Economical land surveying and land development software for land surveyors, engineers, architects and construction.
NSPS Young Surveyors Network highlighted on website
NSPS staff has prominently placed a link to information about the Young Surveyors Network on the website, www.nsps.us.com. The link can be found at the top of the left navigation bar on the homepage. The leaders of the program, which began to take off during the Young Surveyors event held in conjunction with the recent NSPS business meetings in San Diego, state that it is "just getting its feet on the ground and we appreciate the fact that you are interested in helping, supporting, and just being a part of it. We are excited to see what we can accomplish together and the benefits we will bring to the surveying profession and our future." As with the FIG Young Surveyors international group, the NSPS Young Surveyors are "defined by surveyors aged 35 years or under, students of surveying or those surveyors within 10 years of graduating from a Bachelor or Master’s Degree," and the focus is to provide support for those individuals that meet the definition. However, every surveyor is welcome to join to the group to share their experiences.
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NSPS Quarterly Meeting with NGS Staff includes 'GPS on Benchmarks' discussion
On June 13, members of the NSPS Executive Committee conversed via conference call with eight members of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) staff in a regularly scheduled meeting. Brett Howe, NGS Geodetic Services Division Chief, and NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner, established the meeting schedule in order to allow for continual dialog regarding matters of importance to NSPS members, and to provide a resource for NGS in pursuing its goals. Among the topics discussed is the continuing effort related to the NGS “GPS on Benchmarks” program, and how that effort might be instrumental in assisting the purpose of the Digital Coast Act. Overall, NGS is planning to provide a "How to" document about the program for distribution to NSPS members through the NSPS outreach channels. Included in the information will be a map showing the spatial distribution in gaps that currently exist in "GPS on Benchmarks."
NGS is also planning to participate on the NSPS Radio Hour as a means of sharing information with NSPS members.
Another Colorado County Weighs in on potential Railroad Abandonment threat
Officials from Otero County, CO recently sent a letter to Cynthia Brown, Chief, Section of Administration at the Surface Transportation Board, expressing its concerns related to the apparent application by V&S Railway for a discontinuance of service on a portion of rail line, perhaps leading to an application for abandonment of a 122-mile section of track in the Colorado counties of Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, and Kiowa.
NSPS News & Views readers will recall an article in the June 18, 2014 edition of the newsletter regarding actions by Kiowa County that have at least temporarily halted an effort by V&S in that county.
The Otero County letter acknowledges that abandonment, and removal of tracks, may eventually occur, but states in its letter that it is "compelled to file a list of requirements that need to be met prior to V&S abandoning and salvaging the line." Among the items in the list is one which states, "V&S needs to survey the entire 122-mile corridor and provide plats to the counties being affected. Further, many section markers and bench marks are currently fixed on the rail line. These must be moved and reset to provide survey points for the future," the letter further states "all records regarding the railroad should be handed over to the impacted counties."
The Otero County letter was copied to the two U.S. Senators from Colorado as well as to the U.S. House of Representatives delegate for the district in which the county lies.
The actions by Kiowa and Otero counties should serve as encouragement for professional surveyors, and their representative organizations, to reach out to assist local jurisdictions facing similar situations, and to form alliances with them to pursue their mutual interest in protecting the integrity of real property and survey control markers in furtherance of their shared goals of protecting the interests of the public.
Davis-Bacon one year later: Labor Department ignores Congress
It was on July 11, 2013 that three chairmen from the U.S. House of Representatives wrote the Department of Labor asking questions and requesting documents related to the department's new policy defining members of survey crews as "laborers and mechanics," subject to the Davis-Bacon Act. NSPS has been in contact with the House Education and Workforce Committee staff, which is planning to remind the department that a full year has lapsed with a missed deadline and lack of response. Meanwhile, NSPS has confirmed with the department's Wage and Hour Division that wage determinations for survey crew classifications still have not been issued. This leaves surveyors who are employers on projects involving federal funds in a precarious, uncertain, and vulnerable position. NSPS continues its efforts to work with Wage and Hour to resolve the problems created by the issuance of AAM 212 last year.
NSPS Radio Hour — July 14, 2014
The second in a three-part series on UAVs will feature Greg Winton, Esq., The Aviation Law Firm, Annapolis, MD, discussing legal issues and requirements for UAV operations.
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.
NSPS Radio Hour — Follow up on the first in the series on UAV issues
On Monday July 7, NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner began a 3-part series on the NSPS weekly radio show featuring information for surveyors on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). During the first of the three-part series John Palatiello, NSPS federal government affairs consultant, provided an introduction to UAVs, including recent legislation, current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy, upcoming regulations, and the opportunities and challenges for surveyors. During the show Palatiello referenced the following information, a FAA Fact Sheet, the agency's UAV "Roadmap" (that specifically discusses aerial surveying as a key constituency, and FAA frequently asked questions FAQs. Also, see the article on privacy issues, written for Professional Surveyor magazine by NSPS registered lobbyist John "JB" Byrd.
Federal highway program could run out of money next month
Federal funds for states to carry out planning, design, surveying, mapping, construction, operation and maintenance of highways could run out next month if Congress does not act. This could mean a work stoppage on projects and contracts. Negotiations are underway in Congress on both a short term fix and a long term reauthorization bill.
Prospects dim for appropriations
Disagreements and political maneuvers in the U.S. Senate have slowed down work on the 12 appropriations bills to fund the government when fiscal year 2015 begins on October 1, 2014. The House subcommittee on interior appropriations is expected to consider its bill today, July 9. NSPS is pushing for funding of the USGS 3DEP elevation program.
USGS seeks geospatial program director
The U.S. Geological Survey, the federal government's leading civil mapping agency, is seeking a director for its National Geospatial Program. A vacancy announcement has been posted with an August 15 response deadline for interested applicants.
Registration open for conference on exporting opportunities for surveyors, geospatial professionals
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. Registration is now open.
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.
FAA issues first commercial UAS authorization over land
Like it or not, as a person who works with geospatial data, UAS (unmanned aerial systems such as drones and UAVs) are in your future. The upside of said technology for "quick and dirty" mapping is undeniable. GNSS plays a key role with UAS, just like it plays a key role in classical photogrammetry. In fact, UAS may even push GNSS technology into areas where it hasn't gone.
DEA probes geospatial cloud
The DEA is planning a cloud-based version of a geospatial information system dubbed eGIS, which brings together mapping tools from Google Earth Enterprise and ESRI ArcGIS mapping. Currently, the DEA is hosting the tool in an on-premise data center, but there are plans afoot to establish a hybrid cloud environment that would allow federal, state and local governments to use the DEA's mapping tool.
From pen and paper to 3-D, look who's challenging Google Maps
When it comes to creating a digital map of the world, you may think of Google workers driving around in high-tech cars mounted with cameras — snapping photos of everything. But Robert Scott walks the streets of London jotting down address numbers with nothing more than a pen and a piece of paper. Scott is with OpenStreetMap, a British nonprofit that's built a digital map of the world over the past decade with the help of volunteers around the globe.
UAV mapping of a landslide
At the end of May 2014, UPVISION, a Czech unmanned aerial vehicle and mapping company, conducted a UAV survey of a landslide on Highway D8, currently under construction near the city of Litomerice, in the northern part of the Czech Republic. UPVISION's president, Jakub Karas, explains more about the unique mapping mission using the company's hexacopter.