Monday, December 17, 2007

December articles are now online

This issue is jam-packed with more of the kind of content you have grown to expect from The American Surveyor. It was difficult to limit ourselves to just one page to capsualize the life of Silvio Bedini. A man from the old school, we always loved his sense of humor. Full of humility, he spoke with a soft voice that commanded attention. Sharp as a whip, he could recall details from decades ago. In my editorial, I discuss the current GNSS situation, and delve into the pros and cons of NSGPS. Joel Leininger continues his discussion with Gary Kent about the ALTA standards. We've decided to take the discussion out of the magazine and into this blog, so watch for future installments about this important topic. It's been awhile, but we once again have an article from the master instrument restorer, Jeff Lock. Jeff's an excellent photographer, and these images leave no doubt. I highly recommend downloading the PDF for this one just to see the images. The ProFile of Donald Todd relates a fascinating story of a ten-chain GLO blunder and the resultant mess it created along the shores of Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Again, the PDF is a must. For those who are into laser scanning, Tom Mochty, the survey manager for Woolpert details their secrets of success and best practices. A must-read for anybody who has a laser scanner or is considering buying one. California attorney and LS Lloyd Pilchen gives a great explanation of the real property law behind roads. In this issue we have not one but two reviews. The first, by the venerable Al Pepling, gives the lowdown on CST/berger's Chinese-made total station. You might be surprised by what Al discovered. The other review, of Carlson's SurvNet 5 least squares adjustment program, is by our new software and hardware reviewer, Shawn Billings. Shawn lives in Kilgore, Texas and is hard at work on future reviews. The January issue will contain a review of the new TDS Nomad. Wendy Lathrop continues her series on land development. This installment has to do with population growth: not just how many people, but where. Finally, Curt Sumner, the executive director of ACSM, writes a detailed analysis of the recent MAPPS lawsuit. All is all, this is another great issue. And remember, if you want to see the images that go with most articles, be sure to download the PDF.
In Memoriam: Silvio Bedini, January 17, 1917 —­ November 14, 2007
It is with deep sadness that we share the news of Silvio Bedini's passing with our readers and his long-time fans. A brilliant historian and decorated scholar, many instrument collectors and writers credit him for the inspiration that fueled their own passions and careers. He was born in ....Read the Article

Editorial: CGSIC
Things are rocking right along in the GNSS world, and the Civil GPS Service Interface Committee meeting is where it all comes together. It is predicted that, by 2020, six or more systems will be operating. In addition to planned or existing constellations from the United States, Russia, Europe and China, both Japan and India are well along with......Read the Article

Point to Point: ACSM Positional Accuracy
One of the disadvantages (some might call it a benefit) of arguing a topic in successive issues of a magazine is that to get the full flavor of the dialog one must keep a fistful of issues at hand, in order to understand the context of the current conversation. For that, I apologize, because that is the situation in which....Read the Article

David Rittenhouse Telescopic Theodolite
As a researcher and restorer of 18th century Colonial surveying instruments, I deal primarily with the artistically crafted surveying compass. These instruments often have beautifully executed engraving, combined with technologically advanced workmanship for...Read the Article

Did Surveyors Lie (to Avoid Alligators & Snakes)?
If you've been in the business long enough, you've probably encountered your share of tangled information and hard-to-trace footsteps. Maybe it was trying to follow in the footsteps when there were none, or maybe it was just trying to sort all the footsteps out. Surveyor Donald Todd, owner of Atlantic/Caribbean Mapping in West Palm Beach, Florida has...Read the Article

Laser Scanning: Woolpert 3D Laser Scanning
Tom Mochty, LS, is senior vice president and director of surveys at Woolpert, Inc., Dayton, Ohio. Known for developing and implementing advanced position measurement technologies for civil survey and geomatics, in the early 1990s he worked closely with technology developers to integrate GPS with....Read the Article

Roads That Come Up Short Under The Law
Before Harry Truman left home to serve in the First World War, he helped his father oversee the community's responsibility to maintain the local roads. As biographer David McCullough wonderfully tells, Truman's experiences with roads at the beginning of the Motor Age were pivotal in his path to...Read the Article

Product Review: CST/berger CST-Series Total Station
In this installment, I review a CST/berger CST-205 total station, which is targeted for the construction stakeout market. After spending some time with the CST-205, I have concluded that it is well suited to that task, and in addition, I believe it will find much wider acceptance and usage, based on...Read the Article

Vantage Point: A Balancing Act
Most articles about balancing development and open space seem to focus on a single issue: water quantity, water quality, habitat, perhaps recreation. But I recently read a "what if" article that made me think in a different way about that balance. It led to a back and forth argument in...Read the Article

Software Review: Carlson SurvNet Network Least Squares Adjustment Software
Many of today's surveyors began their careers with the chain and transit. As many of you will recall, even though electronic distance measuring technology had been around for a while, wide spread acceptance of EDM instruments did not occur until the late 1970s to early 1980s. The chain is...Read the Article

Feed Back
I enjoyed Joel Leininger's Point to Point article, "Our Insular World," in your July/August issue, but I fear that the second paragraph contradicts the first. The local idiom, without explanation, seems to be used freely in the second paragraph. To me a "bollard" is a post used to attach a ship to a...Read the Article

Surveyors Report: Reflections on "The Lawsuit"
First, let me make it clear that I am not an attorney, nor do I portray one on TV. The reflections stated herein are solely mine, and have no legal weight whatsoever. They are based on my experiences, having been brought into the discussion of this matter on a number of...Read the Article