personal memory. This can include vital details such as infrastructure locations, attributes and paths. Through retirement or employees changing jobs, such data can be lost without chance of recovery. More

GeoDesign provides the third phase of GIS evolution
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The convergence of design tools with the analytics and data aggregation capabilities of GIS is an ongoing process. With Esri's GeoDesign concept and conference, they have served to provide a springboard for accelerated innovation with dialogue that will frame a new more holistic design practice. Bill Miller, director of GeoDesign Services at Esri, has been one of the visionaries to frame the concept and the requirements for new tools. More

GPS IIF-3 satellite now transmitting L1, L2 signals
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The GPS Block IIF-3 satellite, SVN65, began transmitting L1 and L2 signals as PRN24 on Oct. 8. A number of stations of the International GNSS Service are now tracking the satellite. The satellite is included in broadcast almanacs although it is set unhealthy and will continue to be so until satellite commissioning is completed. The satellite is still drifting towards its designated orbital position of Slot 1 in Plane A. More

A new business model for map publishers
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In September 2010, Avenza Systems, Inc. released the first version of PDF Maps for the Apple App Store where both free and for-pay versions of maps in the Geospatial PDF format could be downloaded for use with the iOS operating system. Currently, over 100,000 maps are now available for download. Are users likely to download maps normally found in a print version to their iPhone or iPad? More

Stephen Elop on Apple Map flap and why location is big for Nokia
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Though happy to see Nokia's mapping business get a nod from Apple, CEO Stephen Elop says there is a lot more to his company's bet on location services than just a mapping app that works. "We have said all along that it takes many years and billions of dollars to build up (a mapping business)," Elop told AllThingsD. "It's not just the maps. It's everything around it that makes it a useful location-based service." More

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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