Advice for National Surveyors Week Activities
From David Doyle
Surveyors should be encouraged to download DSWorld from
NGS. One of things that works inside of this program is a GEOID12A accuracy map which shows the areas where the geoid model is the most challenged (a piece is posted below). Those who plan to participate in this effort should try and find an existing 1st- or 2nd-Order NAVD 88 bench mark that has not previously been GPSed and submitted to NGS and especially in the areas that are more yellow/orange on the map. DSWorld also allows them to access the vertical control in the NGS database by country and be displayed against the map so where those marks might be is easier to estimate. Of course that doesn't mean the marks are still there and/or are good for GPS. There is a nice webinar that describes many of the features of DSWorld. This webinar was presented before the geoid map was available but none the less is a very good overview of the numerous applications available in the program.
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NSPS to Assist NGS
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner, NGS Director Juliana Blackwell, and Acting NGS Geodetic Surveys Division Chief Ross MacKay have communicated recently regarding an offer of assistance from NSPS as NGS develops outreach and education strategies for the implementation of its new datums to replace the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). News and Views will keep readers advised as the projects proceeds. Read NSPS letter to NGS.
NCEES Member Licensing Boards Sign MOUs with JPEC
The state licensing boards that regulate the practice of engineering in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Texas signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Japan PE/FE Examiners Council (JPEC) on December 18 in Tokyo, Japan. The MOUs allow for those who have successfully completed NCEES licensing exams in Japan to seek licensure as a professional engineer, or P.E., in the three U.S. states. Read more
ASCE Opposes Survey Crew Classification Under Davis-Bacon Act
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has adopted a policy resolution supporting the NSPS position in opposition to the Davis-Bacon Act. The resolution puts ASCE on record that it "opposes any effort by the Labor Department to consider an expansive definition of the terms 'laborers or mechanics' to include professional surveying crews within the coverage of the prevailing wage determinations of the Davis-Bacon Act."
GAO Outlines Private Sector Roles in Flood Insurance
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a series of reports on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). One report outlined roles the private sector can play in the FEMA flood insurance program. The report discussed the role of flood mapping in the government insurance program and pointed out opportunities for the private sector in surveying and mapping data not collected by FEMA if the private insurance market was involved in protecting against home and business owner flood risks. Progress made on contract management within the NFIP. GAO-14-35 discussed cost increases in the U.S. Corps of Engineers flood control projects while improving communication with nonfederal sponsors. Meanwhile, a bill to make revisions to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is stalled on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Did you know that CST Program participation is required by some DOT contracts across the U.S.?
NSPS Lobbyist, Congressional Candidate Discuss Surveying
On January 27, NSPS government affairs consultant John "JB" Byrd met with Bob Fuehr, a candidate for the U.S. Congress from the 4th District of Utah. While discussing his engineering and small business background, Fuehr highlighted a role he played using GPS equipment while helping out a local surveying project. He is running to fill the House seat held by retiring Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT).
NSPS Government Affairs Program Presented to Oregon Surveyors
On January 22-23, NSPS government affairs consultant and registered lobbyist John "JB" Byrd made presentations to the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO) conference Salem, OR. Byrd emphasized the importance of professional surveyors building and maintaining relationships with their Congressional Delegation, taking an active part in outreach and participating throughout the political process while emphasizing the most relevant issues, bills and regulations impacting the surveying professional before Congress and Federal agencies.
FIG Young Surveyors
After the successful 1st FIG Young Surveyors (YS) European Meeting held this past October in Lisbon, Portugal, in which 150 young surveyors from 32 countries attended, the FIG Young Surveyors Network is organizing the 1st FIG Young Surveyors North American Meeting.
The meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2014 California/Nevada Surveyors Conference and the annual NSPS Student Competition at the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego. The YS meeting will be held April 14-15. Stay tuned for more information.
Surveyors' Stories Sought for Publication
David Mann, Licensed Land Surveyor/NH-VT, is the Editor for the New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association magazine, The Benchmark. David is seeking to include in an upcoming edition of the magazine a series of short stories regarding surveys, land, clients, surveyors or others which are of a humorous, interesting, scary, embarrassing, dangerous, weird, etc. nature.
Even though David had originally planned to include the stories in the upcoming edition of the magazine, he would still like to receive yours for future publication.
The story can be a quarter page, half page, or a whole page at your discretion.
Please contact David at email@example.com to express your interest in providing a story for The Benchmark. As David says, "May the words press themselves from your mind to the page like snow falling to the ground on a cold winter's day."
NSPS Election Ballots Due by February 14
NSPS staff has mailed ballots for the 2014 NSPS elections to all current NSPS members whose membership category includes voting privileges. In order for ballots to be included when the Tellers Committee convenes to count votes, the return envelope (which was enclosed in the envelope in which the ballots were mailed) must be postmarked no later than February 14, 2014.
Members who are joining NSPS for the first time through the joint membership program between their respective state society and NSPS will have received a ballot if their dues and contact information was provided to NSPS prior to the ballot mailing list having been created.
NSPS Radio Hour — Feb 3, 11 a.m. EDT
Be sure to join host Curt Sumner and his guest.
If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, listen to the archive of the show at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Job Opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.
Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at email@example.com.
Due to the volume of requests we received to publish information about State Society conferences, use this link to access the information from the NSPS website.
GIS industry and license misuse: Should you care?
GIS vendors, both software and data providers, should be aware that their offerings are ripe for misuse. And all the locking and copy prevention technology available will not stop this. Misuse happens when an organization without proper licensing, uses products to perform commercial services for a third party, either stand-alone or as part of a greater solution. Nearly all End User License Agreements prohibit this type of use.
10 things you should know about online GIS/geospatial education
Online education is hot. Students and professionals from all fields, from all over the world are putting a toe or a full foot into these new educational opportunities. Sitting in your office or a coffee shop with your laptop and a headset may not be how school used to be, but it's part of today's education landscape. But fear not, there is still a community of students that typically engage with each other and the instructor, just in new and different ways.
What are the Top 10 existing and emerging disruptions brought on by advancing geospatial technology?
Sensors & Systems
We are decidedly in a period of rapid technology disruption, as reinforced by a discussion this week at the World Economic Forum on "The New Digital Context." World technology leaders are concerned by the economic repercussions of companies that don't quickly embrace these new technologies to develop a more services-oriented approach to their customer base. Those that don't keep up are bound to shed jobs with local as well as global repercussions.
New geospatial app tracks threats from natural hazards
Spar Point Group
Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes and wildfires. Any one of them can really ruin your day. Good thing, the Interior Department updated its natural hazard web-based application to let the public monitor and analyze events in real-time with online maps. It's called the Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System. Also intended for federal, state and local emergency management communities, the website presents information in an integrated geospatial view.