As 2013 comes to a close, NSPS would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of News & Views a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 8.
The Final Point
By Frank Lenik
From Sept. 4: I used to joke with my wife that when I died, I wanted a geodetic marker set at my grave so that I could continue to be of service to my profession. I reasoned that my friends would come to visit me and it had the added benefit that I could keep an eye on projects in my neighborhood. I went so far as to pick out a plot in the Egg Harbor City Cemetery. It was on top of a hill along a county road with long sights in both directions. My wife was not amused however, when I suggested that she needed to be buried on the far side of the cemetery to provide the location for the azimuth mark. But whose wife ever laughs at their husband's jokes?
Labor Department responds to NSPS, narrows Davis-Bacon impact
From Dec. 11: The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has finally responded to NSPS, providing clarification of its policy on application of the Davis-Bacon Act to survey crews. The letter provides a narrowing of the impact of the Davis-Bacon law on surveying contracts and subcontracts by Federal agencies and recipients of Federal funds.
NSPS is reviewing the Labor Department's response and developing follow-up strategies to assure a Federal policy that maintains the professional image of the surveying community, assures that surveying technicians receive a fair, market-based rate of pay, and minimizes the burden on surveying firms.
NSPS earns more national media attention
From Aug. 28: The NSPS effort to rescind the Labor Department's ruling that survey technicians are "laborers and mechanics" subject to the "prevailing wage" requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act continues to attract national attention. A report on the issue is included in the August edition of Labor Watch, a newsletter published by the Capital Research Center, a Washington, DC based watchdog group.
Harbinger sues GPS industry over LightSquared
From Aug. 14: Investors led by Harbinger Capital Partners have filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit against a trio of GPS receiver manufacturers over LightSquared, a now bankrupt firm that still hopes to build a wireless broadband network across the United States. The investors are seeking compensation for losses incurred when the Federal Communications Commission denied LightSquared permission to build its wholesale wireless broadband communications network.
From Nov. 6: When the ACSM Bulletin magazine was still in publication it included a column call "ALTA/ACSM Standards." In the column, Gary Kent, who is Chair of both the NSPS ALTA/ACSM Committee and the joint ALTA/NSPS/Lenders Council Committee, responded to questions raised about some aspect of the standards. NSPS has reinstated this column in ANSPS News & Views on a regular (if not weekly) basis.
I have a question about ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys for sites that are rapidly changing, i.e. under construction. We are surveying a property that was formerly a large retail store – it was demolished this summer, along with much of the parking lot. Our client’s corporate requirements require an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey, and they are asking for it now. But at this point, the site is now basically a dirt field at sub-grade, with some curb starting to be built for the new parking lot. For the land title survey, should we “back-date” the survey and show the improvements/conditions that existed before demolition? (We do have that information). Or should we just try to map the site as it exists now, and treat it as a current ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey based on conditions at the site on the day of survey?
NSPS 2013 Map/Plat Design Competition Results
From June 5: 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
Did you know that the CST Program is recognized by the Department of Labor?
The surveyor and the tree: Part 1
The American Surveyor
From Jan. 30: In the first installment of this two-part article, we will investigate the two principal distinctions found in tree law and how they would apply to your client's particular situation. When is a tree not a tree? It could be when you are sitting in the lobby outside the courtroom (with pocketbook $5,000 lighter, covering the deductible), sitting and thinking about the last three years wasted over some trees.
Who owns your survey data?
Point of Beginning
From March 6: In a digital age when projects routinely generate vast amounts of data that can be readily repurposed, the question of who owns the data becomes increasingly important. We may not necessarily be thinking about data ownership when we prepare our survey contracts, but one way or another it is addressed. Typically — and maybe by default — survey contracts assign virtually all ownership rights to clients.
NSPS ALTA/ACSM Committee Chair Reports on Express Map
From May 8: In an article recently published in The American Surveyor magazine, Gary Kent provided a summary of recent activities related to the issue generated by inquiries from the surveying community related to what appears to be an increase in the use of the First American Title Insurance Company product known as Express Map. To view Kent's report, click here.
How can drones transform surveying?
Point of Beginning
From Aug. 21: During the past 50 years, surveying and engineering measurement technology has made five quantum leaps: the electronic distance meter, total station, GPS, robotic total station and laser scanner. Unmanned aircraft systems or drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles) will be the sixth quantum leap in technology. Although drones have been around for awhile, the technology has not yet been widely used in the surveying and remote sensing professions.