Economical land surveying and land development software for land surveyors, engineers, architects and construction.
Digital Coast Act to be introduced in US Senate, lead Republican cosponsor needed
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has delayed introduction of the "Digital Coast Act" in the U.S. Senate in order to garner more co-sponsors. Already adding their name to the bill are Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Sen. Baldwin has specifically asked NSPS members to contact Republican Senators from coastal or Great Lakes states and urge them to co-sponsor the bill. As noted during the June 30 NSPS Radio Hour with NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John Byrd, members are urged to contact your Senators NOW and request they cosponsor the Digital Coast Act. Call or email your Senators and/or their staff today. View a short NSPS video message on the legislation.
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Click Here for Map of Active CSTs by State
Labor Dept. seeks comments on minimum wage proposal for federal contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking public comments for a proposed rule, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors. This rule, which implements Executive Order 13658, increases the hourly minimum wage for Federal contractors, subcontractors and their workers to $10.10 per hour, beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 12, 2014, Executive Order 13658 seeks to raise the minimum wage for products and services performed by parties that contract with the Federal Government. As required by the Order and to the extent practicable, the proposed rule incorporates existing definitions, procedures, remedies and enforcement processes under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act. Comments must be received on or before July 17, 2014.
Surveyors, geospatial professionals to find overseas business at exporting conference
Geospatial & Engineering International Conference, a two-day conference to be held Sept. 25-26 in Alexandria, Virginia, will feature organizations that finance, procure, coordinate and manage surveying, geospatial and engineering projects outside the United States. Officials from agencies and non-governmental organizations will discuss their programs, budgets, requirements and procurement procedures for engineering and geospatial services. NSPS members receive a registration discount. Register today.
NSPS Executive Director meets with Congressman, "Son of a Surveyor"
NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner met with U.S. Representative Pat Meehan (R-PA) on June 25. In a meeting arranged by NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd, the 7th District Congressman discussed how he grew up with an appreciation for professional surveyors due to the fact that his father worked as one, specifically working as a construction estimator. While in college, Rep. Meehan "increased his awareness for accuracy in location data" as he earned money for tuition by digging manholes behind an asphalt truck during the summer. Currently serving his second term in Congress, Rep. Meehan serves on the Oversight and Government Reform, Homeland Security, Transportation and Infrastructure, and House Ethics Committees. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Meehan serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.
Curt Sumner listens intently as Rep. Meehan (R-PA) talks about the
equipment his father used as a surveyor.
NSPS PAC meets with House candidate David Rouzer (NC)
On June 25, NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner met with David Rouzer, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 7th District of North Carolina, currently held by retiring Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC). Rouzer is favored to win this open seat, and Sumner, attending the meeting on behalf of the NSPS PAC, discussed surveying issues to work on with Rouzer in the next Congress.
Candidate David Rouzer and Curt Sumner discuss the impact in North Carolina from Hurricane
Floyd, an event that led to the development of updated Flood Maps in the state.
NSPS PAC meets with House candidate Tom MacArthur (NJ)
NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John "JB" Byrd met on June 18 with Tom MacArthur, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 3rd District of New Jersey, currently held by retiring Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ). Having won his primary earlier in June, MacArthur is now focused on the November general election, where he will face Aimee Belgard (D). This district includes Burlington and Ocean Counties, including communities hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Mr. MacArthur has long been an entrepreneur in the insurance industry as well as previously serving his community as Mayor and Councilman. Once elected, he plans to promote free market policies that empower entrepreneurs by eliminating burdensome regulations and bureaucratic red tape that stifle job creation.
JB Byrd and Candidate Tom MacArthur
NSPS News & Views readers will recall a piece in the June 4, 2014 edition of the newsletter in which surveyors were asked to "Hold your fire" in reacting to a video that was posted by an Arizona newspaper in which bad advice was given to a property owner who needed to identify his property line in connection with an argument with a neighbor. NSPS member, and President of the Arizona Land Surveyors Association Central Chapter, Kent Groh had reached out to the reporter who posted the video, and she agreed to post a follow-up video and write an article to "make things right."
Through Kent, APLS leaders and NSPS worked together to provide answers to several questions the reporter posed in preparation for the article. While not exactly providing the complete context of the APLS/NSPS input, the article did give good advice to landowners regarding the proper professional, and process, for determining where their property lines lie. Unfortunately, the "follow up" video that was supposed to convey that same message wasn't as clear on this matter, and frankly came across (at least to NSPS News & Views) as, "the surveyors made us say this." No surveyors were in the follow up video.
Still, it was worth the effort to reach out to better inform the reporter (and at least her "reading" audience) on this topic. In the effort to better inform the public about surveying and surveyors, all victories are good, large or small.
What do you think you are worth?
That is the first thought that came to mind when NSPS News & Views received the link from NSPS member Kent Groh (AZ).
The Forbes Magazine article by Kathy Caprino provides good insight into some of the reasons why workers and service providers sell themselves short when it comes to earning what their efforts are worth.
Keeping the attention of young professionals
Although not specifically targeted toward young professionals (those we, the old in the surveying profession, refer to as the Young Surveyors), the linked article provides some interesting perspectives on how millennials wish to learn from the entities in which they are members.
NSPS Radio Hour July 7, 2014
As noted in the June 25 edition of the newsletter, the July 7 NSPS Radio Hour will begin a three-part series on UAVs. The first show will be an overview of general information about UAVs, as related to surveying/surveyors, presented by NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John Palatiello.
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.
NGS to restructure Geodetic Advisor Program/creates 2 new positions
Over the years, NGS and partnering host state agencies have jointly supported a State Geodetic Advisor Program, enabling full-time NGS employees to serve as in-state geodetic survey advisors to state and local professionals and stakeholders. NGS has studied the current structure and effectiveness of the State Advisor Program and will be restructuring the advisor program to improve its effectiveness and coverage. This will be accomplished through a phased shift from a "state" advisor approach to a "regional" advisor focus to ensure that every state will be represented with a Regional Geodetic Advisor by 2017. A pilot study, which created a Southwest Regional Advisor has been very successful and NGS is now adding support for two new regions (https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/373948300) covering Alaska and California/Nevada. Understanding and addressing the needs of partners in the surveying community continues to be of utmost importance to the NGS. The Regional Advisor provides guidance and assistance with managing the geodetic component of geospatial activities tied to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS).
NGS has long benefitted from contributions by the nation's surveyors to the NSRS, making it one of the world's most reliable and accessible reference systems. Continuing this relationship with the surveying community by providing training with NGS' geodetic tools and preparing users for National Datums Modernization are major objectives for the Regional Advisor program. This year's efforts by the members of NSPS on the "GPS on Bench Marks" campaign, for example, provided valuable data for improving geoid models. "Sellout" enrollment in OPUS Projects Manager's Training, a new web-based tool for surveyors, is indicative of the strong interest by surveyors to efficiently tie their project control to the NSRS. The Regional Geodetic Advisor is your point of contact at NGS, and will be there to help make the NSRS work for you.
Information on the State Geodetic Advisor program, including a current list of State and Regional Advisors is available at: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/ADVISORS/AdvisorsIndex.shtml.
Employment 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.
GPS industry breathes sigh of relief
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission convened a June 20 workshop on "GPS Protection and Receiver Performance" whose bite turned out to be far less than its bark had led some in the GPS industry to fear. The hastily assembled workshop — three weeks notice was given — appeared at first notice to derive from the call for "GPS receiver performance standards" that was one of the outcomes of the LightSquared controversy of 2012.
Commonwealth frames: Rescued archive images and maps
A collection of 1.5 million photographs, maps and other materials relating to the Commonwealth have been rescued from a defunct museum in Bristol, England. The images were taken for the Directorate of Overseas Surveys from the 1940s until the 1990s, and show communities and landscapes in 55 countries.
How NASA builds a space laser
To build a satellite that will measure all the bumps and dips of our dynamic Earth, engineers started with a black box, built of a composite honeycomb material to make it as light as possible. The structure was precisely manufactured with an opening to allow lasers to beam to Earth, and other windows sized for a telescope that will capture photons that bounce off our planet and return to the satellite.
The map of Native American tribes you've never seen before
NPR via Sensors & Systems
Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived. Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.