NSPS 2013 Map/Plat Design Competition Results
NSPS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Map/Plat Design Competition, and expresses its appreciation for all who participated. NSPS also wishes to thank the judges for their dedicated efforts.
Click Here for Press Release
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NSPS Calls on Department of Labor to Rescind Action Applying Davis-Bacon Act to Survey Crews
Calling it an "affront to the surveying profession," NSPS is urging the U.S. Department of Labor to immediately rescind an action that reclassifies members of survey crews as "laborers and mechanics" under the Davis-Bacon Act.
In a May 30 letter to acting DOL Secretary Seth Harris, NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner said "we strongly object to All Agency Memorandum (AAM) 212, issued by the Wage and Hour Division on March 23. ... We object not only to the substance of this memorandum, but also to the process utilized by the DOL." To view the full NSPS news release and letter.
Meanwhile, Sumner and government affairs representative John Palatiello participated in a May 30 conference call with the professional staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to brief Congressional staff on the impact of the Labor Department's new Davis-Bacon Act policy on surveyors. A possible Congressional hearing was discussed.
NSPS to Participate in Conference on Exporting Opportunities for U.S. Surveyors
Surveyors looking to win contracts and offer their services outside the United States can gain information and practical knowledge at a "Geospatial and Engineering International Conference - Entering and Expanding Global Business Opportunities," November 13-14, 2013 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA. NSPS will be a participating organization. NSPS members will qualify for a special registration discount.
The conference will enable firms to export their services, data and products to overseas clients. It will feature agencies and organizations that finance, procure, coordinate, and manage geospatial and engineering projects outside the United States with presentations on their programs, budgets, requirements, and procurement procedures. Agencies that assist U.S. companies with exporting will inform firms of services available to assist with expansion into the global market.
Private sector professionals experienced in international business will share best practices and lessons learned. The conference will also include unique teaming, partnering and networking opportunities. Session topics will be geared toward firms that are new to exporting and those who seek to expand their international portfolio. Participating agencies, speakers and sponsors will be announced at a later date and time. Interested professionals can sign up for email information on the conference web site.
OMB Issues Policy on Federal Employee Participation in Conferences
Late last week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued new guidance to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses.
While government attendance at conferences is likely to continue to be hampered by sequestration budget cuts, OMB has stated in clear fashion that federal agencies are encouraged to attend conferences that support their agency's mission. The OMB guidance can be found here.
USGS Takes Control of Landsat 8 for Five-Year Mission
Landsat 8 began routine operations May 30 as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) took control of the latest in the long-running series of medium-resolution Earth-observation satellites from NASA, the USGS has reported.
U.S. House Begins Action on FY14 Appropriations Bills of Interest to Surveyors
NSPS government affairs representative John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc., reports the U.S. House of Representatives is beginning work on appropriations bills for the fiscal year that begins on October 1. To read more about the items listed below click here.
H.R. 2216, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act
H.R. 2217, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act
H.R. 2199, the Flood Insurance Implementation Reform Act
S.1057, the Safeguarding Privacy and Fostering Aerospace Innovation Act
A hearing will be held on June 13 in the House Natural Resources Committee on H.R. 1399, the Hydrographic Services Improvement Amendments Act of 2013. The bill reauthorizes the NOAA program to perform hydrographic surveys to reduce the "survey backlog" of 43,000 square nautical miles (SNM) of critical areas. To date, surveys of more than 28,000 SNM have been completed.
Did you know that you can invite a CST Board member to present the CST Program
at your survey meeting or conference?
Federal Agency Duplication on Geospatial Activities
The Government Accountability office (GAO) has again testified before Congress, and the watchdog agency "reported that a total of 31 federal departments and agencies collect, maintain, and use geospatial information - information linked to specific geographic locations that support many government functions, such as maintaining roads and responding to natural disasters.
OMB and the Department of Interior created a number of strategic planning documents and guidance to encourage more coordination of geospatial assets, reduce needless redundancies, and decrease costs. Nevertheless, the GAO found that the Federal Geographic Data Committee — the committee that was established to promote the coordination of geospatial data nationwide — and selected federal departments and agencies had not effectively implemented the tools that would help them to identify and coordinate geospatial data acquisitions across the government.
As a result, the agencies have made duplicative investments and risk missing opportunities to jointly acquire data. Furthermore, although OMB has oversight responsibilities for geospatial data investments, it does not have complete and reliable information to identify potentially duplicative investments. Better planning and implementation among federal agencies could help reduce duplicative investments and provide the opportunity for potential savings of millions of dollars."
Geospatial Workflows Redefining Industry Ecosystem
Sanjay Kumar, who has one of the best overviews of the geospatial world, says that surveyors in other parts of the world are more directly involved than in the US, Canada, and some Euro countries. Read his article in Geospatial World.
Lessons Learned from Near Miss
As reported by David Milligan
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INCIDENT
A concrete truck operator had finished placing concrete and was backing up to leave the area. While backing, the truck operator did not see a surveyor worker that was in his travel path. The surveyor was kneeling down to tie a boot ribbon when he noticed the truck was upon him. The surveyor quickly exited the area behind the truck and signaled the driver to stop. There were no spotters in the area.
LESSONS LEARNED and REMINDERS
The severity of this situation could have been a lot greater had it not been for the quick reflexes and situational awareness of the surveyor.
EM 385-1-1 Section 08 and 18 state:
08.B.04 A signal person shall be provided when the point of operation (includes area of load travel and area immediately surrounding the load placement) is not in full view of the vehicle, machine, or equipment operator; when vehicles are backed more than 100 ft (30.4 m); when terrain is hazardous; or when two or more vehicles are backing in the same area.
08.C.04 All barricades, warning signs, lights, temporary signals, other devices, flagmen, and signaling devices shall meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the local DOT requirements.
18.C.14 When backing or maneuvering, operators will take the applicable precautions outlined in 08.C.04. If a signal person or spotter is not used, operators will walk behind their vehicle to view the area for possible hazards before backing their vehicle.
NSPS Radio Hour on June 10 to Feature Donny Sosa, esri
Join host Curt Sumner and Donny for a discussion about the specifics of the upcoming Survey Summit, July 6-9, 2013. For more information visit www.surveysummit.com.
The Survey Summit is a unique learning and networking opportunity where the geospatial community comes together to focus on high accuracy mapping, surveying, civil engineering, and GIS technology. This event will help you stay relevant and stake your claim in the future of professional surveying.
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.
The "key question" for the June 10 show will be, "What kind of guitar do you play?"
Recent Tornados Remind Us about the NSPS Disaster Relief Fund
Click here to donate, or apply for disaster assistance.
Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors
New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors
The SaGES (Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society) colloquium is held biennially to bring together surveying and geomatic educators to meet in a friendly, relaxed environment. It is a place to discuss issues to facilitate learning and to develop a support network among fellow educators.
24th Biennial SaGES Colloquium & FIG Regional Conference
Hosted by the Partnership Degree Program in Surveying and Mapping at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, June 17-20 - http://www.tjc.edu/SaGESconference