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ALTA/ACSM Standards
When the ACSM Bulletin magazine was still in publication it included a column call "ALTA/ACSM Standards." In the column, Gary Kent, who is Chair of both the NSPS ALTA/ACSM Committee and the joint ALTA/NSPS/Lenders Council Committee, responded to questions raised about some aspect of the standards. NSPS has reinstated this column in ANSPS News & Views on a regular (if not weekly) basis.

Please send questions/comments you may have about the standards to NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner via email at


I have a question about ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys for sites that are rapidly changing, i.e. under construction. We are surveying a property that was formerly a large retail store – it was demolished this summer, along with much of the parking lot. Our client’s corporate requirements require an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey, and they are asking for it now. But at this point, the site is now basically a dirt field at sub-grade, with some curb starting to be built for the new parking lot. For the land title survey, should we “back-date” the survey and show the improvements/conditions that existed before demolition? (We do have that information). Or should we just try to map the site as it exists now, and treat it as a current ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey based on conditions at the site on the day of survey?
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Did you know that colleges use the CST Program for assessment and accreditation?

LightSquared Legal Maneuvering Heats Up
LightSquared has filed suit against several GPS manufacturers, claiming the firms withheld their concerns about interference until LightSquared had already pumped $4 billion into building it. An agent for LightSquared has contacted more than 90 potentially interested parties, seeking alternatives to the $2.22 billion cash offer it has received from the Dish Network Corp. (DISH) for its assets, according to papers filed in a New York City bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy auction is planned for December 6. Dish won dismissal on October 29 of a lawsuit brought by Philip Falcone, founder of LightSquared and its major investor, the hedgefund Harbinger Capital. Harbinger had sought $4 billion from Dish in the lawsuit, alleging that Dish had tried to strip Falcone of ownership of LightSquared. Meanwhile, another firm, Globalstar, is proposing to convert its satellite spectrum into a broadband application, but is not expected to have the GPS interference issues that made LightSquared so controversial.
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COFPAES Meets to Develop QBS Strategies

Pictured are Rep. Delaney and NSPS COFPAES Delegate Joe Dolan.
The Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), of which NSPS is a member, met in Washington, DC on October 30 to plan activities to promote and defend the qualifications based selection (QBS) process for government contracts for professional architect-engineer services, including surveying and mapping. Joseph Dolan, PLS (Dolan Surveying, Atlantic City, NJ,) the NSPS delegate to COFPAES, spoke with Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), sponsor of H.R. 2084, the Partnership to Build America Act of 2013, about the Bills intent to create an infrastructure bank and leverage investments in projects that involve the construction, maintenance , improvement, or repair of a transportation, energy, water, communications, and educational facilities. The COFPAES delegation, comprised of representatives of ASCE, AIA, NSPE and MAPPS, including NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner, LS, and NSPS government affairs consultants John Palatiello and John Byrd, also met with White House staff. The council hosted Mathew Blum, Associate Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), Office of Management and Budget, to discuss strategic sourcing of A/E/S/M services through QBS contracts, awarded via the “Brooks Act”, to serve multiple federal agencies. COFPES also explored a process to support individual practitioners by working with state licensing boards to secure prompt rulings on licensing requirements and scope of work questions affecting QBS compliance.

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Second Webinar Helps NSPS Members Prepare for Capitol Hill Day
To prepare members for visiting Congress, NSPS Government Affairs consultant John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. (JMP&A) conducted a webinar, "Steps to Successfully Secure a Congressional Appointment" on Tuesday, October 15. That webinar has been recorded and is available to all NSPS members, click here (audio begins at 1:45). For the preliminary schedule for the NSPS Fall Business Meeting and Hill Day, click here.

There will be another webinar on Monday, November 18 at 1:00 PM (EST). It will provide guidance on the logistics of Capitol Hill Day and a briefing on the issues to be discussed with Congress. To register for the webinar and Capitol Hill Day, click here. This training will also be presented on the evening before Capitol Hill Day, Wednesday, November 20, at 5:30 PM (EST) at the Sheraton Four Points – BWI, site of the NSPS Fall Business Meeting. To view summaries of the four issues NSPS members will discuss with their Congressmen and Senators, click here.

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NSPS Radio Hour — Nov. 11, 11 a.m. EDT
Many of the listeners of the NSPS Radio Hour will recognize the name of Jim Plasker. Some may remember him from his days at USGS, some from his time as a leader in ACSM (including a term as President and serving surveyors in ABET), some will recall his leadership in the development of the NCEES Model Law and Model Rules for Surveying, and some will remember his years as the Executive Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Join host Curt Sumner at 11 AM Eastern at for a discussion with his friend upon Jim’s recently announced retirement from ASPRS.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, 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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Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors
801 East Park Drive | Suite 107 | Harrisburg, PA 17111 | P: 717-540-6811 | |

Registration is now open for the 2014 PSLS Surveyors’ Conference!

Please join PSLS in Hershey January 12-15 at the 2014 Surveyors’ Conference - our biggest event of the year!

We designed this conference to offer something for everyone - from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • For those looking to gather essential tools, or who simply want a Surveying 101 refresher, we are offering workshops in our Basic Surveying track, which addresses best practices, survey math, and legal descriptions.
  • Attendees who seek a greater challenge have several options from our Advanced Surveying tracks in GIS, GPS, ALTA/ACSM, FEMA/LOMA, Marcellus Shale and many others.
  • More adventurous participants might choose to attend our two-part Mock Trial, which is new this year and offers a glance at what surveyors might experience in a court room.
Also, remember to join us for Monday evening’s keynote address by internationally-renowned surveyor, David Doyle, retired chief geodetic surveyor, National Geodetic Survey, NOAA.

While we have a clear focus on continuing education with our 33 diverse workshops, there is ample opportunity to network with colleagues and mingle with exhibitors, many of whom will be showing off the latest in technology and equipment. Whether attending for four days or one, we hope you make the most of every minute and walk away with beneficial knowledge and new friendships that help you achieve your personal and professional goals in the surveying industry.

Thank you for supporting PSLS and we hope to see you at our outstanding conference in 2014!

Register Now!

CE Approval from DE, NJ, NY: PSLS has submitted all workshops to the Delaware, New Jersey, and New York registration boards for continuing education credit approval.

Exhibitor/Sponsor: Opportunities available here.

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NSPS Apparel through Lands End
Click here to order directly from the NSPS Lands End eStore.

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Looking for a Job?
NSPS website links to job opportunities.

Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at

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Upcoming Seminars/Conferences
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society
Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers
New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors
Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors - TSPS Annual Convention and Tech Expo, Arlington, TX - October 30 - November 2, 2013
Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors - 46th Annual Meeting, November 1, 2013, Saint Clements Castle, Portland, CT - Keynote Speaker – Wendy Lathrop
For more information contact Kathy Kurland

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US circuit court decision broadens requirement for warrants in GPS-aided searches
Inside GNSS
A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recent decision to suppress evidence in a criminal case obtained by placing a GPS-based tracking unit on a suspect's van appears to strengthen the requirement for police to obtain warrants before taking such measures. Written by Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., the decision in the case of three Maryland brothers arrested in connection with burglaries of local pharmacies could put the issue back in the lap of the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Apple, Android or Windows? A tablet buying guide
Vancouver Sun via GIS User
When Apple launched its first iPad, some skeptics predicted it would be a bust. Less than four years later, Apple announced the latest updates to its iPad lineup that not only thrived, it launched an entire tablet market. The analyst firm IDC predicts this quarter more tablets will ship than desktops and laptops combined and by 2015, tablets are expected to outpace PCs in annual shipments.
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'GIS is not as simple as it used to be'
Directions Magazine
By Thierry Gregorius: As part of my job in the global energy industry I meet a lot of geoscientists. Highly passionate about all aspects of earth science, they're geologists, geophysicists, or environmental scientists. They use GIS daily but don't consider themselves to be GIS professionals any more than they are Excel or software professionals. For them, GIS is a means to an end.
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Putting the (ultra-low) power in GeoFence
GPS World
Users of smartphones, tablets, and other devices expect position with the highest level of accuracy, always available, with the least amount of power consumed. One recent improvement fulfilling this demand involves operating-system services for location on smartphones, and the evolution towards lower power solutions.
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News & Views
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Dennis Hall, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2656   
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