NSPS utilizes questionnaire to set legislative agenda
Would you like to help shape the NSPS legislative agenda before the U.S. Congress?
NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John M. Palatiello and Associates, with assistance from Flat Dog Media, the NSPS media relations firm, has prepared a questionnaire to inquire of the society's members on their perspectives for establishing a federal legislative issues agenda for surveyors for the coming year. The poll closes on April 9. To participate in this exercise click on this link.
Rhonda Rushing (Berntsen International) has donated five copies of her popular book entitled "Lasting Impressions" to be given to five respondents to the questionnaire. The drawing for winners' names will be at random.
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NSPS members qualify for discount at QBS workshop
COFPAES, of which NSPS is a member, will host a one-day workshop on the qualifications based selection process for Federal procurement or architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping services on Tuesday, May 14, at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. There is a discount for NSPS members at $215, compared to the non-member price of $265. This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-instructed workshop will review the background of the qualifications based selection process for procurement of professional services. Topics covered will include the principle requirements of the Brooks Act and similar state laws, and provide details on all phases of implementing a successful contracting process, including acquisition planning, scopes of work, public notification, full and open competition, evaluation and selection, negotiations, contract award, contract management and administration. It will also cover traditional design-bid-build versus design-build.
New Hampshire legislature grounds 'drone' bill
The Associated Press via SeacoastOnline.com
A bill that would have prohibited certain aerial imaging of a residence from the air was tabled in New Hampshire state house by an overwhelming 278-87 margin.
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A federal surveying and mapping administration?
In discussions about geospatial governance and organization, a comprehensive 1973 OMB Task Force report is often mentioned. Some have commented that one can substitute 2013 for 1973, and the report still reads as current and relevant! Heretofore, the report has not been available digitally, and hard copies are scarce. USGS graciously agreed to digitize the report and it is now available at http://archive.org/details/FederalMapping00n. The Internet Archive actually offers multiple versions for viewing and download, including a version for Kindle.
Sen. Grassley comments on FCC chair's departure, LightSquared
Sen. Charles Grassley
Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a harsh critic of the Federal Communications Commission's handling of the LightSquared application, has offered some pointed comments on the departure of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the LightSquared debacle.
FGDC plan for NSDI
NSPS Government Affairs representatives John Byrd and John Palatiello recently participated in a planning session of non-federal stakeholders for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The Federal Geographic Data Committee has published a meeting recap and information on the revised plan.
Geography education bill introduced in U.S. Congress
H.R. 822, the "Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act" has been introduced by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. It improves and expands geographic literacy among kindergarten through grade 12 students in the United States by improving professional development programs for K-12 teachers offered through institutions of higher education.
'GPS Act' reintroduced in House, Senate
The "Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act," S. 639 by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and H.R. 1312 by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has been reintroduced in the 113th Congress. The bill requires the government to show probable cause and get a warrant before acquiring the geolocational information of a U.S. person, while setting out clear exceptions such as emergency or national security situations or cases of theft or fraud; Applies to all law enforcement acquisitions of the geolocational information of individual Americans without their knowledge, including acquisition from commercial service providers as well as from tracking devices covertly installed by the government; Prohibits commercial service providers from sharing customers' geolocational information with outside entities without customer consent.
California launches GeoPortal to improve access to valuable geographic information
The California Technology Agency launched the California GeoPortal, an interactive and user-friendly gateway to thousands of geographic data sources around the country. "California's new GeoPortal organizes important geographic data and makes it more accessible and useful," said Secretary Carlos Ramos. "This innovation increases government transparency, boosts efficiency and saves the State money."
Surveyor/author offers rewards for lessons learned from novel
New Jersey Professional Land Surveyor Don Ackermann feels so strongly that his new book, "The Three Keys," contains valuable lessons about elevating the surveying profession in the eyes of the public that he is offering a reward to the three individuals who best articulate how well the book achieves its goal.
The competition is open to all licensed surveyors and those pursuing a career in land surveying. In 400 words or less (one 8 1/2 x 11 inch page) entrants must tell the author what they learned about land surveying and about being a good surveyor after reading "The Three Keys." Writing ability will be secondary to the substance of the responses. The author encourages the entrants to "not be afraid to voice your opinion just because you're not Stephen King."
The closing date for entries will be June 30, with awards made by July 31. Grand prize, $500; second place, $300; third place, $200. By entering the competition, winners agree to the publication of their entry in the NSPS News & Views newsletter, and on the NSPS website (if NSPS so desires). Send entries to email@example.com.
"The Three Keys" can be purchased online at the following bookstores:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-three-keys-don-ackermann/1109739723?ean=9781456747206&itm=1&usri=the+three+keys
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
IGS launches real-time service
The International GNSS Service, a worldwide federation of agencies involved in high-precision Global Navigation Satellite System applications, has announced the launch of its Real-Time Service. The RTS is a global-scale GNSS orbit and clock correction service that enables real‐time precise point positioning and related applications requiring access to IGS low latency products.
Lawmakers propose dozens of UAS, location privacy bills
It's spring, and privacy proposals are popping up in abundance, threatening to complicate the lives of law enforcement officers, spoil the landscape for some location-based businesses, and choke off the U.S. market for commercial unmanned aerial systems before it gets off the ground.
New app compiles satellite database, allows users to request images from space
A new app from Southern Stars for Apple devices allows users to access a complete database of spacecraft orbiting Earth. For $2.99, the Satellite Safari app features a number of views of the spacecraft such as from Earth, from above the Earth or right next to the orbiting satellite with the sun's lighting at the correct orientation. At the orbital view, users can zoom in to see details of the satellite, or rotate the image to see it from any angle.
Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of News & Views, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NSPS, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.