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Action update on unified organization
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Nov. 10, during a meeting of the presidents of NSPS, AAGS and GLIS via conference call, the president of GLIS informed the meeting that GLIS was not interested in joining with NSPS and AAGS in a unified organization at this time and that GLIS would handle its affairs beginning in 2012. NSPS and AAGS agree to continue to work to develop a unified geospatial organization. More

U.S. Saws Break and Take Magnetic Manhole Removal Tool
Products’ Features: Use rare neodymium magnets that don’t wear out - Impact protection guards around the magnet - Durable aluminum handle assemblies - Storage tray for mobility during transportation; Affordable and long-lasting - Optional magnet offered for Little Lifter model for increased lifting capability - Range of models for various applications from light duty to grate removal to 500 pound lifting capacity. MORE

Illinois minimum standards of practice
ACSM Bulletin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Illinois minimum standards of practice pertaining to land surveying were "set forth to provide protection for the public and to provide a means by which professional performance of the individual practitioner can be assessed." These standards provide direction for our work and codify an idea of what is expected of a land surveyor. Their interpretation forms a good part of the surveyor's work. More

The 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival returns to Washington
ACSM Bulletin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival is returning to Washington on April 28-29, 2012. Hosted by Lockheed Martin, the festival's focus is to encourage the next generation of engineers, scientists and technologists and to increase public awareness of the importance of science and math education. More

Coalition to Save Our GPS Clips
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Nov. 14

Satellite Week's headline: "Upper 10 MHz of LightSquared Spectrum Can Never Be Used for Broadband, GPS Group Says." The article gives heavy weight to Coalition's arguments to make the upper 10 MHz of spectrum off limits to LightSquared and quotes directly from its FCC filing. "After several months of consideration, serious concerns remain about LightSquared's potential use of its lower 10 MHz of spectrum," the Coalition said in the filing. "In the interest of bringing administrative finality to the FCC's consideration of LightSquared's proposed terrestrial use of the MSS band, and for the reasons set forth herein, the Coalition respectfully requests that the Commission promptly rule that LightSquared will not be permitted to pursue high powered terrestrial ... operations in the upper MSS band in the future." LightSquared repeated its characterization of the FCC filing as "a land grab" and that the Coalition continues to say "nothing new." MORE

Communications Daily, The Hill, InsideGNSS, and Politico report on The Coalition to Save Our GPS's Tuesday filling with the FCC that seeks to permanently bar LightSquared from using the upper 10 MHz of its spectrum for high-powered terrestrial uses. From a Tuesday media call, Jim Kirkland of Trimble is quoted as saying, "What we are simply asking the FCC to do is to state definitively what many parties are saying in general and that is that the upper 10 MHz is simply not viable and terrestrial operations should not be permitted there." Kirkland also said, "There are no other bands that the FCC might consider for repurposing where there are literally hundreds of millions ... [of] receivers out in use already, embedded in critical applications. There simply are no other situations this difficult." Craig Spence of the Aircraft Owners &Pilots Association said, "I want to make it clear that this is not an endorsement of the use of the lower 10," and "Let's just take the top 10 off the table altogether." LightSquared's response included: "Today ... the coalition reiterated its old demand that it be allowed to continue to sell devices and turn a profit using adjacent spectrum for free that is licensed to LightSquared." MORE

Nov. 11

Western Farm reports that The National Association of Wheat Growers and other farm groups (the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Cotton Council, John Deere and Trimble) took to Capitol Hill this past week, holding more than a dozen meetings with members of Congress and their staffs. The groups warned that LightSquared's planned use of the wireless spectrum would disrupt GPS systems, knocking out most precision receivers, which allow for critical safety and environmental benefits and billions of dollars of savings on the farm.

In an earnings conference call, Dish Network's chairman said the company plans to use its proposed LTE Advanced network to support mobile video services, complementing its existing offerings and giving Dish Network "a seat at the table" in wireless. The Register reports that Dish is now calling on the FCC to grant it a waiver, so that the company can run terrestrial services in satellite bands, and that unlike LightSquared, Dish does not have GPS interference issues.

NextGov's headline reads, "GPS companies clash with LightSquared, each other at public meeting." Varying statements came from Javad Ashjaee of Javad GNSS, Scott Burgett of Garmin and Jim Kirkland of Trimble. Ashjaee told the PNT advisory board "We love LightSquared," and presented his own findings that showed LightSquared's towers could coexist with high-precision GPS operators. MORE

Burgess and Kirkland pointed out that they both sell devices that work on lower frequencies than Javad and therefore remain exposed to LightSquared interference. "It is almost impossible to design new products compatible with LightSquared's proposed system without knowing its technology's end state," Burgett said. Kirkland is quoted, "There is no doubt" that LightSquared causes mass interference to precision location technology.


Washington Telecom Newswire and Telecom AM quote Trimble's Jim Kirkland from a Tuesday media briefing, speaking on behalf of the Coalition:

• "What we are simply asking the FCC to do is to state definitively what many parties are saying in general and that is that the upper 10 MHz is simply not viable and terrestrial operations should not be permitted there."

• "We wanted to really clearly state our position here. By providing clarity on the upper 10 MHz, chances are improved that a solution can be worked out on the lower 10 MHz band." MORE

AV Web repeats what the Coalition told the FCC on Tuesday, that "there has been no suggestion that there will ever be an effective way to mitigate interference from its [LightSquared's] use of the upper 10 MHz without seriously degrading GPS performance." In the article, LightSquared continues to say that interference problems could be avoided if GPS manufacturers built their receivers properly. MORE reports on the Coalition's Tuesday letter to the FCC: "Without FCC action stating that LightSquared may not use its upper 10 MHz of (spectrum) in its densely deployed terrestrial network, affected users may be required to go through a time-consuming and highly disruptive transition process to accommodate LightSquared's lower band operations," the letter says, adding LightSquared would later "expend significant resources on another round of upper band testing a few years from now." MORE

Total Telecom published the Tuesday LightSquared statement dismissing as an "old demand" the Coalition's FCC filing seeking to put take the upper band off the table. MORE

Polarization: A showdown between anti- and pro-LightSquared forces
The American Surveyor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The ninth meeting of the Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing advisory board, held in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 9, was widely anticipated as a "showdown" between the anti- and pro-LightSquared forces. While the meeting scored points for both sides, it left unanswered some of the most important issues: the upper spectrum band, and who will pay. More

Role expansion in a volatile environment
Professional Surveyor Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teresa Smithson is currently a land surveyor in Afghanistan. Correction: She is currently a geospatial professional in Afghanistan. Her team is redefining the surveyors' role in this project from "technician and trade" to something far more viable. She functions as a project surveyor and survey professional. More

Taming the Red River
Point of Beginning    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the more than 200,000 citizens who live and work in the greater Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area, the arrival of spring is both welcomed and feared. The warm embrace that thaws the icy landscape often smothers the region with an abundance of moisture. Floods are common, and some are devastating. More

Interview: Connecting the dots between surveying, GIS
Vector 1 Media    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The relationship between surveying and geographic information systems is integral for the development of most spatial data applications. Accuracy and precision in measurement matter. While the numbers and types of surveying related tools for measurment has grown, they in turn must interoperate with GIS, empowering applications to deliver results. ASM editor Jeff Thurston interviewed Esri's Brent Jones to discuss the relationship of surveying to GIS. More

Federal geographic data committee launches new geospatial website
Geoplace    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal government and its geospatial partners unveiled, a prototype geospatial platform website providing an initial view of the future of user-friendly, integrated, federal data collections on common geographic maps. This prototype version of the geospatial platform combines map-based data and tools with the latest internet technologies to deliver geospatial information in a simple, understandable package. More

Is geospatial cloud computing a commodity?
Directions Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Directions Magazine conducted a survey to snapshot the current thinking among several solution providers (Esri, Ubisense,eSpatial, Accela, ERDAS) about geospatial cloud computing. The editors wanted to know if cloud computing is now considered a commodity and what additional differentiators potential users are looking for before buying solutions. More

Is it documented?
GIS User    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Documentation is one of the reasons cited for using a GIS. You know the one: "You need a GIS because Bob is going to retire one day and take all that knowledge with him." More

Profit and profession
RPLS (blog)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The engineering board in blogger Andrew Gaiennie's region that influences and decides on the qualifications for things like becoming a PE or PLS ruled that engineers who work with boundaries and land data could receive their PLS certification without the education requirements that are mandated for everyone else. While it annoys the academic community to be considered over-educated technicians, apparently knowledge of boundary surveying and leveling is the only requirement for getting a PLS in his state. More

Save the date
NSPS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fall Business Meetings
The fall business meetings of AAGS and NSPS will be held at the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg, Md. The hotel is conveniently located next door to the ACSM offices in Gaithersburg. Lobby Day will be held the day prior to the beginning of the business meetings.

News & Views
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