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Happy Thanksgiving from NSPS leadership and staff
NSPS
As this time of year when we all reflect on the things for which we are thankful, we at NSPS want to tell you how thankful we are to be allowed to serve you, and our profession.
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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
 


Mason & Dixon's original instrument being restored
NSPS
The most historically significant surveying instrument in America — Mason & Dixon's astronomical transit, used on the five-year colonial survey of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania following the French & Indian War — is being restored to its full original condition.

A masterpiece of science and technology by English instrument-maker John Bird in 1760, all that remains today of Mason & Dixon's "‘Transit and Equal Altitude Instrument," are its deteriorated telescope, trunnions and striding level. The instrument was last used in the field by David Rittenhouse and Andrew Ellicott in western Pennsylvania in 1784.

At least $25,000 must be raised from private sources to cover the cost for this restoration. A non-profit NPS support group, The Friends of Independence National Historical Park, has been trying since September to raise the money. They seek fully tax-deductible private donations from individuals and organizations. Click here for donation form.

Several professional organizations have made substantial donations, among them Surveyors Historical Society (SHS), the District of Columbia Association of Land Surveyors (DCALS) and the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE). Contributions have been coming in from surveyors all across the country, but the goal is far from met.

Once completed, the beautifully restored instrument will become part of the main public display at Independence Hall. Each donor's name will be inscribed in a large leather book to be entitled, "A Gift to the Nation," which will be permanently displayed with the transit.

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ALTA/ACSM question
NSPS
Question:
Has there been any discussion about the liability issues associated with surveyors adding a "List or Table"” on the face of survey listing the encroachments, but in doing so failing to list an encroachment in the table which is shown on the survey?

Our firm's position on this is that a "List or Table" stating the encroachments is NOT a part of the standards, and we have thus far been refusing requests to add such a table. The requests are coming from lender's counsel on nearly every survey.

Answer:
I agree 100 percent with your position.

If pushed really hard, I will provide a table of "possible" encroachments, but I will add a note that an encroachment is a legal condition, not a matter of survey and, as a result, there may be other possible encroachments affecting the property that are not listed.

For the attorney who wants to argue, I tell them that the definition of an encroachment is an "illegal trespass" — neither word of which is part of the practice of surveying — and I have no intention of getting in trouble for practicing law. That usually quiets them.

This is one of those liability issues that I would love to address in the standards, but the consensus is — correctly so — that these are practice issues, not something for the standards.

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NSPS Radio Hour — Dec. 1, 11 a.m. EDT
NSPS
Driven by the rapid evolution of digital photography and personal computing in recent years, regular cameras are rapidly changing the way surveyors work worldwide. Haim Zelikovsky, CEO of Datumate, will discuss with host Curt Sumner the revolution driven by the new generation of close-range photogrammetry software tools, allowing surveying with regular cameras and drafting of CAD plans directly on images.

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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NSPS meets with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
NSPS
With Congress having returned to Washington, D.C. for its post-election "lame duck" session, Republican senators have begun to organize their transition to being the majority party. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will begin his fourth term and is vying to be Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, having served as the ranking member since 2011. NSPS lobbyist John "JB" Byrd met with Sen. Sessions, who also serves on the committees on Armed Services, Environment and Public Works and Judiciary.
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Elevation data to be discussed at December TMAC meeting
NSPS
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Technical Mapping Advisory Council will convene in Arlington, Virginia on Dec. 4-5. Invited subject matter experts will discuss current and future possibilities regarding data acquisition, maintenance; map production; display, dissemination, and distribution; risk assessment; and risks to mitigation, as well as program performance metrics. A technical presentation on current and future LIDAR technologies for elevation data acquisition is also on the agenda.
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NSPS signs coalition letter on acquisition reform
NSPS
A letter cosigned by NSPS was delivered to leadership of the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services in support of acquisition reform in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. Design-build reform is necessary to address the uncertainty for small businesses submitting expensive technical proposals during the second step of the two-step procurement process. Procuring surveying and mapping services through reverse auctions is a direct violation of the Brooks Act and its qualifications based selection process. NSPS is working with a construction industry procurement coalition to urge the U.S. Senate to include reform provisions in the defense bill, as they were included by the U.S. House of Representatives when it passed its NDAA earlier this year.
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Government affairs report available
NSPS
NSPS is involved in a long list of policy issues before Congress and federal agencies. A report on the society's activities, prepared by NSPS government affairs consultants, John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. is available via the NSPS website. The report highlights the extent of NSPS activities in government affairs, the current status of issues, and provides surveyors valuable market intelligence on trends affecting the profession.
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P3s are key to future infrastructure projects
NSPS
Public-private partnerships are becoming a more common method by which federal, state and local governments are leveraging tax dollars and private investment to build roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure. A recent report describes how P3s are rebuilding the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
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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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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.


Unmanned exemptions requests pile up; NTSB backs commercial UAS restrictions
Inside GNSS
The number of special requests to fly unmanned aircraft commercially has surpassed 130 as firms search for a way around a federal ban on for-pay flights. The new numbers came to light the same day a court decision underscored regulators' authority to rein in the industry with restrictions unlikely to be lifted until new rules are put in place years from now.
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NGA on campaign to expand Map of the World
GCN
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awarded 10 contracts so far this year in a $1.1 billion drive to expand its geospatial intelligence programs, the agency said, as well as to supply ever more data to its Map of the World project. Contracts ranged from a $295 million award to BAE Systems to assist in the collection of geospatial data and network connectivity to a $2 million contract with MapLarge Inc. for a high-performance, search and visualization engine that can render high-resolution datasets.
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US alerts EU against giving Galileo preferential treatment
GPS World
Space News is reporting that the U.S. government has alerted the European Union that any preferential treatment the EU gives to its Galileo positioning, navigation and timing network will likely violate World Trade Organization agreements signed by the United States and the 28-nation EU.
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How US Air Force 19 SOPS puts GPS satellites in orbit
Schriever Sentinel via GPS World
It's been a busy year for members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron. As operators of the GPS launch and early orbit, anomaly-resolution and disposal system, 19 SOPS members executed a historically high number of satellite launches (four), and disposed of a legacy GPS vehicle, all within the past 10 months.
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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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