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ALTA/ACSM question
NSPS
Question:
In Item 6 of Table "A" of the current ALTA Standards pertaining to current zoning classification, both 6.(a) and 6.(b) contain the phrase "as provided by the insurer." How is it that the insurer provides the current zoning classification. Almost always the zoning is set by the city/county in which the project is located. Could you please explain?

Response:
The "insurer" isn't expected to determine the zoning classification. They are tasked with finding the correct/current zoning classification for the property and providing the information to the surveyor. Their research could include determining whether there has been an alteration to the zoning for the subject parcel by some action/decision/etc. that is not evident from the zoning map.

As with all Table "A" items, the surveyor is expected to discuss Item 6 with the client/decision maker who is requesting that it be addressed in order to define their respective responsibilities. It may be necessary for the client/decision maker to hire a zoning consultant to adequately provide that information.

The ALTA/NSPS Committee for the Land Title survey requirements is including Table "A," Item 6 among those items that are to be clarified in the 2016 version.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Geophysical Techniques, Inc.

Our software offers the best in surface gridding, displays and editing to geological and geophysical professionals. The technology used in both GTEDIT and GTGRID consists of a set of procedures and data structures developed over many years that enable the creation, editing and displaying of gridded surfaces in a very efficient yet flexible manner. MORE
 


NSPS Radio Hour — Oct. 27, 11 a.m. EDT
NSPS
The discussion about the role of surveyors in GIS, and the role of GIS in surveying, has been ongoing for several years, often in a heated manner. Join host Curt Sumner as he welcomes Gary Kent and Bruce Joffe to discuss the current dialogue that is taking place.

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 quikstakescontest@americaswebradio.com 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.

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Ask Vic Column, October 2014
NSPS
Victor O. Schinnerer & Company, Inc.

Question:
I own and operate a small surveying firm. A longstanding client has revised their standard contract and has changed the contract so that the owners of the firm are also personally responsible for any liability that may result from the contract. I was wondering how this impacts me as an owner and my professional liability policy.

Answer:
Surveying firms face perils from many sources. In most cases, clients are the greatest source of risk. That risk is often focused on a cost, loss, or damage caused by the firm’s negligence during design or some other professional activity. However, business risks are also common. All potential reasons for concern should be examined to determine whether they are insured or uninsured exposures.

Your professional liability insurance coverage applies to claims from clients or others if the underlying cause of the claim is based on a wrongful act or omission by the insured in the performance of professional services. Insurance does not cover all the risks of a licensed surveyor in private practice; wrongful acts or omissions in the operation of a company that provides professional services are business risks. Of course, every professional liability policy has a maximum it will pay out on behalf of a firm during a policy year.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
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BLM selects Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada
NSPS
Mike Harmening has been announced as the Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada, officially effective Monday, November 3rd, 2014. He will report for the position on Monday, October 20, 2014.

The announcement by BLM states that Mike brings tremendous knowledge and experience in Cadastral; Records Legacy; GIS; and Title Records. He, too, has an extensive background in Native Corporation allotments/surveys and the legal processes that can surround them.

The Nevada Cadastral Chief has, and continues to be, asked for survey/boundary/title/status expert testimony in Department of Justice litigation. Mike is quite aware of the Authority this position possesses and the importance it holds to facilitate BLM actions.

BLM records have been an item of contention over the last few years in regards to accuracy, availability, and accessibility. BLM Nevada has for several years now, taken a leading role in the creation, maintenance, security, accessibility, and archiving of official federal records. Mike's background in records administration will be an asset to Nevada's Records Legacy.

The announcement was provided by David D. Morlan, current Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada.

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Texas society affirms vote for joint membership with NSPS
NSPS
During its Board of Directors meeting in Houston last week, the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS) affirmed its commitment to participate in the 100 percent joint membership program with NSPS, beginning January 1, 2015. TSPS becomes the 46th state society to finalize language for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is associated with the joint membership program. The Society of Land Surveyors of Iowa (SLSI) and NSPS are currently in discussion regarding the wording of their MOU for the joint membership program. It is anticipated that the SLSI/NSPS document will be finalized by the end of 2014, which will make SLSI the 47th state society in the program.
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Report to NSPS on TMAC Meeting, 9/30/2014-10/01/2014
NSPS
Wendy Lathrop, PLS, CFM is the representative on the FEMA Technical Mapping Advisory Council. Recently, the official minutes from the first meeting of that group were printed in NSPS News & Views. The following is a report on that meeting directly from Wendy:

The first face to face meeting of the TMAC convened at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, after the administrative conference call meeting on September 10 had addressed the guidelines, requirements, ethics training, and paperwork filing for "Government service employees" (which includes TMAC members even though we are not compensated).

To provide TMAC members a common footing and background, FEMA staff made a number of presentations to provide an overview of various operations and current procedures regarding the mapping program. TMAC members asked a range of questions after each of these presentations, during which our various interests and different experiences became clearer — an important part of the committee getting to know each other as well as getting a better grasp on the scope of tasks assigned us by Congress in the Biggert Waters Act and Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

While this TMAC is expanded from the first one, it is interesting that only 5 of the current 18 members are employed in the private sector, with the others coming from various local, state, and federal agencies. This brings a very different flavor to the group (the first much smaller TMAC was predominantly private sector employees). Hopefully, however, this can bring greater insight into how the NFIP can better coordinate activities and data sharing between sectors.

Another change from the prior TMAC is that the first was a five year commitment by federal statute, and members served that entire term (with only one replacement). This time the statute does not prescribe duration, and FEMA has decided that members will serve assigned 1- and 2-year terms, which may be renewed. My assigned term is for two years. At this meeting we elected John Dorman of NC (with whom I served on the National Academy of Sciences committee several years ago to create the report "Mapping the Zone") as our first Chair. He asked us all to rank our interest in serving on subcommittees addressing each of the 10 broad Congressionally assigned responsibilities as high, medium, and low in order to be able to put us each on 3 committees most closely matching our main interests. Somehow on the first cut I was assigned to 7 committees (!!!), which will need to change if I'm to have a life, so I can't yet report which three I will finally end up on out of that overload.

We will be meeting every two months as a Council, with subcommittees addressing the Congressional charges will interact more often. We are currently working on setting a November meeting date for the overall TMAC, date and place to be announced. Meanwhile, look for TMAC announcements and information on FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-flood-hazard-mapping/technical-mapping-advisory-council.

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NSPS stolen equipment registry
NSPS
You may not be aware that NSPS offers a registry for any NSPS member to use for listing stolen equipment, and for members to check if they are approached to purchase equipment from unknown sources. Anyone wishing to utilize the NSPS registry can access it by using the link, http://www.nsps.us.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=676&parentID=525&nodeID=2.
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Congressman to speak to NSPS leadership
NSPS
A reminder that Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) will speak at the NSPS Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, October 23, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center, Overland Park, KS. Rep. Yoder's remarks will be at the NSPS Fall Meeting being held in conjunction with the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors & Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors Bi-State Joint Conference. Rep. Yoder was a leader on legislation that sought to prevent GPS spectrum from interference that would have resulted from a system proposed by Lightsquared, and has pushed for improving the Real Property Profile, the General Services Administration's inventory of land and buildings owned by the Federal Government.
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Trillions for infrastructure available, Bloomberg News reports
NSPS
There are trillions of dollars in potential investment in U.S. infrastructure waiting to be invested, Bloomberg News has reported. Members of the Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS) heard Rep. John Delaney (R-MD) discuss how to access and leverage those funds for roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems, airports, schools and energy systems in his keynote address at the MSS Fall Conference in Gaithersburg, MD. Delaney is the sponsor of H.R. 2084, the "Partnership to Build America Act of 2013," which he said will create a demand for surveying services and jobs for surveyors.
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3DEP needed for Alaska aviation
NSPS
The Washington Post featured a front page story on the need for national elevation data generally, and for aviation safety in Alaska in particular. NSPS supports the USGS 3DEP program and is working with Congress to fund the activity.
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Missouri couple's $680,000 Florida beach house is built on the wrong lot
NSPS
Several national print and broadcast media reported last week that a home in Florida was built on the wrong lot. This is the second such report in recent weeks. The case of the "Innocent Survey Mistake" in Rhode Island was discussed with Bob Dahn (a Past President of NSPS) on the October 20 edition of the NSPS Radio Hour. Turns out that one was not a mistake by a surveyor at all, but instead a mistake created by a statute in Rhode Island which allows engineers to perform a "data accumulation survey."
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'60 Minutes' features surveying, mapping
NSPS
The popular CBS television news magazine program, "60 Minutes" featured a story on October 19 on gold mining in the Yukon Territory in Canada, near the Alaska border. The broadcast included details on surveying, topographic mapping, GIS, and UAV services employed by the prospector.
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Geospatial coordination bill clears PA legislature
NSPS
After several years of effort by surveying, mapping and GIS groups in Pennsylvania, a bill to create a geospatial coordination council has passed the state House and Senate in identical form, and is now on Governor Corbett's desk. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation, making Pennsylvania one of the last states to establish such a council.
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Employment opportunities
NSPS
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.

Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at jhohol@gmail.com.



Upcoming seminars/conferences
NSPS
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.


Galileo team raced to respond following FOC launch
GPS World
On Sept. 27, the first two Galileo Full Operational Capability satellites were handed over from the European Space Agency's Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to the Galileo Control Centre, Oberpfaffenhofen, which will care for them pending a final decision on their use. The satellites, launched on Aug. 22, are in excellent health and working normally.
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Making location work for smart cities — the case for location standards
Directions Magazine
The OGC's chief engineer, George Percivall, believes there are a few relevant trends in "smart cities" and identifies the importance of open location standards to any smart city undertaking. Smart cities, as we will explain further below, exhibit "close collaboration between public, private and voluntary sector," as well as a high availability of technology and information to citizens.
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Hundreds of uncharted cities will get maps thanks to crowdsourcing
Fast Company
Despite massive advances in cartographic technology over the past decade, a huge number of large cities around the world remain digitally uncharted territories. Places from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city with a population of 4.4 million, to Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a population of 15 million, lack online street maps. This isn't just inconvenient, but dangerous.
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Army funds GPS M-code upgrades as NATO tackles interoperability problems
Inside GNSS
Pushed by Congress to upgrade to M-code, the U.S. Army is earmarking money for the new capability even as sequestration is forcing programs cuts, according to the service's top acquisition official. "We are heading towards the M-code capability," said Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology.
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News & Views

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Dennis Hall, Executive Editor, 469.420.2656   
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