Hotel nearly full for NSPS-MAPPS national conference, April 13-16
Time is running out to make plans to attend the NSPS-MAPPS national surveying and mapping conference, "Collaboration: The Map to the Future" to be held April 13-16 in Crystal City (Arlington), Virginia. The conference will include general sessions, an exhibit hall, and social/networking activities, including NSPS committee and business meetings. NSPS and MAPPS members will visit Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 15.
Visit www.surveyingandmapping.net for the program, registration, hotel information, sponsorships, exhibits and a call for presentations. If you have a presentation you would like to make, or session you would like to organize, please submit your suggestion or expression of interest, along with a title, 50 word abstract, and name of the presenter, to John Palatiello.
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NSPS PAC launches 'Jefferson Club', plans April 14 event
NSPS Political Action Committee (PAC) chairman Thomas W. Brooks, Jr., LS has announced the establishment of the “Jefferson Club,” a group of committed and dedicated NSPS members who contribute $500 per year to the NSPS PAC. Jefferson Club members are provided special benefits, including free admission (PAC contributor and spouse) to an event in April in Washington, DC, during the NSPS-MAPPS joint conference. That event is a special dinner on Tuesday, April 14 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC which will also include members of the MAPPS PAC “Inner Circle” and special guests from Congress.
To join the Jefferson Club, please complete the on-line form. On that form, indicate “PAC Fund” on the drop-down menu for “Fund:” and contribute $500 or more, or, send a personal check (payable to NSPS PAC) or credit card information to a member of the NSPS staff at its headquarters office, NSPS, 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704, phone: 240-439-4615.
Please make your contribution on a personal check or credit card. Corporate contributions are prohibited by law. U.S. citizens only. Contributions to the NSPS PAC are not deductible as charitable donations on Federal income tax returns. Authorized by NSPS PAC.
NSPS Radio Hour — March 9 and 16, 11 a.m. EDT
About a month ago, host Curt Sumner interviewed the two candidates for NSPS President-Elect in the upcoming NSPS election, which will be conducted electronically during March.
Those two interviews will be replayed on the March 9 and 16 editions of the show in order to provide NSPS members with another opportunity to hear from the candidates.
As before, the first of two interviews will feature Glenn Thurow, former NSPS Governor for the New Mexico Professional Surveyors, and who is developing online training materials for the NSPS Certified Survey Technician (CST) program.
The March 16 show will re-air the interview with Tony Cavell.
Tony currently serves as NSPS Vice-President, and has formerly served as the NSPS Louisiana Governor, and as Secretary of the Board of Governors, as well as Director for the Public Lands Survey System Foundation (PLSSF).
If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, 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.
Intuicom’s exclusive Base-2-Socket™ Technology lets the RTK Bridge®-X host corrections from your base station and host them on the Internet. These corrections can be accessed by up to 10 rovers over the Internet and still broadcast corrections via radio when cell coverage isn’t available. MORE
NGS to accept applications until March 10
NGS has posted on usajobs.gov the re-announcement for the position of Geodesist (Regional Geodetic Advisor - Alaska), ZP-1372-4, National Geodetic Survey, Geodetic Services Division, State Advisors Branch.
The particulars of the position are:
Job Title: Geodesist (Regional Geodetic Advisor), National Geodetic Survey, Geodetic Services Division, State Advisor Branch
Salary: $91,167.00 to $140,051.00 / Per Year Series and Grade: ZP-1372-04
Location: Anchorage, Alaska or Fairbanks, Alaska
Open Period, Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The vacancy number is NOS-NGS-2015-0021 for all U.S. Citizens:
The vacancy number is NOS-NGS-2015-0020 for federal employees:
Ngs.news mailing list
FAA formally issues UAS proposed rule, comments deadline is April 24
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has formally published in the Federal Register its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operation. The proposed rules mention "aerial photography" as an example of "possible small UAS operations that could be conducted under this proposed framework." Public comments will be accepted through April 24.
Government report focuses on funding rural water infrastructure
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has found that some rural communities had to hire consultants and engineers to help design water or wastewater projects and complete the technical documents necessary to apply for funding. This included developing preliminary engineering plans and environmental documents. Some federal and state programs pay for technical service providers which communities can use to help them design and finance their projects, and apply for funding. The nation faces costly upgrades to aging and deteriorating drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The costs of replacing infrastructure in these communities are estimated by federal agencies to be over $140 billion in the coming decades. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Funds (SRF) are the largest source of funding and assistance, receiving $907 million and $1.45 billion, respectively, in fiscal year 2014, some of which goes to rural communities. The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service provides the next largest source of funding at $485 million in fiscal year 2014. The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing February 27 on Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) issues related to small and rural drinking water utilities.
Energy Department real property data examined
From 2003 through 2013, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management, the office responsible for the deactivation and decommissioning of the agency's contaminated facilities, disposed of nearly 2,000 facilities across 19 sites in 13 states. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported DOE's ability to manage its decentralized property disposal process was impeded by data limitations and an unclear policy. DOE and EM each maintain a database that contains information on facilities that are undergoing or have completed D&D. However, neither system collects all the information DOE officials would need to effectively manage this subgroup of its real property portfolio, such as when D&D of a facility started or was completed. In addition, DOE's database, which serves as the agency's source of information on all real property holdings, is not always timely or complete, a shortcoming that limits the value to officials as a source of information for decision making. Furthermore, although DOE's policy requires that excess real properties appropriate for transfer for
economic development purposes be identified and disposed of, it does not identify what entity is responsible for these tasks or when it should identify such properties. NSPS supports the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act to provide for a current, accurate, geo-enabled inventory or cadastre of Federal land. The FLAIR Act, H.R. 916 in the 113th Congress, will soon be reintroduced in the current Congress.
NSPS discusses infrastructure with Rep. Perry of Pennsylvania
NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd met with Representative Scott Perry (R-PA). The Congressman from Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Homeland Security Committee, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Perry held his first hearing addressing recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General to improve homeland security. Rep. Perry also questioned the DHS Inspector General on findings of a recent report that unmanned aircraft systems used for border security lacked performance measures and are not being used efficiently.
STEM Geography Education Studied
Job growth is strongest in a handful of advanced industries and professions, including architecture-engineering generally, that invest heavily in research and development (R&D) and science, technology, education, and math (STEM) workers, according to a Brookings Institution report. The study could be viewed with controversy in the surveying and mapping field. The U.S. Department of Education publishes the “Classification of Instructional Programs.” It includes “surveying engineering” in group 14/engineering, but classifies geography and cartography (including geographic information science and cartography) as a social science, in group 45. The former is considered a STEM discipline, while the latter is not. Meanwhile, NSPS has learned the committee report for the Senate Appropriation Committee’s FY14 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, S.1284, which was part of the enacted “CROmnibus” bill, provides, “The Committee is concerned with deficiencies in geography education research and geography education at the elementary and secondary education levels. The Committee recognizes that a sound understanding of geography is critical to ensuring that the American workforce is qualified for jobs in geospatial technologies and other emerging industries. The Committee directs GAO to conduct a study on the status of geographic education and the ability of U.S. graduates to fill and retain skilled jobs, particularly in geospatial technologies. Additionally, recognizing fiscal constraints on States and LEAs (Local Education Authorities), the Committee further directs GAO to report on the challenges elementary and secondary schools face in providing geographic education with limited resources.”
Perspective on Brandt Revocable Trust v United States (US) (134 S. Ct. 1257)
Submitted by Brian Portwood
Have you ever wondered why compiling a truly comprehensive database of all federally held rights and interests in land within the continental United States has proven to be an incredibly difficult, if not utterly impossible, task? Is it just governmental negligence or incompetence, or is there more to it than that? Can all of the various forms of federal land rights in existence, ranging from easements to fee simple absolute title, really ever be accurately quantified? Two highly prominent industrial companies, engaged in extensive multi-state commercial business operations, thought they understood the nature of their land rights, and they made numerous deals involving land rights to facilitate their major infrastructure investments, all in reliance upon their unfortunately inadequate knowledge of federal law pertaining to land rights. In his special extended-length article, federal land rights expert and historian of land rights law, professional land surveyor Brian Portwood documents his perspective of their resulting multi-million dollar controversy. He emphasizes the importance of developing a full and proper understanding of all land rights that have their origin in federal law for the benefit of all those employed as professionals in the many branches of the title and land acquisition industry.
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.
Check out new listings:
Amec Foster Wheeler, Phoenix, AZ - Senior Field Survey Technician/Crew Chief
Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at email@example.com.
George F. Young, Inc, St. Petersburg, FL - SUE Lead Locator
George F. Young, Inc, St. Petersburg, FL - SUE Locater Technician
MD Department of Transportation, Baltimore City, MD - Transportation Engineer IV (Area Engineer)
Rowe Professional Services Company, Mt. Pleasant, MI - Project Manager - Civil Engineer
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.
Miss an issue of News & Views? Click here to visit the News & Views archive page.
Expert advice: A leap into the unknown?
A leap second will be introduced this year at 23:59 on June 30. This phenomenon comes around periodically and is necessary for keeping Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in line with the small vagaries of the Earth’s slowing rotation. Although it is an event that will pass unnoticed by the majority of people, it has implications for anyone involved in the development of GNSS-enabled devices. For some, it can be the cause of a major headache.
FCC issues new rules on E911 location standards, options besides GNSS
New rules recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help emergency responders better locate wireless 911 callers highlight the role of GPS and GNSS technologies while boosting the use of alternative positioning technologies in indoor locations.
However, the new enhanced (11 (E911) rules, adopted January 29 and published on February 4, explicitly avoided a decision on the use of GNSS systems other than GPS.
QGIS vs. ArcGIS: The rematch?
Thank you to all of you who commented and discussed my last QGIS v ArcGIS article. Many of you pointed at some of the perspective taken with the article, for example, there was mention that it wasn't fair as ArcServer wasn't tested or that the 3-D tools weren't compared. Yes, you are correct, it would be unfair to compare tool to tool. QGIS is far superior in some areas and ArcGIS superior in others, but aren't those the reasons why we choose the software?
Will the resolution and image clarity from WorldView-3 change the game for satellite-based Earth observation?
Sensors & Systems
There have been many years of anticipation for high-resolution satellite imagery that can rival the image clarity and sensing capacity of airborne platforms. This wait has now culminated with both capacity, thanks to the advancements aboard DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 satellite, as well as eased regulations. The U.S. Department of Commerce decision to allow the sale of resolution up to 25 centimeters, effectively halved the prior 50 centimeter restriction, and now DigitalGlobe is delivering.