Friday, June 27, 2008

The American Surveyor July articles

Editorial: Machine Control
Electronic technology such as EDMs, total stations and data collection have radically transformed the way we work by reducing manpower requirements, enabling us to produce higher quality work in less time, and hopefully, increasing the profit margin. Technology has also made our work more ....Read the Article
Point to Point: Good Data, No Fences
In his recent commentary "Good Data Make Good Fences," that appeared in Forbes online, Peter Huber argues that technology has progressed to the point of being able to trivialize finding property boundaries and other constraints on the use of property. Boundary locations have been....Read the Article
The WowFactor: Heads-up Rod Level by SECO
In late 1999 the folks from SECO were clearing out some old imported auto-levels that had been a total disaster due to poor compensator design and manufacturing. But all was not lost. One of the cool features on the auto-level was a circular bubble that was viewed by looking straight into ... Read the Article
Stonehenge on Ice: The Story of Making a Frozen Replica
The idea to build a full scale replica of Stonehenge in ice came at the convergence of two events in the middle of the hottest mid-summer July day in Fairbanks, Alaska. I was the chairman of the 41st annual Alaska Surveying ...Read the Article
Day of Reckoning: Fatal Flaws in America's Construction Industry
Our wasteful construction industry has always been an expensive problem. But factor in a massive national deficit and the economic and safety threats caused by our aging ....Read the Article
Vantage Point: How "Hard" Must "Hardship" Be?
Our governments, whether local, state, or federal, have a certain amount of say-so and control over our real estate. All three have the power to exercise their powers of eminent domain to condemn private property for public uses, providing that just compensation is paid to ....Read the Article
RTN­101: Mounts Count (Part 13)
Reframing Reference Frameworks. There are few aspects of the subject of RTNs that are not in some way controversial; not uncharacteristic for new ideas. Before we look at mounting and monumentation options (and there are plenty of...Read the Article
Software Review: Adapx Digital Pen and Capturx for ArcGIS
It all started with Dick Tracy and his radio wrist watch. Now we have a pen that is a data collector. The Adapx digital pen is both Bluetooth-enabled and a USB device. The pen weighs just over an ounce and is about the size of an average ballpoint pen. Communication is either ...Read the Article
Software Review MicroSurvey CAD 2008
MicroSurvey CAD 2008 (MSCAD) represents the latest incarnation of their popular desktop drafting software. MSCAD is a fully integrated COGO and design suite developed for the IntelliCAD platform, specifically, IntelliCAD version 6.4. For those of you unfamiliar with...Read the Article
On Elevation Matters. I read, with interest, Wendy Lathrop's article "Insure and Regulate­Elevation Matters" [March 2008]. I agree that we, as professionals, need to advise clients about the technical aspects of developing in floodplains. That presumes we have an understanding of ...Read the Article
Surveyors Report: Doing the Right Thing
Everyone faces this dilemma: "Will I do the right thing, even if it will cost me something, or do the wrong thing, because it's easier or others do it?" When I was a teenager, my mom would ask, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" Of course it depended on how ...Read the Article

The American Surveyor June articles

Editorial: Carlson Software: It's All About Providing Choice
There are lots of reasons why I love my job, but one in particular is the macro view it provides of our industry as technology develops, and seeing it at trade shows and various user conferences. The down side, however, is that spending so much time on exhibit floors prevents me from...Read the Article
Point to Point: Our Niche of the Law
In a trial with which I was recently involved, the judge interrupted one of the attorneys in his closing arguments by saying, "Wait a minute. Are you telling me that if someone uses my property without my permission for a length of time, I can lose that property?" It's fair to say that...Read the Article
The Receding Railroads
By the mid 1920s the railroads in the United States had reached their peak with over 272,000 miles of trackage, not including double tracks, side tracks, or spur lines. The decline of the railroads began almost simultaneously with the advent and momentum gained by the ...Read the Article
Wow Factor: TDS Nomad
Mobile communications are advancing all the time. What you want to know is, "How can they work for me?" Now there are mobile phones (well, actually mobile modems) capable of nearly broadband speed levels. Some of these modems come in the form of a USB device that can be...Read the Article
Conference Review: SPAR 2008
One of the overarching themes of SPAR 2008­and, indeed, of laser scanning in general­is that the existence of a carefully constructed virtual world will enhance our use and enjoyment of the actual world. Accurate 3D models facilitate...Read the Article
Flood Modeling with FEMA's HAZUS-MH MR3 Software
Created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), HAZUS is a nationally applicable methodology for estimating potential damage, economic loss, and social impacts from disasters. In September 2007 FEMA released...Read the Article
Fresh Boundaries Bring Hope to Bugala
Setting out for a ten-day field project, the minivan carrying twelve of us with our luggage and surveying equipment bumped along for two hours on narrow, dusty, rutted out roads. We were headed for the village of Bugala in the Nakaseke District of Uganda, located approximately...Read the Article
From Service Station to Reference Station
Facing a steadily-growing workload of elevation certificates for Alabama homeowners looking to rebuild after the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, officials at Polysurveying of Mobile decided that setting up the company's own Continually Operating Reference Station (CORS) could...Read the Article
Equipment Review: ProMark3 RTK from Magellan Professional
The ProMark3 RTK is Magellan's latest precision, entry-level system, offering real-time kinematic power in a system that is substantially less expensive than dual-frequency RTK packages. The ProMark3 is a rugged Windows CE device (Fig. 1). Other than the operating system itself...Read the Article
Field Notes: Oh, What Crooked Footsteps We Follow
According to the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), boundary surveyors " and analyze all of the data gathered and reach a professional opinion as to the most probable location of the...Read the Article
Survey Reports: Preparing a Survey Report - Part 3
This is the third article in a series of articles suggesting formats and contents of a survey report. In the first article [Feb. 2008], I discussed reporting an opinion on the location of corners and boundaries. In the second article [Mar. 2008], I discussed how surveyors could...Read the Article
Vantage Point: Land Ethics
Boulder, Colorado—­home to Celestial Seasonings, the University of Colorado, the National Hazards Center, millionaires—­and possibly also land grabbers? I recently shared dinner with a colleague from Colorado, who alerted me to a case of modern day possible ethical lapses and...Read the Article