Promoting Advancement in Surveying and Mapping
nat i o na l d ebate
Why we need a national organization Toward a national geospatial voice Map errors can have dire consequences plus:
Cloud-ďŹ rst policy Digital survey maps Web mission planning Broadband
The shortest distance between two points is not a trip back to the tripod.
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www.trimble.com/trimbles8 © 2010, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Trimble and the Globe & Triangle logo is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United States and in other countries. Trimble Access is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. SUR-183
a a g s , c a g i s , g l i s , n s p s S ERVE TO PROMOTE THE INTERESTS OF GEODESISTS, CARTOGRAPHERS, GIS EXPERTS & SURVEYORS
ACSM Bulletin ISSN 0747-9417 Editor Ilse Genovese Publisher Curtis W. Sumner ACSM BULLETIN
The official professional magazine of AAGS, CaGIS, GLIS, and NSPS
American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS): Barbara S. Littell (president), Curtis L. Smith (president-elect), Michael L. Dennis (vice president), Ronnie Taylor (immediate past president), Daniel J. Martin (treasurer). Directors: Edward E. Carlson, Karen Meckel [www.aagsmo.org, 240.632.8943] Cartography and Geographic Information
Society (CaGIS): Scott Freundschuh (president), Kari J. Craun [president-elect], Terri Slocum (vice president), Alan Mikuni (immediate past president), Kirk Eby (treasurer). Directors: Gregory Allord, Jean McKendry, Robert M. Edsall, Michael P. Finn, R. Maxwell Baber, Sarah Battersby, Charley Frye
Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS): J. Peter Borbas (president), Coleen M. Johnson (vice president), Robert L. Young (immediate past president), Stacey Duane Lyle (treasurer), William M. (Bill) Coleman (secretary). Directors: David R. Doyle, Bruce Hedquist, Francis W. Derby, Joshua Greenfeld [www.glismo.org, 240.632.9700] National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS): A. Wayne Harrison (president), William R. Coleman (president-elect), Robert Dahn (vice president), John R. Fenn (secretary/treasurer), John D. Matonich (immediate past president), Patrick A. Smith (chairman, Board of Governors), J. Anthony Cavell (secretary, Board of Governors). Directors: Stephen Gould (Area 1); Lewis H. Conley (Area 2); Joe H. Baird (Area 3); Wayne A. Hebert (Area 4); Jan S. Fokens (Area 5); Larry Graham (Area 6); Jeffrey B. Jones (Area 7); Henry Kuehlem (Area 8); Carl R. CdeBaca (Area 9); Timothy A. Kent (Area 10) [www.nspsmo.org, 240.632.8950] ACSM Congress: Jerry Goodson (chair, NSPS). AAGS delegates: Daniel J. Martin (chair-elect), Steve Briggs; Wes Parks (alternate). CAGIS delegates: Doug Vandegraft, Alan Mikuni; Aileen Buckley (alternate). GLIS delegates: Robert Young, J. Peter Borbas; William Coleman (alternate). NSPS delegates: John Matonich (treasurer), Rich Barr; John Fenn (alternate). John Swan (NSPS Foundation representative, associate member); Patrick Kalen (Council of Sections Representative, associate member), John Hohol (Sustaining Member Council representative), Curtis W. Sumner (secretary, ACSM Executive Director) Editor Ilse Genovese 6 Montgomery Village Avenue, Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Ph: 240.632.9716, ext. 109. Fax: 240.632.1321. E-mail: <email@example.com>. URL: www.webmazine.org
Photography: James Wengler, PLS, CFedS, Port Angeles, WA
© 2008 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.
The magazine assumes no liability for any statements made or opinions expressed in articles, advertisements, or other portions of this publication. The appearance of advertising in the ACSM Bulletin does not imply endorsement or warranty by the ACSM Congress of advertisers or their products.
t h e a c s m b u l letin is an official publication of
American Association for Geodetic Surveying
C Agi s
Cartography and Geographic Information Society
GL I S
Geographic and Land Information Society
National Society of Professional S urveyors
N S P S F o u n d a t i o n,
NSPS Foundation, Inc
ACSM Sustaining Members Autodesk, Inc. ♦ Berntsen International Blueline Geo ♦ Earl Dudley Associates ♦ ESRI First American Data Tree ♦ Hugo Reed & Associates Leica Geosystems ♦ LIS Survey Technologies C orporation Magellan ♦ NOAA , National Geodetic Survey Professional Publications, Inc ♦ Reed Busin ess – GEO Roadway ♦ Robert Bosch Tool C orporation Schonstedt Instrument Co ♦ SECO Manufacturing Sidney B. Bowne, LLP ♦ Sokkia Corporation Surv-Kap, Inc ♦ Topcon Positioning Systems Trimble Navigation USDI Bureau of Land Management/Cadastral Survey U SDI Fish & Wildli fe Service U SDI Minerals Management Service Victor O. Schinnerer & Company
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN
A C S M
Among our contributors
w w w. w e b m a z i n e . o r g
THE PUBLISHER: The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) and its
member organizations—AAGS, CaGIS, GLIS, NSPS, and NSPS Foundation, Inc.; Sustaining Members; and Associate Councils.
R. W. G L A S S E Y (“Why we need a national organization,” p. 31) works for PLS Inc in Issaquah, Washington.<lancer.bear@ gmail.com>
N. W. J. H A Z E L T O N (“Steps toward a national geospatial voice,” p. 12), is professor of Geomatics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska. <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <email@example.com>
L A N D O N
B L A K E
(“Managing digital maps,” p. 27) is Project Surveyor, KSN, Inc., Stockton, California. <lblake@ ksninc.com>
(“Re: NSPS w/o ACSM”, p. 40 ), is ACSM Fellow, former ACSM president, and owner of Gunther Engineering of Boston, Mass. <firstname.lastname@example.org> D A V I D L. H O L L A N D (“North to Alaska,” p. 42, is Henricho County Surveyor and NSPS Governor from Virginia. E-mail: <hol25@ co.henrico.va.us>
4 ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
EDITORIAL POLICY: The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping publishes the ACSM Bulletin to provide current scientific, technical and management information in the fields of surveying, cartography, geodesy, GIS, and photogrammetry, and to communicate news on developments in the geospatial data industry of interest to the member organizations of ACSM. ACSM is not responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed in articles, advertisements, or other portions of this publication. The appearance of advertising in the ACSM Bulletin does not imply endorsement or warranty by ACSM of advertisers or their products. Submit articles, press releases, and all other matter for consideration for publication to Ilse Genovese, Editor, ACSM Bulletin, 6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. E-mail: <email@example.com>. Phone: 240/632-9716, ext. 109; Fax: 240/632-1321. RESTRICTIONS AND PERMISSIONS: Articles to which ACSM does not own rights are so identified at the end of the article. Permission to photocopy for internal or personal use may be obtained by libraries and other users who register with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) by paying $2.50 per copy per article directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA 01923. [Fee Code: 07479417/97 $2.50. © 2010 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.] This consent does not extend to copying for general distribution, advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, or resale. Other requests to photocopy or otherwise reproduce material in this magazine should be addressed to the Editor, ACSM, 6 Montgomery Village Avenue, Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Phone: 240/ 632-9716, ext. 109. Fax: 240/ 632-1321. CIRCULATION AND COPYRIGHT: ACSM Bulletin (ISSN 0747-9417) is published
bimonthly—February, April, June, August, October, and December—by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), 6 Montgomery Village Avenue, Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Copyright 2010 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. Periodicals postage paid at Gaithersburg, Md., and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to ACSM Bulletin, Member Services Department, 6 Montgomery Village Avenue, Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. MEMBERSHIP INQUIRIES: Membership Coordinator, 6, Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 403, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Ph: 240.632.9716 ext. 105. Fax: 240.632.1321. E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. URL: www.acsm.net/ membership.html. SUBSCRIPTIONS: The 2010 subscription rate for the printed publication is $100 (U.S. addresses) or $115 (foreign addresses). Subscription rates for the online version are—online only: $100 (U.S. and International); online and print: $126 (U.S.) or $140 (International). Single copies are sold to non-members at $8 per copy, plus handling and postage. Membership dues include an annual subscription to the ACSM Bulletin ($40), which is part of membership benefits and cannot be deducted from annual dues. Single copies are sold to members (U.S. and foreign) at $6 per copy, plus handling and postage. Subscriptions handled by The Sheridan Press Subscriber Services: Ph. 717.632.3535 ext. 8188; Fax: 717.633.8920; E-mail: <email@example.com>. ADVERTISING: Current advertising rates displayed at http://www.webmazine. org. Inquiries: John D. Hohol, 608.358.6511. E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. PRINTED BY: The Sheridan Press, 450 Fame Av., Hannover, PA 17331. COVER DESIGN: Ilse Genovese, ACSM, Gaithersburg, MD.
A C S M
Bulletin december 2010 no. 248
The Geospatial Revolution
10 People everywhere communicating with everyone — By Katelynn Levanduski and Marlee Kattler
National Geospatial Voice
Steps towards a national geospatial voice— By N. W. J. Hazelton
Digital Survey Maps
Managing digital survey maps — By Landon Blake
The Savvy Surveyor
31 Why we need a national organization and what it should look like — By R. William Glassey
Broadband usage growing even as gaps persist— By Joelle Tessler
North to Alaska
Beauty and adventure— By David L. Holland
official magazine of the american congress on surveying and mapping
A C S M
Bulletin de pa rt m e n t s WWW.Webmazine.org
Around the Nation
Social media and associations 8 Cloud-first policy 1 The GeoEye Foundation 17 Top 10 trends to watch in 2011 18 Moving national mapping organizations from surviving to thriving 2 Association 3.0: The “new normal” 40
Ask the Fuel Expert: Rising fuelling costs 3
2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards 8 End-of-year JGAC report 23 CST Board announces 2
Map errors can have dire consequences 21 A big permanent retweet 30 From dimensional to digital; “Intelligent Cities” initiative 34 GPS tracking apps; Game Giveaway 37 Web Mission Planning 38 Low-tech Skilcraft pens endure in a high-tech world 3
Regional and urban GIS: A decision support approach 3
Arden (Sandy) Sandsnes 20
Letter to the Editor NSPS w/o ACSM 40 on the cover
Front cover (bottom): On the shores of the Pacific Ocean at La Push, a small unincorporated community in Clallam County, Washington, located along the Quileute River. La Push is home to the westernmost ZIP code in the contiguous United States—830. (Top:) Salt Creek Park located 1 miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. Photos © James Wengler, PLS, CFedS.
THE SURVEY SUMMIT Join the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), Esri, and many of your peers from around the world for the inaugural Survey Summit. During this premier conference, you will explore the newest technology, trends, and business opportunities available for the surveying, engineering, and geospatial fields.
"UUFOEt1SFTFOUt&YIJCJU +VMZo t4BO%JFHP $" 4BO%JFHP$POWFOUJPO$FOUFS The Survey Summit will host a diverse audience and offer a high level of networking and content unparalleled by other conferences, making it the ideal arena to exhibit or share your successes. By presenting your best practices, solutions, and lessons learned, you will enrich the experience for yourself, your organization, and other attendees. For more information and to submit an abstract to present at the Survey Summit, go to thesurveysummit.com.
ACSM Copyright ÂŠ 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, and esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.
A C S M
w w w. w e b m a z i n e . o r g
In Point of Fact — —The Survey Summit 2011 wants you!
Deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to January 31st, 2011. To learn how YOU can participate in this businessto-business forum, go to http://www. surveysummit.com. Registration is already open and the program of the 2011 forum is being filled with presentations on emerging technologies [http://www.surveysummit. com/get_involved/presentations.html].
— NSPS and ALTA Boards approve 2011 ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards The Board of Directors of the National Society of Professional Surveyors approved the new 2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys during its meeting in Orlando on November 15th. The new requirements were previously approved by the Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association at its October 13th meeting in San Diego. The 2011 Minimum Standards represent the latest and 8th version of the Standards which were last revised in 2005. It is also the first major rewrite of the Standards since their initial adoption in 1962. The new Standards will become effective on February 23, 2011, at which time all previous versions will be superseded. The ALTA/ACSM Standards are nationally recognized by title companies, surveyors, lenders and attorneys as the survey standard to rely upon in conveyances of real property when extended title insurance coverage is required by one or more of the parties. The final, approved version of the 2011 Standards may be downloaded from the ACSM Web site at www.acsm.net under the “Standards” section, or from the ALTA Web site at www.alta.org/forms under the “Recently Approved for Final Publication” section.
ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
—Social media and associations: What
would my association look like if I started it today using only social tools? In their new book “Open Community” Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant suggest that the important questions to ask initially are: • What would its governance structure be? • Would there be incorporated chapters? • How will your magazines, newsletters, and journals be published? • What special interest groups would spring up? • Will they be the same as those you have now? • How will your local and national events be different? Then, since social media tools make many changes possible and some desirable, another set of issues arises around communication with and among members using social media. Which outlet, for instance, might be effective in achieving an organization’s membership goals. Are they inhouse tools such as listservs and private social networks or LinkedIn and Facebook? Spam and privacy issues may detract from the use of social media to promote association business, but these minuses are outweighed by “near-real-time connectivity” so valued by the “on-the-move” generations that many associations are trying to woo. The number of technical companies on Facebook is growing, and Google has become a convenient way of sharing documents, conducting meetings, and encouraging other forms of collaborative activity.
—NOAA’s PR: Under a contract with EarthSky
Communications, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will create a series of interviews and podcasts over the span of a year to promote its good works. Interviews with 12 NOAA scientists conducting research benefiting the NOAA Pacific Region will be used to create 90-second podcasts which will be distributed to traditional and new media outlets.
—from the editor Many of us take a few moments at this time of year to reflect on our accomplishments and start planning for the New Year. Looking back at 2010, one can only conclude that it was a difficult year for ACSM and its member organizations. A less than successful annual convention, dropping membership, drastic cuts from an already “fat-free” 2010 ACSM budget, sooner-than-expected transition to online publishing of our flagship magazine, and a looming proposition of yet another member organization contemplating leaving the “mother ship” were some of the reasons which color our perception of 2010. No doubt we absorbed a hefty dose of reality with each tighten-your-belt measure, but, and here is a wager from a non-gambling person, we’ll pull through this “shellacking”. We’ll not only pull through, we’ll emerge stronger and better. Already, there are signs that many of us see 2010 as a beginning of the debunking of some myths. Myth #1: The geospatial community has found its national voice. Wrong. It’s trying to do so, but it needs to take further steps to get there and be successful [see Bill Hazelton’s article “Steps towards a national geospatial voice” on p. 12]. Myth #2: Continue doing business as usual and things will be O.K. Wrong. We need to re-examine where we are visa-vis the wider geospatial community, identify areas we have successfully led in, and find new leadership roles which will increase the standing of ACSM both within its own community of geospatial professionals and the world beyond [see Bill Glassey’s column on “Why we need a national organization” on p. 31]. Myth #3: “The global geospatial community is moving toward authoritative data in mapping.” Really? Try casually mentioning the term “authoritative data” in conversation and you’ll get an earful about “precision” and “accuracy” and “legal principles.” The jury is still out on the “precise and accurately measured location of the divisive line between precision and accuracy,” but surveyors can [and should] position themselves in the forefront of erasing that line with truly authoritative data—i.e., accurate property boundaries and precise geographic attributes of that property on Earth, both of which will then contribute to accurate GIS maps. That’s one of the leadership roles I have on my wish list for ACSM in 2011. It would be most satisfying to be able to write in my 2011 end-of-year letter, mission accomplished! — Ilse Genovese
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN
People everywhere communicating with everyone
The geospatial revolution —by Katelynn Levanduski and Marlee Kattler
rapped beneath the rubble of a collapsed service media and outreach initiative about the house, two injured women send text mes- world of digital mapping and how it is changing sages for help. Searching amid the destruc- the way we think, behave, and interact. tion for his missing brother, a worried man posts “Wanting to help is no longer limited to those a message for assistance. In need of water and who are geographically in the same area. You can food, a distressed community submits a request do a lot online to make a difference and even save for aid. Thousands of miles away, a group of vol- lives,” Meier said. unteers translates and maps these reports. At the While watching the crisis in Haiti unfold on telescene of the disaster, first responders receive this vision, Meier knew something needed to be done. information and react. Within hours, he and his Ushahidi colleagues creAfter a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake ated a Ushahidi platform to aid the Haitian earthstruck Haiti in January 2010, people were found, quake relief efforts. lives were saved, and aid was distributed—all From this information, a real-time map of the through the use of geographic information sys- crisis in Haiti was created. Federal Emergency tems. Management Agency officials called it the most “We see something bad happen, and the innate comprehensive and up-to-date map available to reaction is to want to help,” said Patrick Meier, the humanitarian community. The Ushahidi Haiti director of crisis mapping and strategic partner- platform was a vital tool utilized by first respondships for Ushahidi. ers from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Ushahidi, an open source platform that uses Corps, and others. crowdsourcing in crisis mapping, allowed anyone “We needed to know where we could go in and in the disaster zone to share incidents with exact so we used geospatial technology to map the area coordinates. Over the following weeks, hundreds with information before we even got there,” said of volunteers donated their time to translate and Capt. Arturo Derryberry of the Marine Corps during geolocate these incidents. the first episode of the Geospatial Revolution ProjThis innovative process was featured in the first ect. episode of Penn State Public Broadcasting’s (PSPB) Geospatial information systems (GIS) have revoGeospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public lutionized how society responds during crises. The
ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
technology not only provides critical information for first responders, but also empowers ordinary people to actively serve those in need, regardless of location. “It’s more than just about the technology,” added Meier. “It really is a social movement that, in a way, we haven’t seen before. We have to make sure to continue nurturing the elements of this movement in order to make its tools really powerful.” Indeed, location-based information continues to help responders address suffering caused by the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti. PSPB’s Geospatial Revolution Project depicts how GIS technology is making location awareness a lifestyle. The four-part series, which debuted with episode one in September 2010, highlights the transformation of geospatial technology from a highly technical field to an everyday fixture of our lives. Episode two, which debuted in November, focuses on the use of GIS technology in government. Featured in this episode was the City of Portland, Oregon, and its GIS-based decision-making. The audience learned how digital mapping can help pinpoint locations that need healthier food options and how businesses use the technology in everyday practices to make more informed decisions. Viewers can expect future episodes to cover the use of geospatial intelligence in environmental, health and law enforcement. The project will also explore key issues surrounding the privacy of geographically coded information. Comments from viewers confirm that which motivated the creation of the Geospatial Revolution Project series. Seeing geospatial technology in action can be an eye-opening experience for
many young people and their parents and, through this highly visual and graphic experience, public awareness of the geospatial field and its possibilities increase. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to point them to this,” said David DiBiase, senior lecturer in the Department of Geography at Penn State University and director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. DiBiase said many people are not aware about the career opportunities GIS offers. The GIScience and technology can open up a new vista to those who want to work in a successful, cutting-edge field. “I hope the program will inspire people who never thought about GIS as a career possibility to think twice about it,” said Cheraine Stanford, producer and co-director of the Geospatial Revolution Project. Stanford said the idea for a project on digital mapping was conceived several years ago— before smart phones with mapping apps became ubiquitous in the marketplace. Producers had to make adjustments to its content as the technology changed. There is no doubt that through crowdsourcing spatial information, GIS mapping will continue to shape the way we interact and share spatial knowledge with others—to make government more effective, to help victims of natural disasters, and to prevent catastrophes. “If lots of people watched the series and learned something new that they didn’t know before they joined the GIS revolution, then we will be successful,” Stanford said. Check out the series at http://geospatialrevolution.psu.edu/episode1/omc online.
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 11
STEPS TOWARDS A NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL VOICE “With our thoughts we make the world.” Guatama Buddha We currently face a crisis of sorts in trying to find a national voice for the geospatial community. Each of the geospatial sub-disciplines feels that it has a, if not the, critical and central role to play, and that it may be better to be an independent voice rather than have to join with others from different sub-disciplines. The looming break-up of ACSM is causing us to re-think national organizations, but we still seem to think we must have one, and that we have to be its core (whoever “we” may be). This thinking got us to the current crisis, so it won’t help get us to a solution.—by N.W.J. Hazelton
The Expansion of the Universe “Scientists tell us that galaxies, planets and stars, in fact the entire universe, is rushing away from Earth at up to the speed of light. But then, who can blame it?”— Alfred E. Neuman An interesting aspect of the expanding universe, as we currently understand it, is that no matter where you are, the rest of the universe appears to be moving away from you. This means that every point can be considered to be the central point because it appears to be in the middle of the expansion. In fact, there is no central point, for the reason that such a point is no different to any other point. In the expanding universe of geospatial information, each of us sees ourselves as the center of the universe. What we do is critically important and central to the entire endeavor, while the activities of everyone else are, by definition, peripheral. The only problem with this thinking is that we fail to realize that everyone else has the same view of the universe, and the same perspective. From the big picture, we can see that we are all at the center of the universe, at the same time as none of us are at the center. Once we realize this basic truth, we are in a position to look to what it will take to create a national voice for geospatial information people and processes. None of us can stand alone and be everything, and even our own endeavors mean little unless they are part of the larger context, as presented in the spatial data cycle (see opposite). Spatial data collection has little meaning if that
ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
data cannot be disseminated. Spatial data has little meaning if it cannot be analyzed and transformed into spatial information. Spatial information has little meaning if it cannot be combined with preexisting patterns to generate spatial knowledge. Spatial knowledge has little meaning if it cannot be used for intelligent decision-making. No part of the spatial information cycle can exist without all of the others, and no part of the cycle should operate without consideration and understanding of the other parts. This change in thinking—as radical as the change in thinking from a geocentric universe to a Copernican universe—is the first step towards a national geospatial voice. It will not be easy or pleasant, but it is necessary for every geospatial sub-discipline.
Understanding the Spatial Information Cycle “A man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. If we are to be part of the spatial information cycle, we need to have a basic understanding of how all the parts of it work, even those beyond where we choose to work. If we look at the management and decision-making parts, we may fail to see that there is also a “selection” process in going from data to information. How do we select the right data? We can only do this data selection based on understanding the needs around the entire cycle. We can explore the question “Who is our client?” But unless we understand their needs, as opposed to what they say they need, we are not in a position
to meet those needs. Similarly, unless we understand the processing ahead of us around the cycle, as well as what happened to the data before it got to us, we cannot properly fulfill the professional responsibilities of any part of the cycle. It is this critical need to understand the entire spatial information cycle that dictates the level of education needed for any professional who may work around the cycle. Given the large extent of this understanding, a U.S. bachelors degree would have to be the minimum level to achieve such an understanding. In addition, significant experience is also needed to allow a realistic understanding of the entire cycle. Experience is needed because the way that an expertâ€™s mind works is largely pattern recognition,
and this is part of the spatial information cycle. Pattern recognition requires two components: a store of patterns to be recognized, and the skill to do the recognition. The former can be developed effectively through concentrated study, typically formal education, while the latter requires experience with many instances of the patterns of interest. Formal education also develops the theoretical underpinnings for the various components of the cycle, and allows the student to gain limited experience around the cycle in ways that are not available to any single organization. Education and experience are thus a vital next step towards building a national geospatial voice, but both must be directed toward understanding the whole spatial information cycle, not just a small part of a particular interest.
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Communication “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
Creating Spatial Information Professionals “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”— Harrison Ford
Every component, and every organization that supports and promotes that component, has some place As the information sector of the economy and its in the spatial information cycle. The spatial data col- impact on our information society continues to grow, lectors, the spatial data managers, the spatial infor- we need to look at increasing the professionalism mation analysts, the theoreticians, the people who of the various practitioners around the spatial inforprovide the control, the people who support the mation cycle. Unfortunately, we do not have a good administrative and legal components of the cycle, handle on what we mean by “professional.” This is and even the teachers (and students) who support partly because we confuse state-run certification with the cycle all have a place. Despite some views to the professionalism, partly because we live in a society contrary, the cycle needs them all, together with the that has become strongly anti-professional over the organizations supporting each specialist area. last 100 years, and partly because we have lost most The spatial information cycle has become too com- examples of professionalism. plex for anyone to specialize in more than part of the Too often we have sought state-run licensure cycle, and those specialists need support for their as a means of controlling other groups, in cases specialization. Various organizations provide that spe- where the health, safety, and welfare of the public cialized support, but no one of them is more impor- has not been a real factor. It should be noted that tant than any other. “the public” is not “the client”: there is no shortUltimately, all the organizations and people need age of law relating to contracts and the relationto be able to work together in a professional manner. ship between professionals and their clients. “The This may be a bit much to ask at present, but we can public” is everyone else, for whom the law of torts move towards this goal by opening the lines of com- represents one of the few avenues of redress munication. Communication is a two-way process, against someone else’s paid professional. In the so each group and individual must listen and learn at latter case, prevention is far better than trying to least as much as they talk and explain. If our thinking fix a problem after the fact, and the role of governhas opened up to encompass the entire spatial infor- ment is to protect innocent bystanders. mation cycle, and we don’t think we are at the center Traditionally, professions managed their own of the universe, this becomes much easier. entry and certification for professional practice In Alaska, all the various spatial information support through various professional bodies. ASPRS is organizations have a single annual meeting. This was moving in this direction with its certification prooriginally because of size and geographical spread, gram. For many professions, and for many pracbut a side effect has been that the various groups titioners around the spatial information cycle, this are more aware of each other than in some other approach may be enough. In these debt-ridden states. This model can be adopted in other states times, do we really want to create another layer of and regions, hopefully with even greater success. government bureaucracy if we can avoid it? In these difficult economic times, one way of Some professionals have the potential to cause securing income is to diversify operations. Diversify- significant harm to the public if they act unproing around the spatial information cycle is one way to fessionally. Surveyors undertaking boundary surdo this without wandering too far from one’s profes- veys can damage the property rights of many sional home. Add to that the increasing diversifica- nearby landowners through a major error, and a tion of technology and techniques in use around the county GIS operator can do the same thing with cycle, and one gets significant benefits to connecting an ill-considered series of actions. We do need more with the rest of the cycle. to look at state-run licensure in these cases. But The third step is to increase significantly our a photogrammetrist or cartographer producing a communication with other groups around the spa- map for a client has much less potential for damtial information cycle. This will have benefits in aging the public, as does a surveyor undertaking terms of improved mutual understanding, as well a topographic survey or supporting construction. as diversification of the capabilities of all groups. They may damage their client, but the client has 14
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very direct redress under law. So we need to think so that we all have a place in the information society. very carefully about licensing anyone who might It will not be easy to achieve this. For, as it was easy be a professional. to differentiate ourselves, so it will be difficult to inteWhile government-run licensing is appropriate in grate, and we cannot say if such an integration can some disciplines, we should be focusing more on be found or not. But we have to try; otherwise, we developing professionals, in the true sense of the risk losing this chance. word, but regulating them within the professions, not It is not enough to hope passively to be saved. Hope passing this off to the government. This gives the pro- means preparing, planning, and then acting when the fessional bodies an important reason for existence time is right. The preparation of the first four steps and for the continuation of their professions. It also will place us where we can act on the question of obliges them to look at education and communica- integration. tions around the spatial information cycle, so that the The fifth step, therefore, is to move actively towards professionals they certify strengthen the entire cycle integration, but we cannot do this until we are comand make a significant contribution to the information municating with other groups and understand their economy and information society of which they are position in the spatial information cycle at least as an integral part. well as our own. Integration means that we work for The fourth step is moving more directly and defi- the betterment of everyone around the spatial infornitely towards expanding the professional skills and mation cycle, and our larger society, because it is practices of all practitioners within the spatial infor- the professional thing to do. mation cycle. Professional certification and licensing should be carefully considered and implemented Conclusions thoughtfully and with care. Professions need to self- The conclusions from this discussion are the steps regulate first, as well as look to recruitment, educa- towards a national voice, perhaps even a national tion, and communication within the cycle. organization. But do we really need a national organization? Could we get by with a small executive From Differentiation to Integration organization that somehow integrated more specialist organizations? This would be the MO model of “But just as much as it is easy to find the ACSM, and that doesn’t seem to have worked, perdifferential [derivative] of a given quantity, haps because no one really believed in it. Perhaps the so it is difficult to find the integral of a changes in thinking discussed above would make given differential. Moreover, sometimes that model work, but there still needs to be involvewe cannot say with certainty whether the ment from the other spatial data organizations. integral of a given quality can be found or Integration is the fifth step with good reason. Until not.” — Johann Bernoulli each spatial information sub-discipline gets its house For many years, we have spent a great deal of time in order, learns its place in the spatial information uniand energy differentiating ourselves from the other verse, and focuses on becoming more professional, groups who work with spatial information. We set up it will not be in a position to have any degree of intesilos and vertically integrated activities, created sub- gration. Once the first four steps are well under way disciplines, fought turf wars, and thought ourselves there is the possibility for the communication to be the most important component of working with extended to the subject of integration. spatial information. To go back to the first step, how we collectively We lost sight of the common bond of spatial data, think about our profession drives its future. If we want which provided both the lifeblood of our work, and the current situation to continue, if we want more of the link to the rest of the spatial information cycle. the same, all we need do is keep thinking the same Like Esau, we traded away our birthright, a future that way. If we want things to be different, we must think encompassed the entire cycle, for a bowl of pottage differently about our profession. If we can change our and a small corner to ourselves—but always subject thinking, we can change our world. to the whim of technological and economic change. The time of differentiation is over. It is time to look Professor Hazelton is available to discuss this and other towards integration. This cannot be complete intearticles. E-mail him at: email@example.com gration: the discipline is now too big for that. But we or firstname.lastname@example.org need to figure out how to develop a common voice
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 15
cloud-first policy U.S. agencies migrating to Web
The General Services Administration’s decision in early December to move its e-mail program to a Web-based system modeled on Google’s popular Gmail program is part of a major government drive to increase federal use of cloud computing. The GSA is the first federal agency to make the Internet switch; its decision follows the Office of Management and Budget’s declaration last month that the government is now operating under a “cloud-first” policy, meaning agencies must give priority to Web-based applications and services.
Government information-technology contractors, many of them based in the Washington area, have been anticipating the shift for months, trying to position themselves for future work. The Obama administration has said that cloud computing will allow more people to share a common infrastructure, cutting technology and support costs. But some technologists have warned that Web-based software may not be as secure as systems built for a dedicated purpose. And the programs often depend on stable network connections. The push for Web-based computing is part of a broader government effort to consolidate its 2,100 data centers by at least 40 percent by 2015.
ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
—by Marjorie Censer
As part of the move to a web-based e-mail system, GSA recently awarded a $6.7 million, five-year task order to Unisys, a Pennsylvania-based contractor with an extensive local presence. Unisys is partnering with Google, Tempus Nova, and Acumen Solutions to deploy and manage the system. Under the contract, GSA will migrate 17,000 e-mail accounts to the cloud. The new system is projected to cost about half as much as the existing one to manage, but the new system will be easier to upgrade. GSA users will see some similarities between their federal e-mail and Google’s consumer Gmail, which should shorten the learning curve when the new software is introduced. Federal officials hope that GSA’s shift will encourage more federal organizations to embrace cloud computing for e-mail and other applications. Cloud-focused contractors, whose numbers continue to grow, are also hoping that the move results in more business. [The Washington Post, December 5, 2010]
The GeoEye Foundation— Changing our world from above —by Matt O’Connell, GeoEye CEO
ational security, Google Maps, and farfetched spy-movie plot lines—these are the typical things that come to mind when one thinks of remote satellite imaging. Rarely do we consider how this geospatial technology can be applied to practical real-world situations that can help preserve the environment and even save human lives. Thanks to the GeoEye Foundation, more people are learning about the practical, everyday and life-saving uses of geospatial technology. GeoEye, Inc. established the GeoEye Foundation (www.geoeyefoundation.org) in March 2007 with the belief that the Company should share its technology and resources to help others better understand humankind’s impact on the Earth. The Foundation provides imagery to researchers both in the United States and abroad to investigate and help solve the world’s most pressing problems. A GeoEye-1 image of Cancun, Mexico, taken on July 31, 2009. Through the Foundation, students, scholars, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can apply for imagery awards to support research or to help Non-governmental organizations have often used NGOs in their missions of humanitarian support and GeoEye-1 satellite imagery for humanitarian relief disaster relief. and disaster response. The GeoEye Foundation is able to provide imagIn 2010, the Foundation awarded imagery grants ery to researchers because of GeoEye’s extraor- for monitoring glaciers in Antarctica, measuring dinary technological advances in the field of beach erosion off Cape Canaveral in Florida, mapgeospatial technology, specifically the develop- ping protected animal reserves in Africa, and studyment and launch of GeoEye-1, the world’s high- ing urban sprawl in Mexico, just to highlight a few est-resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite. examples. A number of these projects would have As new GeoEye-1 imagery continues to populate been impossible without the imagery provided by GeoEye’s digital library, the Company grants imag- the GeoEye Foundation. ery awards at no cost to support research across The Foundation’s growth since 2007 is a true many fields of study. measure of the organization’s impact. Since its Applications for imagery awards span many dis- founding, requests for imagery have grown steadily, ciplines. The Foundation has donated over 120,000 from just a handful to a dozen or more requests square kilometers of imagery to more than 140 every week. As the Foundation continues to grow, researchers and non-governmental organizations an increasing number of students and a new since its inception in early 2007. Students have generation of innovative researchers and diverse used the Foundation’s imagery for archaeology, organizations will be able to apply geospatial techcoastal zone management, land cover assessment, nology to research and decision making aimed at climate change monitoring, forestry, geospatial meeting local, national, and global challenges for intelligence, and many other areas of interest. years to come. december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 17
IT trends 2011 Social networking among IT executives
Top 10 tech trends to watch in 2011 —synthesized by Courtney Cooper
o, what exactly do top IT executives talk about 8. Mobile technology. Despite concerns over securing when they meet? They talk about technology and and managing devices in the workplace they don’t control, business and how these issues can affect their IT executives recognize that the rapid adoption of smart companies. Not surprisingly, a mix of technology and busimobile device platforms (Android, Apple, Blackberry), comness topics made this year’s list of the Logicalis (www. bined with the undesirable expense of employee computus.logicalis.com) second annual study. Also not surprising, has created a perfect storm for a mobile computing ingly, social networking, the mode by which executives renaissance. Slimmed-down, low-cost, desktop-replaceincreasingly use to interact with each other and their ment mobile applications are making their way out of the company’s staff, is in itself a trend featured among the app store and into the enterprise. top tech trends for 2011 identified by this year’s Logicalis 9. Network and system maintenance. Globalization study. and a change in job requirements and focus is causing 1. Cloud computing. Cloud computing has become a IT executives to rethink how and where they deploy their huge buzz word in the industry, but if you peel back the staff. Strategic outsourcing of non-core IT tasks is in vogue, marketing fluff and hype, it is a mechanism for deliverand savvy IT executives will continue assessing the impact ing and consuming IT as a service. Whether that “IT as a and freedom it can provide. service” is infrastructure, platform, or software, it is just 10. Jobs and career related discussions. As IT execuanother way for an IT organization to deliver the technology tives adapt to new business directions and adopt the necessary to run an organization’s business. latest technologies, they are becoming aware of changes 2. HR issues. This year’s surprise? Social media discusin the nature of their own careers. It’s not “business as sions included a wide range of topics that affect IT managusual” for IT executives. It’s not only about watching what ers daily, including Internet usage policies, recruitment, the technology does. They are seeing a greater emphasis retention, motivation, conflict resolution, and general staff on business acumen, strategy, and tactics enabled by management. technology. They also see a future where all IT spending 3. Time management. Recognizing that time is the only will have to be justified by building realistic, financially commodity they can’t replace or replenish, IT executives sound business plans. indicated in a multitude of conversations that they were “The list shows that technology executives are discussfeeling “overworked,” “understaffed,” and “spread too thin.” ing much more strategic topics than they did last year. This 4. Company direction and planning. IT executives are is indicative of the greater acceptance of social networking focusing their attention beyond technology, and their conas well as the new speed of doing business—technolversations indicate they are looking at the overall corporate ogy managers value their peers’ thoughts and they need strategy. input quickly as they make decisions,” said Lisa Dreher, 5. IT security. An evergreen topic of conversation is the Logicalis vice president of Business Development. As they security and privacy of corporate infrastructure and data. did last year, Logicalis will use this information to help the 6. Software management, licensing, maintenance, company better serve its customers. For other businesses, and purchasing. As IT executives embrace new methods the Logicalis list may serve as a reminder to evaluate their of consuming software as a service, they are questioning own needs [or otherwise] of social networking. existing software paradigms. 7. Social media. As a sign that they become more comAbout Logicalis: Logicalis is an international provider of integrated information and communications technology solutions and fortable with social media, technology executives have services. The Logicalis Group employs over 1,900 people worldadopted it for attending conferences, sharing insight, and wide and maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders asking for peer guidance on a wide range of topics, includsuch as Cisco, HP, IBM, and Microsoft. The Logicalis Group is a ing how to create and enforce policies related to social division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London media usage. However, IT executives are concerned about AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues in excess of $4 billion. For security, privacy and the risk of viruses introduced via more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com. social media. 18
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Arden (Sandy) Sandsnes Do what you like, Like what you do These words are a constant reminder of our friend Sandy. How many times did he tell us to enjoy our life’s work and relish the life that comes from it. Sandy did all of that. The last time I visited with him he told me: “I have a wonderful family, my life friend is my wife, I flew airplanes, drove fast cars, started a business, and have the best friends a man could ever want.” In doing what he loved, Sandy left us a legacy. In the early days of the Wisconsin Land Information Program, before it was it even formulated, before the arguments of who should be in charge of GIS and what department it should be in, Sandy was one of the pioneers who participated in the studies and formulation of the Program. And while there were many people contributing to the same goal, Sandy was a Land Surveyor. He gave voice and vision to land surveying in the GIS community. The Wisconsin Land Information Program owes Sandy a great deal. So many years after its establishment, other states debate who should be in charge of their programs, wrangling with a push and pull between land surveyors and GIS professionals, but thanks to Sandy, this debate never gained a foothold in Wisconsin. All professions were and are a part of the Program, everyone contributes and everyone has an important voice. That is his legacy. Sandy was on the first Wisconsin Land Information Committee and on the first Board. He was active in the land surveying and the GIS associations. He always stressed how everyone has to be engaged and involved. All of us who are or have been involved in Wisconsin have done so because of Sandy. On a personal note, Sandy was my mentor. He would present real world problems and discuss them from every angle, highlighting conditions one couldn’t see in a classroom. When doubts crept in or I was unsure about what to do next, Sandy would talk me through it all, letting me arrive at my own decision with his guidance. That is a very rare trait, indeed. His guidance and insight will be with me always. Our memory of Sandy would not be complete without remembering his humor. Any time spent with Sandy and the Sandsnes family would always be filled with laughter. His stories and his ability to see humor at every turn in life was always a treat. Sandy died Tuesday, October 12, 2010, at the family cabin in northern Wisconsin. It was a place he cherished. A place where he shared many happy times with his family and deer
hunting pals. We miss you already Sandy, God’s speed my friend.
Nancy von Meyer – November 1, 2010
Map errors can have dire consequences Why GIS mappers and surveyors need to work together —by Asher Moses, November 8, 2010
Google Maps error was blamed for Nicaraguan troops accidentally invading Costa Rica early in November. The troops were accused of crossing the hotly disputed Nicaragua border into Costa Rica and setting up camp for the night after taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag. Their commander Eden Pastora told Costa Rica’s largest newspaper, La Nacion that, according to Google Maps, they had every reason to believe that they were in Nicaragua. Nicaraguan government officials blamed a “bug in Google” for the incursion. The dispute became so serious that the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, flew in to help the two countries resolve the latest in a series of conflicts affecting an area near the coast. “We are concerned about finding paths of communication which would lead us to a peaceful solution between Costa Rica and Nicaragua,” Insulza said. The urgency to do so rather speedily was self evident; Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said she was prepared to take the dispute to the UN Security Council if OAS did not find a solution. “Costa Rica is seeing its dignity smeared and there is a sense of great national urgency [to resolve this problem],” Chinchilla said after meeting Insulza. In a blog following the uproar over the Google Maps error, Google geopolicy analyst Charlie Hale confirmed part of the border between the two countries was mapped erroneously. Google Maps depiction of the border places it in an area which is the center of a long-standing dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua which arose over Nicaragua’s dredging of the San Juan River separating the two countries.
The correct border shown on Bing Maps and, inset, the incorrect version shown on Google Maps. “After a discussion with the data supplier for this particular border [the State Department], we determined that there was indeed an error in the compilation of the source data, by up to 2.7 kilometers,” Hale wrote. “The U.S. Department of State has provided a corrected version and we are now working to update our maps.” Of note is that while the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was displayed incorrectly by Google Maps, the version shown on Microsoft’s Bing maps was accurate. There has been much historical conflict—going back to the mid-19th century—over which country owns land near the San Juan River. A treaty between Costa Rica and Nicaragua has been in place since 1858 and clearly identifies the border line accepted by both sides. This treaty was upheld in 1888, when U.S. President Grover Cleveland was called in to arbitrate a dispute and it was decided to accept all its terms. A more detailed map of the boundary was drawn in 1897, at the request of president Cleveland. Hale said Google’s map of the area flanking the San Juan River would be corrected to follow the demarcation laid out in 1897. “Once our updates go live in Google Earth and Google Maps, we will be
depicting the border according to the most recent and definitive records available. But as we know, cartography is a complex undertaking and borders are always changing. We remain committed to updating our maps as needed,” Hale wrote. The Nicaraguan government demanded that Google reject Costa Rica’s request to change the depiction of the border, which it called “correct.” “I officially request that [the border marking] not be modified,” Foreign Minister Samuel Santos asked Google representative Jeffrey Hardy. Costa Rica, which does not have an army, dispatched fresh security forces to the border with Nicaragua to bolster 150 agents sent earlier to the region which has been experiencing cross-border tensions since October 18. The Nicaragua – Costa Rica near blow-up is not the only dangerous situation resulting from inaccurate mapping. Google was previously accused of showing an erroneous version of the border between Cambodia and Thailand as well. Hence, while GIS mapping is becoming ubiquitous, it does appear prudent [not to say safe] to have such maps based on data verified on the ground, by surveyors.
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 21
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ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
End-of-year Joint Government Affairs Committee Report The Joint Government Affairs Committee met recently as part of ACSM’s meeting in Orlando. An electronic version of the report is available through ACSM headquarters, but, for your review, here is the Fall 2010 Semi-Annual Report in its entirety. If you have any questions about it, feel free to contact me. —by Laurence Socci
Introduction Compared to past years, we have had a slow legislative year. New legislative action affecting the surveying and mapping industry has been [almost] non-existent, but we did work on quite a few of the issues from past years. Our biggest issue, preservation of railroad monumentation, is moving forward, and many Members of Congress are learning for the first time what this is all about. The influx of many new Members will soon present us with many more opportunities to engage the legislative branch and get our legislation through Congress. FEMA Flood Map Modernization / Risk MAP As part of the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Coalition, we worked with other groups and FEMA for the modernization of the Nation’s flood maps. FEMA has moved from its Map Modernization Program to a Risk MAP Program. Under the Risk MAP, FEMA will try to (1) address gaps in flood hazard data, (2) increase public awareness and understanding of flood risks, (3) lead and support state and local communities in risk-based mitigation planning, (4) provide an enhanced digital platform that improves management of Risk MAP, and (5) align Risk Analysis programs to enhance decision-making capabilities. The Coalition continues to meet with FEMA representatives on a quarterly basis to receive updates on FEMA’s floodmap activities.
FEMA announced that it will soon roll out three new products relating to FIRMs, including a Flood Risk Database, Flood Risk Reports, and a subset of the Flood Risk Report, Flood Risk Maps. Learn more about the RiskMAP program at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/ fhm/rm_main.shtml. COFPAES We continue to work with the other COFPAES member organizations to protect and defend the Brooks Act. Several times this year, COFPAES was able to turn around Brooks Act violations by federal agencies. COFPAES recently had its Fall Delegate Meeting. Here are some highlights. GSA Schedule—COFPAES staff met with the law firm of Crowell and Moring to discuss a strategy for rescinding or reforming the GSA Schedules affecting A/E services which are in violation of the Brooks Act. Crowell Moring provided a proposal for COFPAES’ consideration. The cost for the services would break down to about $2500 per COFPAES Member Organization. Although ACSM supports the concept, we are not able to contribute at this time. SBA Size Standards—The Small Business Administration is planning to review its size standards in the A/E field in 2010. SBA has not been able to keep the timetable it expected; and now, it is doubtful the review will take place in 2010. COFPAES met with SBA officials several times on this issue.
Water Resources Development Act—The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has under consideration H.R. 5892, the Water Resources Development Act. Included in the Act is a provision that would define all operations and maintenance activities as “inherently governmental,” thus ineligible for performance by private contractors, affecting surveying, hydrography and mapping. Lobby Day 2010 (review) and Lobby Day 2011 We received several reports about Lobby Day visits since August. If you have not yet sent in your report, it is not too late to do so. As you know, we lobbied Members of Congress on three issues: Preservation of Railroad Monumentation, the 3% Withholding on Government Contracts issue, and Funding for Trig-Star. The reports we did receive indicate that the issues were well received and supported. Our biggest hurdle still is educating Members of Congress about the need to preserve railroad monumentation. We are now trying to determine how many people participated in Lobby Day this year and will make that information available as soon as possible. Please do visit your new [or returning] Representative and/or Senator, congratulate them on their win, and tell them about our issues in anticipation of Lobby Day 2011.
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3% Withholding of Payments on Government Contracts The Government Withholding Relief Coalition of which ACSM is a member along with other 69 business associations is working to repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. A full repeal of Section 511 was in place in the House passed version of H.R. 1, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” but the final bill, signed by the President only provided for a one-year delay in the provision’s enactment (now set at 2012). The Coalition is working on full repeal of the provision and, in fact, legislation was introduced in the House and the Senate—S. 292 in the Senate (introduced by Senator Specter) and H.R. 275 in the House (introduced by Congressman Meek of Florida)—to accomplish that goal. Neither of these bills got very far this year. Recently, the Coalition drafted a letter to be sent to the House and Senate urging a two-year delay of the 3% withholding requirement during the lame duck (while stressing the continuing need for repeal).
There are four possible ways to National Geospatial Advisory move forward with the issue: Committee 1. Push it as a stand-alone bill, which ACSM nominated Gary Thompson to means continuing to move it forward as serve on the Committee, but we have not we have been doing; yet heard whether he was selected. 2. Include it as part of other railroad legislation. We did this last year, but very few Status of Legislation from the 111th railroad-related bills were introduced Congress (and those that were introduced were Below is a list of the legislation the not a good fit); 111th Congress worked on this year 3. Include it as part of the surface and which we supported. All of the transportation reauthorization. This bills are still in Committee. seems to be the best route to take, H.R. 365—Ocean and Coastal favored also by several of our staff Mapping Integration Act contacts; and H.R. 1262—Water Quality Investment 4. Include it as part of a bigger jobs bill, Act This would remove the payment objec- H.R. 1316—Flood Evaluation tion because theoretically, Congress Notification Act would give money to states and locali- H.R. 1520—Federal Land Asset ties to hire surveyors to survey the Inventory Reform Act railroad lines before they are removed. H.R. 2489—Natural Land Remote Several people we met with liked this Sensing Outreach Act (Senate idea as well. Committee) There is nothing preventing us from H.R. 3415—To suspend flood promoting all four ways together. insurance rate map updates in geographic areas in which certain USGS Coalition levees are being repaired H.R. 4914—Coastal Jobs Creation The main goal of the Coalition conAct tinues to be working with Congress for sufficient funding for USGS so H.R. 5116—America COMPETES that the agency can continue its mis- Reauthorization Act (Senate Preservation of Railroad sion. Several high-ranking USGS and Committee) Monumentation Department of Interior officials told us H.R. 5182—To help certain The preservation of railroad monumen- that they expect the USGS funding to communities adversely affected by tation has been a big issue for us this be severely cut in FY 11. Our job is to FEMA’s flood mapping modernization year. We met with the staff of many work with the Coalition to make sure program Members of Congress, as well as key mapping programs in the USGS con- H.R. 5722—Fairness in Flood Mapping Act (the sponsor of the Committee staff in the House and the tinue to be funded. legislation offered it as an amendment Senate. Our biggest obstacle has been to H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance explaining why this issue is so imporFunding for Trig-Star Reform Priorities Act, which is still in tant. Our secondary problem (which is Our request for a Federal earmark Committee) becoming bigger) was showing how it would be paid for. A few of the staff for Trig-Star was denied. The reason, H.R. 6215—Digital Coast Act. we spoke with called back and told us at least partly, seems to be that we that the railroad people they spoke to sought funding for several years with- STEM Coalition subsequent to our meeting opposed out putting a lot of our own money into ACSM signed on to a letter written by the idea and would push back against the project. We intend to revise our the Science, Technology, Engineering it because of the perceived costs. This application and continue to seek fund- and Mathematics (STEM) Education notwithstanding, several Members of ing assistance from Congress, as well Coalition to Senators in support of the Congress indicated they want us to look for other funding opportunities America COMPETES Act passed by the follow-up with them in January next through grants with the NSF and the House. The America COMPETES Act bolsters America’s competitiveness Department of Education. year on the issue. 24
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by strengthening the science, technology, engineering and math education fields at all levels. It gives support for basic research and development of STEM programs at elementary and high schools. As part of STEM Education Coalition, we join over 1,000 diverse groups representing all sectors of the technological workforce— from knowledge workers, to educators, to scientists, engineers, and technicians. We hope to be able to secure Trig-Star funding through our efforts within the STEM Coalition.
Scope of Services document to land- circumventing the Brooks Act process. owners involved in Wetlands Reserve It is the landowner who is hiring the Program Boundary Surveys. Under the surveyor; but the NRCS must approve Scope of Services, and at the request the surveyor—and that approval is of the NRCS, landowners must submit based on the price for the surveyor’s a statement of survey cost (a quote) to services. the NRCS Agency Liaison. NRCS will review the quote and, if it is found be National Surveyor’s Week acceptable; it will be incorporated into Proclamation the Survey Cooperative Agreement. If Given the difficulty we have had the quote is not acceptable, NRCS will obtaining a National Surveyor’s Week ask the landowner to obtain two addi- Presidential Proclamation, and contional quotes. The NRCS must approve sidering that in all likelihood, this is the survey cost for the landowner to because the third week of March is be eligible for reimbursement. also National Poison Prevention Week, NRCS Brooks Act Violation ACSM is concerned that this proce- we decided to explore other options. It We recently heard from a member in dure violates the Brooks Act, which appears there are no conflicting events Missouri who came across a NRCS vio- requires that surveying services (as scheduled for the second and third lation. We are trying to find out if there well as other A/E services) be pro- weeks of February. are similar cases in other states. In cured by the federal government using Missouri, the USDA Natural Resources Qualifications Based Selection proce- JGAC Issues Survey Conservation Service (NRCS) sent a dures. In this case, it appears NRCS is An “issues survey” will go out to all ACSM members shortly. Its purpose will be to find out which issues are ® important to members, and, hopefully, PERMAMARK get them interested in becoming more The Original Plastic Survey Marker involved in JGAC activities. Choice of Surveyors for over 30 years! ŸPermanent Identification ŸCost Effective ŸInstalls Fast and Easy ŸStamping Included ŸEliminates Electrolysis ŸNon-Corrosive ŸFastest Service Sizes Fit: 1/2”, 3/4” & 1” pipe and 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, & 3/4” rebar Colors: STANDARD: Yellow ALTERNATE: Red & Orange
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New Congressional Forecast The new Congress looks to be very much pro-business. I’ve had the chance to meet with at least half of all the new Members of Congress, including Senators-elect John Boozemen, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. One of the newly elected House members is an engineer and another is a construction project manager. During my meetings, I discussed ACSM’s issues and asked for their support when they are sworn in. Conclusion As the new Congress session begins in January, we will need the support of ACSM membership to help us reach our goals in 2011. I welcome questions, suggestions, and comments on this report and other legislative issues that may be on your mind.—Laurence Socci, The C. L. A. Group, Government Affairs Consultant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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CST BOARD announces The following is a list of Certiﬁed Survey Technicians who have passed their exam during the months of July, August, and September 2010. The highest level of certiﬁcation, Level IV, was attained by: Lucas Shuman, Level IV Field Manager (FL) Robert Telschow, Level IV Oﬃce Manager (NJ) Those who passed their CST exams in Levels I, II, or III are: Dean Alexander, Level II Field (TX) Alex Argabright, Level II Field (TX) Zach Bane, Level II Field (AR) Matthew Bare, Level II Field (NC) John Beland, Level II Field (FL) Joshua Carpenter, Level I (OH) Elton Cooper, Level I (OH) Jeﬀory Crews, Level I (FL) Phillip Davis, Level I (NM) Tyler Dennis, Level II Boundary (NV) Aaron Evans, Level I (OK) David Feek, Level III Boundary (NC) Lee Flanegin, Level II Field (TX) Robert Gamboa, Level II Field (IL) David Hallman, Level I (NM) Julianne Henson, Level I (TX) Robert House, Level I (OK) Jacob Huﬀman, Level III Computer Operator (FL) Billy Hughes, Level I (OK) William Kendall, Level I (TX) Michael Kersten, Level III Computer Operator (TX) Robert Lackey, Level I (NC) Michael Landen, Level II Field (TX) Jay Lauritzen, Level II Field (IN) Craig Martinez, Level II Field (TX) Debra McGarry, Level I (OH) Matthew Metz, Level III Computer Operator (DE) Kathleen Morse, Level I (NV) Timothy Nutt, Level I (NM) Craig Olsen, Level I (NV) Julio Orozco, Level I (NM)
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Christopher Pankratz, Level II Field (TX) Jon Pavola, Level III Construction (MN) Peter Perez, Level I (FL) Sean Peters, Level I (MD) Ryan Phifer, Level I (DE) Kyle Pressler, Level II Field (TX) Teressa Sipes, Level I (OK) Jason Staudt, Level I (TX) Jeﬀrey Wallace, Level III Boundary and Level III Construction (FL)
Managing Digital Survey Maps The majority of the records a land surveyor uses in his work can now be obtained in a digital format. The trend toward digitization will continue as organizations that maintain these records migrate more of their own work processes from hard copy documents to digital files. How does this migration to digital land records impact land surveyors? How can land surveyors benefit from implementing their own system of managing digital land records? What are the challenges to implementing this type of system? What future opportunities for land surveyors do digital land records present? This article will try to provide answers to these questions. — by Landon Blake
What are filed survey maps?
A filed survey map shows the final results of a land surveying process in a graphical format, usually on a map. Examples are (1) the resolution and monumentation of an existing parcel boundary; (2) subdivision of an existing parcel; and (3) location of a natural monument such as the ridge line that forms the boundary between two counties. Filed survey maps are typically filed with the County Surveyor and a copy is recorded with the County Clerk and Recorder. In California, “Record of Survey Maps,” “Parcel Maps,” and “Subdivision or Tract Maps” are all examples of filed survey maps. Many County Surveyor offices still maintain hard copies of all their filed survey maps. These hard-copy maps were the mainstay of the old land records management system.
jurisdictions, land surveyors can obtain digitized maps from the government agency that maintains them. The maps may be made available for download individually or as groups from the internet. Other jurisdictions package their maps on CD or DVD on a regular basis and make them available to the land surveying community and the public. In jurisdictions were digital copies of filed survey maps are not available, land surveyors can use scanners or cameras to acquire their own digital images of the maps.
The old records management system
Previously, a land surveyor would typically travel to the County Seat to perform research using the hard-copy map index maintained by the County Surveyor. The surveyor would pay for paper copies of the maps he thought were relevant to his project. He would then take the maps back to his office. When they were no longer needed, the maps would be stored in the project files. Ideally, the hard-copy maps would be placed in a central storage area at the office so that they may be used by other surveyors.
The modern records management system
The modern system for managing filed survey maps focuses on the acquisition, storage, and indexing of digitized not Preparing to digitize Durnham, NC, map. [dukenews.duke.edu] hard-copy maps. The digital maps are often in a PDF or TIFF format. Many surveyors can export these digital files directly from their CAD software and review them without Component #2: Storage The second component is storing the maps. Implementing printing the maps. a management system for filed digital survey maps often means replacing large file cabinets with servers or with Component #1: Acquisition The first component of the modern system for managing personal computers. Because filed digital survey maps are filed digital survey maps is acquiring the maps. In many often acquired and stored in raster (or image) format, the december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 27
Benefits of digitizing survey maps
There are three primary benefits of the modern land records management system. (1) The time required to acquire filed survey maps is reduced. (2) It is easier to index and subsequently locate filed survey maps. (3) The waste from paying for duplicate hard copies of the same filed survey maps is eliminated.
One of the challenges we already mentioned is data storage. Sufficient data storage capacity is a must. Providing such capacity may be expensive but this is often offset by reduced clutter in the office and/or elimination of storage fees. Other challenges to implementing a digital land records management system include the cost of scanning maps if they are not available in digital format from the jurisdiction that Coast & Geodetic Survey Maps [lib.unc.edu] maintains such maps, designating a land surveyor or other staff data storage requirements are large. A land surveying commember to organize the filed survey maps and maintain the pany may maintain their own servers for storing digital maps index, and ensuring all members of the team adhere to the or it may utilize off-site digital storage services offered by a procedures put in place for locating, indexing, storing, and third party. Small companies may store their files on a single adding maps to the system. personal computer. Component #3: Indexing The ability to quickly locate a filed digital survey map depends on the third component of the land records management system—indexing. One of the most important steps in a boundary survey is obtaining all the evidence of a parcel’s boundary location. Survey maps of the parcel filed by previous surveyors are a critical part of this evidence. An index of all pertinent evidence allows the land surveyor to easily locate information relevant to a given parcel and its neighbors. Filed digital survey maps can be used to build this type of index. In some cases the index can link directly to the digital copies of a filed survey map. If this is not possible, the mere fact that surveyors will have access to free geospatial data and open source GIS software makes the establishment and maintenance of a digital filed survey map index a sensible business proposition.
Migration to digital filed survey maps presents the land surveying community with several opportunities for streamlining workflow. Tech savvy organizations are already taking advantage of several of the opportunities listed below: (1) The ability to access and view filed survey maps from mobile devices in the field, during a boundary survey. (2) Substantial reduction of ink, paper, and copier costs due to the elimination of paper maps. (3) The use of GIS software to analyze trends in map filing in your area of operation. This type of analysis can be used to answer questions such as: What companies are filing the most maps and which type? What areas have the fewest filed survey maps, and which have the oldest? Which areas are the most frequently surveyed?
To comment on this article, e-mail Landon Blake at <email@example.com>. 28
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Sustaining geographic information with fewer resources
Moving national mapping organizations from surviving to thriving
National mapping, charting, and data production organizations are turning to efficient solutions such as geographic information systems (GIS) to continue providing authoritative data for citizens and organizations in a time of global economic cutbacks. The data are used for country-wide and transnational mapping that supports economic activities, emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring. Faced with reduced resources and staff cuts, many national mapping organizations are struggling to maintain the quality and accuracy of crucial data. Mark Cygan, map, chart, and data production and spatial data infrastructure (SDI) industry manager for Esri, discusses this issue in the Spatial Roundtable blog. “Doing more with less is a necessary way of doing business in today’s economic climate,” states Cygan. “Even though national mapping organizations are seeing significant staff cuts
and reduced budgets, they continue to demonstrate their strategic value in helping solve national issues and justifying funding.” The value of authoritative data created by national mapping organizations was recognized in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit— officially called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recently, organizations such as the Group on Earth Observations and the United Nations Economic and Social Council Statistics Division have also emphasized the importance of authoritative data in addressing global issues. Cygan argues that supporting national mapping organizations in their mission is critical and asks the community to come together and join the conversation about how these organizations can continue to be successful and thrive. [spatialroundtable.com].— Esri press release
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december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 29
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS’ PLAN FOR TWITTER
A big, permanent retweet —by Cecilia Kang
he Library of Congress’ project to archive Twitter is a nod to the significance of the social networking site that gave voice to imprisoned journalists in Egypt and fueled a rallying cry for users to donate money for relief efforts in Haiti. It also will memorialize a mountain of information on the mundane, from burned breakfast bagels to delays on Metro’s Red Line. Internet scholars say those everyday recordings are useful to researchers who will comb through ties use it to connect with fans, as the 50 million messages—known as Oprah did in announcing her decision tweets—spouted each day to provide to step down as daytime talk show a snapshot of our culture, in real time. diva. Bravo’s “Housewives of New “We’ve been seeing in the past York” play out their off-camera spats decades the rise of new scholarly there. And politicians use it to prodisciplines that look at social history... mote bills or their races. which pay attention to everyday “This information provides detailed people and their everyday lives,” evidence about how technologysaid Lee Rainey, director of the Pew based social networks form and Research Center’s Internet and Ameri- evolve over time,” said Librarian can Life Project. “We find ourselves of Congress James H. Billington. lucky to find the bones of people who “Anyone who wants to understand are a couple thousand years old so how an ever-broadening public is that we can find out about nutrition using social media to engage in an habits, so I have every reason to ongoing debate regarding social and suspect this kind of material will tell cultural issues will have need of this interesting stories of the state of our material.” culture at this moment.” The project is ambitious considerWith 105 million users, Twitter ing the volume of messages that go has become the world’s electronic out each day. And the site is explodtown square where a message of 140 ing in popularity—300,000 new users or fewer characters can exchange join every day, about 40 percent of hands at lightning speed in what has whom are constantly connected to become known as “Twitterverse”. Twitter through their cell phones. The The 4-year-old Silicon Valley startup site is as much about marketing as it became a symbol of free speech is about socializing, where companies when it enabled Iranians to give and promote products, journalists circuget unvarnished reports of the bloody late their stories, and musicians hawk post-election scene in Tehran. Celebri- digital downloads of their songs. 30
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Which begs the question: How does one sort through the heaps of tweets to find something relevant to research? That’s easy, said Ben Shneiderman, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, because of powerful filtering tools that are able to slice through databases and enable users to “select the wheat from the chaff.” “I’m not troubled at all about the flood of data, and the technology is only going to get better,” Shneiderman said. “This is a remarkable resource that for the first time allows us to grasp the mood of the culture minute by minute.” But the Library of Congress’ project is also a reminder that information put out on the public platform is a permanent record, according to Brock Meeks of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a public interest group. “People think of being online as being in an alternate universe, but what you say online doesn’t go away,” he said.
The Savvy Surveyor — A column on all matters of surveying by R. William Glassey, PLS
Why We Need a National Organization And what it should look like
Photo © James Wengler, PLS, CFedS
“Together we’ll stand, divided we’ll fall. Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together. Come on, come on, let’s work together.” — — Let’s Work Together Lyrics by Wilbert Harrison
he American Congress on Surveying and Mapping will be continually update and improve the specifications for ALTA/ celebrating our 70th anniversary in 2011. Or, possibly not. ACSM Land Title Surveys. Surely, you are aware of ACSM’s current financial struggles, • Joint Government Affairs Committee—We continually CaGIS’ imminent withdrawal, and that an NSPS withdrawal is monitor Capitol Hill and the U.S. Congress for issues related still on the table. My, how the time flies when we are all having to surveying and mapping and host an annual Lobby Day to such a good time! It certainly hasn’t always been easy, though encourage our members to meet with their legislators and it seems exceptionally challenging today! Where should we go keep them apprised of our presence and interests. from here? • ACSM/THSOA Hydrographic Certification Program—We have First, I wish to elaborate on some of the programs and critical collaborated with The Hydrographic Society of America to functions of ACSM and of the member organizations—AAGS, develop a certification program and to encourage hydrographers GLIS, and NSPS. and hydrographic surveyors to become certified. • ALTA/ACSM Specifications—We have collaborated with the • Agency Coordination—We maintain contact and coordination American Land Title Association for many years to develop and with federal agencies working on surveying and mapping Want to comment? Contact The Savvy Surveyor Bill Glassey at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 31
issues—such as BLM, FEMA, NGS, and NOAA. We are also active in the international surveying and mapping organization, FIG. • ABET Accreditation—We have collaborated with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology to develop Body of Surveying Knowledge. We are a decisive voice in the accreditation of worthy college and university instructional programs of surveying study, by evaluating surveying/geomatics related programs. • NCEES—Collaborate with NCEES on examination issues, including the professional scientific knowledge studies for examinations. • ACSM Bulletin and SaLIS Journal—We produce two excellent professional publications for our members. • We support surveying education by providing numerous scholarships each year. • Certified Survey Technician program—We have developed a four-step certification program to assist survey technicians with their professional development, and to attest to increasing levels of competence for evaluation by employers. The CST certification requirements have also been used by some college programs to evaluate their students. • ACSM/NSPS Forum—ACSM/NSPS provides a forum and sounding board for all 50 State Affiliates. All state surveying societies are represented in ACSM via the Board of Governors of NSPS. • NSPS Student Competition—We encourage participation and competition between college and university survey programs, and we typically host the student competition at our Spring meetings. • Insurance Program—Members of every member organization are entitled to reduced rates for group health, life, and professional liability insurance. These are some of my favorite programs and functions of our national organization. I’m sure each of you can think of others to add to this list. We have been very productive and effective throughout the years, and I am extremely proud of my membership and participation in ACSM/NSPS. Quite obviously though, there remains much work to do if we are to survive and thrive! The “Congress” as it currently exists is not working! There, I said it! I personally believe it has always been dysfunctional. At our most recent meetings in Orlando, a motion was brought forth at the Board of Governors to encourage members from all three MOs to meet and discuss the reformation into a single national geospatial organization. Whew! Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I imagine most, if not all, members of the MOs would support such a plan in theory. Members of GLIS and AAGS spoke in favor of the concept at the Board of Governors. The motion carried nearly unanimously at the NSPS Board of Governors, and I understand it was also supported at the NSPS Board of Directors. My bet is that the devil lurks in the details. I do not wish to be pessimistic; on the contrary, though this
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promises to be controversial. If it were easy, wouldn’t we have done it already? No one is likely to willingly agree to give up anything they already have in the spirit of compromise; all parties involved will have to exercise considerable wisdom and restraint to accomplish anything. I wish to offer some ideas on how I believe we should proceed: Any reorganization must include the following items: • A total revamping of all dues structures. There are currently far too many membership categories. Two or three should be sufficient. All similar memberships from different states, or disciplines, should pay the same. The “sliding scale” and “multiple members” enticements must go! If joint billing is to continue, it must be simplified and made similar (identical is better!) for every state. A needlessly complicated dues structure is a major turn off! I know this from experience. Fellows should pay the same, or perhaps less, but certainly not more than members. Also, I suggest that we get rid of the $15 one-time processing fee. This will send a message that we welcome new members. • I do not believe the name of the proposed single organization is terribly important at this time. Let’s not let this become a divisive issue! Regardless of what final name we ultimately agree upon, the ACSM name and logo shall be retained,
and trotted out periodically for historical purposes, but not so frequently as to add confusion to our members and/or contacts. Seventy years of history is certainly noteworthy, and cause for celebration! • A possibility that should be strongly considered is for the State Affiliates to join the new national organization directly, such that all members of each State Affiliate are automatically members of the national organization. We would immediately spike our membership tenfold or more! If this can be implemented, it follows that national dues could be reduced tenfold. This is very closely related to the motion brought forth in Orlando by NSPS Governor Shaw of New York. • Care must be taken to ensure all of our Member Organizations, Affiliates, and Sections that all is well, and that their needs will be taken into account during reorganization and will continue to be met. Remember that our current members are our most valued asset! • It is sincerely hoped that negotiations with AAGS and GLIS members can be successful and lead to integration into a single national geospatial organization. I must admit that I don’t know a great deal about the structure of the other member organizations, however, I believe we are all essentially on the same team, and we should all strive to be inclusive.
• I suggest that the new national organization’s overall structure be revised into a bicameral organization, similar to the U.S. Congress. A Board of Governors might be similar to the House of Representatives, and a Board of Directors might resemble the Senate. Any new business must pass both bodies. Naturally, all three current MOs—AAGS, GLIS and NSPS—would be represented in each body. Note that this proposed structure is technically a “Congress”. • Conferences need some fresh ideas and participation. Input from all concerned parties shall be sought and considered. Times of year, venues, and potential conference partners should all be seriously considered and discussed in advance, and by all stakeholders. One recent glaring weakness was the schedule of the Exhibit Hall in Phoenix. The conference was nearly half over before the exhibits were even open! I personally fielded multiple complaints from vendors and attendees alike. I believe I have demonstrated a multitude of reasons why we need a strong national geospatial organization. I also believe that I have enumerated many ideas for consideration as we move forward. Let’s all keep our minds open and agree to work together to make it happen—and to make it ours!
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& decision making
from dimensional to digital
intelligent cities initiative
Given current trends, smart phones will be ubiquitous, How did you decide where to live? Was it the city? The tablets will see a huge adoption rate, and e-readers will size of your place? Its appearance? The neighborhood? generate relatively low sales but enjoy a loyal customer The commute? Would you make the same decision today? base, a media research consultant recently told a room full These questions are behind the National Building Museum’s Intelligent Cities (www.nbm.org/intelligentcities], a of publishing industry stakeholders in New York City. year-long initiative formulated in partnership with TIME, Predictions about the future of device usage—how they supported by IBM, and funded by the Rockefeller Foundawill be adopted, the content fit across platforms, and tion. The initiative, which was launched on November 1st, the path to monetization for publishers—were the major is expected to produce data, analysis, and ideas on how themes covered at the recent “Magazines: From Dimennew technologies are shaping cities and make them thrive. sional to Digital” conference presented by the Magazine “It’s the grassroots input about people’s perceptions of and Publishers of America. priorities for the built environment around them that makes The device market consists of three types: e-readers, Intelligent Cities particularly significant for us,” said Chase smart phones, and tablet devices like the iPad. These W. Rynd, National Building Museum president and executive devices have different forms, different functions, and director. “Technology and access to information has reached occupy different segments of the market. Kindle, for a point where non-professionals can generate data and think instance, has done extremely well in the trade-book space, deeply about where they live. Through Intelligent Cities, we but early speculation about the device taking off in the eduhave the means to share their viewpoints with experts in the cational book and magazine segment proved unfounded. design and building industries so that there is a true give-and“Trade book publishers are very bullish on the Kindle,’ take between constituencies. Experts need input from the noted one of the speakers at the conference. “They’re community to make the planning and design process more seeing real revenue from this now,” he said. “Will a device open, participatory, and democratic.˝ like the iPad have the same impact on other types of pubVast amounts of data exist about everything from houslishing? We still don’t know.” Early indications are positive, ing costs to water usage. Intelligent Cities’ goal is to make however. Publishers such as Time Inc. are already proving technology and data more useful to urban planners, profesiPad editions can generate revenue and be successfully sionals in the design and building industries, and the public. integrated into a regular workflow. The crux is the interrelationship between information A key question is whether Kindle use [or that of another sets. For example, Intelligent Cities will make connections e-reader] is “transient,” destined to be supplanted by tablet between the size of our homes and the energy we consume as a nation, walkable neighborhoods and our health, devices like the iPad. Data on Kindle use up to this point and where we work and our infrastructure. These insights suggests users tend to be older and frequent consumers may surprise us and change our perception of the built of books, who appreciate the savings in their yearly bookenvironment around us, and, perhaps, even our behavior. buying budget, and that the longer people own the devices, “For as long as we have lived in cities we have reflected the more dedicated they are to them. on their form, feel, and function,” said Susan PiedmontThe best clue to understanding how tablets will be Paladino, Museum curator. From the launch of the first hot adopted comes from looking at smart-phone usage today. air balloon to Google maps, we have developed technolo“The iPhone users, they do an awful lot, and they are doing gies to see what we have done, what we are doing, and much more interactive and much more content-oriented what we wish to do. Today, the scale and complexity of tasks [like] looking up reference information, [and] reading neighborhoods, towns, and cities are unprecedented, and documentation and educational material on their devices,” so are our tools for understanding them.” said one of the presenters. “By the middle of this century, more than three quarters of Significantly, iPhone users differ from other smart-phone the world’s population will live in a city,” says Rockefeller users in their rate of consumption of games, news and Foundation associate director Benjamin de la Pena. “Can media, sports, articles and books. The iPhone user signifiwe use the growing data and technology about cities to cantly outpaces the average smart-phone user in these address the issues of equity and sustainability and to content-centric activities, and media experts believe that’s improve the lives of all urban dwellers?” We can, and we very promising for magazine and news publishers ...”[if] should is the message behind “Intelligent Cities”. — Carol we can project this somewhat out to the iPad.”—From the Abrams and Tara Miller. [Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or Magazines’ conference roundup. visit www.nbm.org.] 34
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Book Review Regional and Urban GIS: A Decision Support Approach, by Timothy L. Nyerges and Piotr Jankowski. The Guilford Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-60623-336-8. — Reviewed by Lorri Peltz-Lewis
Regional and Urban GIS, A Decision Support Approach by Timothy L. Nyerges and Piotr Jankowski describes methods of systematically integrating GIS into the decision process. Such integration is exceedingly effective in the urban realm, and it can also be used in the increasingly complex environmental realm. Part I lays out the foundational concepts of using GIS by taking the reader through the decision support approach in an example case study. From outlining the need for GIS in decision support, to addressing complex decision methods, basic concepts are presented. How geospatial technologies fit into decision support and the workflow process is presented and discussed. The decision situation assessment framework provides a method to document the decision situation. Part II provides a systematic approach to the definition of values, goals, objectives, and criteria which give geospatial staff the ability to identify critical data, choose appropriate database development methods, and apply these effectively in geospatial data management. The chapter on GIS-based Data Analysis provides a clear and comprehensive picture of data analysis and workflows. The multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) chapter is enriched by equations expressing stakeholder requirements. Part III illustrates data analysis for planning by reviewing multiple planning processes for major workflow components. The planning process is comprised of patterns of tasks resulting in a plan. This leads to a discussion on improvement programming and how it is “ripe for public participation in GIS.” A ten-step workflow process for a community development project is used to illustrate the integration of GIS into decision support. Part IV discusses the use of GIS in decision support for an integrated analysis of watershed, land use, and transportation themes. The integrated analysis presents sustainability as a goal and identifies the need to effectively
link sustainability research, development, and practice. The analyses and management methods identified in Regional and Urban GIS are not currently available in commercial GIS. This notwithstanding, the book provides ample proof that geospatial technology can support complex regional and urban GIS in a decision support approach at this time. The material in this book provides all geospatial practitioners with insight into utilizing GIS more effectively in supporting complex decisionmaking processes. Regional and Urban GIS can be an excellent guide for managers and planners who have access to and utilize geospatial technologies.
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 35
Ask the Fuel Expert Rising Fuelling Costs—
Technology to the rescue —by Jack Lee
How many different jobs do we all do in a day? If you’re like most managers, you wear a lot of hats. You probably manage people, resources, equipment, timeliness, budgets, and more. Among businesses in fleet or construction, most have general managers, human resource managers, equipment managers, and fleet or operations managers; but almost none has a Fuel Manager. Perhaps not surprising, but consider that fuel is now the highest operating expense in these industries—higher than equipment and even labor. Without effective fuel management your company is wasting thousands of dollars each month. Fuel is just like any other expense. It can be controlled only if it is measured, along with a number of other critical operating practices. But you need access to all that information. The good news is that technology exists so just about anyone can become a fuel manager. Good fuel management includes route planning, measuring fuel consumption and managing equipment operating practices. First you can add a GPS unit to all of your fleet vehicles. For a modest expense you can put billions of dollars worth of technology to work for you to help plan your fleet’s daily travel. The global positioning system (or GPS) employs 27 earth-orbiting satellites which were developed by the U.S. military. Today GPS is available for everybody in a pocketsized receiver that finds your exact position, anywhere in the world. The system is ideal for planning travel routes, avoiding certain roads, and reducing drive time. Less driving cuts fuel costs and GPS can track distance traveled but it can’t track fuel consumption or what you have saved. You can do that yourself using simple math. Now that you can minimize your travel time with GPS, what about more important data directly related to fuel consumption? There is new technology available that can show you exactly where all that fuel goes. Once you have that data you are on your way to better fuel management. Some onsite fuel providers use wireless systems to record fuel data—the amount and type of fuel pumped, the vehicle that received it, and the time and date. This data is then made available online where you can see your entire fleet’s or each unit’s fuel consumption by date or fuel type. One system, Fuel Management Online, actually lets users track docket data, fuel price history, and years of fuel data at no charge. With this data you can compare fuel consumption from unit to unit and make some decisions. Next is technology that can assist you to gather and deliver key information about your fleet’s fuel consump-
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tion and operating data. The latest Advanced Mobile Asset Management Technology can record all refuelling information and then deliver it, via e-mail, to your desktop. A wireless data capture chip about the size of a Loonie (1 Canadian dollar coin) is attached to each piece of equipment for positive identification. Fuel and engine performance information is recorded giving you the data you need for effective fuel management. Even more valuable is software that can help you analyze key operating information such as excessive idling, speeding, aggressive acceleration, and improper equipment maintenance. Inefficient driving habits waste the most fuel, but with this information in hand you can cut costs. Once you have this data, you set thresholds for each category and compare each unit’s performance. Now you can manage driving habits to deliver the best possible fuel efficiency. We can’t control the cost of fuel, but we can control how much we consume. When you measure and manage your fuel expenses, you can manage a realistic return on your investment for fuel. When the fuel economy of each vehicle improves month over month by managing exceptions to your set thresholds, and because you are able to record odometer readings, transaction volumes and related fuel costs, you can calculate the actual return on investment for every liter of fuel you buy. In a case study completed by Natural Resources Canada, differences of up to 12 liters per 100 kilometers were identified between a company’s most and least fuel-efficient drivers. In fact, poor driving habits can consume up to 35 percent more fuel. Using technology can help you measure and manage fuel consumption, and it will save you thousands and thousands of dollars. You do the math…it adds up! Jack Lee is the President and CEO of 4Refuel Inc, a leader in fuel management. If you have any questions or comments about this article, Jack can be reached at (604) 513-0386 or online: AskthefuelExpert@4refuel.com.
gps apps GPS tracking apps keep you connected to everyone, everywhere GTX Corp business unit LOCiMOBILE, Inc. is launching a e-mail them to friends, is expected to go live on iTunes series of GPS and personal location -based “apps” and web shortly. “The ability to see all your digital pictures five years services which mobile carriers are calling “Pure Gold”. from now, displaying exactly where and when that great shot The new apps all have a GPS component and are was taken, is a modern adaptation of our parents writing on designed to add the “where” factor to functionality. A the back of that old black-and-white photo (Grand Canyon potential block-buster is the Phone Tracking™ app which Spring 1977),” said Carlos Briceno, VP of Business Developwas launched on the Android market. More than 70 million ment. With Juniper Research supporting the theory that mobile phones are reported lost or stolen in the U.S. each year, LBS (location-based services) could drive revenue to more than but while the loss of a phone may be annoying, the loss 12.7 billion by 2014 with 1 billion smart phones, the company of personal and business data could be devastating. This is aggressively increasing app development and positioning $4.99 app is designed to work in the background and can itself for a strong presence in the mobile market with a diverse be activated to turn on remotely in the event you misplace product line and increased global user base. — Suzy Ginsburg, your phone by either texting your phone a PIN or a password gcomworks.com or by going to GTX’s portal www.gpstrackingapps.com. Your About GTX Corp with you ® phone will begin sending its location coordinates back to the GTX Corp, a leader in real-time GPS Tracking personal location serwebsite or the phone you are texting from, in one-minute vices was founded in 2002 and is based in Los Angeles, California. intervals after each text request. Known for its game-changing patented micro GPS device in a shoe GTX Corp is also about to launch a new live tracking – the GPS Smart Shoe ™ and its block-buster smartphone GPS Trackversion of its popular Tracking App which will work in the ing App which hit number two on the iTunes top-grossing chart, the background on Apple’s 4.0 OS. Live Tracking ™, already company continues to pave the way with innovative geo-specific and available on Android and BlackBerry will be part of the proximity alerting applications that help you know where someone or web-based service and offers cross-platform, real-time something is at the touch of a button. GTX Corp owns and operates GPS tracking of friends and family, and co-workers. LOCiMOBILE, Inc. which develops location-based social networks GPS Camera ™, which geo-tags and time stamps your (LBSN), mobile applications for smart phones, Code Amber News photos and enables you to upload them to Facebook or Service, and Code Amber Alertag.
games In the style of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, 16year old computer whiz kid William LeGate takes the Apple App Store by storm. With the launch of a new free App for iPhone through his company Imagination Research Labs, LeGates’ Game Giveaway enjoyed overnight success. Each day Game Giveaway gives away a high-quality paid game for free. Users download the game, play it, and then review it. In a market of over 300,000 game applications available for iPhone users, Game Giveaway gained instant popularity in just weeks into its roll out. After 100,000 downloads of Game Giveaway in 24 hours, the app quickly rose to number two on the Top 25 Free iPhone applications, snatching a rating of 4.5 starts out of 5 possible. The first game promoted by Game Giveaway, Paper Ninja, soared to number one in the App Store, creating a whirlwind of enthusiasm by game developers because of the free promotion their games received. “It’s basically a Groupon for the mobile gaming environment, except that it’s completely free,” said developer William LeGate. Game Giveaway built its popularity on four factors: the games are very good, they are free to users of the free
Game Giveaway iPhone App, and there is a new game available for downloading each day.. As if this were not enough inducement, users can keep the game. — James Crane, jaye@ jmcrpr.com About William LeGate: William is a rare young talent born in Georgia who harnessed his knowledge of computers and love of video games into something productive. The high school sophomore’s career started at age 11 when he began setting up network hubs. By age 12 he was blogging, and by 13 he was an arbitrageur, buying and repairing iPods and iPhones and selling them for a higher price. At 14, LeGate wrote a popular iPhone app, Fake-A-Text, which was featured in the New York Times. Game Giveaway was developed through Imagination Research Labs, an iPhone development firm based in Atlanta, GA, founded by LeGate. For more information, visit http://www.gamegiveaway.com and http://www.imaginationresearchlabs.com. december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 37
Web Mission Planning First completely automatic web-accessible GNSS survey planning tool Ashtech® today announced at Intergeo the immediate availability of Web Mission Planning, the first self-contained, completely automatic web-accessible GNSS survey planning tool. Anyone, anywhere can log in at www.ashtech. com and use the survey-planning tool free of charge to determine satellite visibilities. The new tool developed by Ashtech uses Google Earth mapping and is inter-active and completely self-contained. “Unlike existing planning tools, there is no need to import satellite almanacs or download anything, since Web Mission Planning automatically retrieves and loads the daily almanac into the application’s background,” said Olivier Casabianca, Product Marketing Manager, GNSS boards and sensors. Survey planning in advance is important to ensure optimum satellite geometry, to account for mask at the site, and to avoid poor satellite tracking conditions in the field. Surveyors working in urban canyons or under dense tree canopy and GPS-only receiver users find that it is particularly important to prepare their survey by determining in advance the best time and product configuration for optimal satellite visibility and DOP. The Ashtech Web Mission Planning tool helps surveyors increase productivity. With web access to the free onlinetool, there is no need to be at the office anymore to check the next mission, any operator can do it in the field via a simple internet connection, even via smart phone, to ensure survey conditions will be optimal for the next day. Web Mission Planning is easy to access and use. Once a user has logged-in using a web-browser, Web Mission Planning requires just three steps to provide satellite visibilities. • Step one: select the site using either the integrated Google Maps or key in the location or coordinates. - Step two: select the time and date range. - Step three: select the desired satellite constellations, GPS, GLONASS and SBAS, that are to be included. Satellite visibility results are offered in four different views: satellites and count; satellites and DOP (GDOP, PDOP, VDOP, HDOP, TDOP); polar diagram, and a 3D representation. EASY TO ACCESS When selecting the site location, users can either drag and drop the pin marker or key-in the location name or coordinates. For a growing number of coordinates, one can also display a panorama of the selected site and use it as a basis for marking a site mask. Users can also either apply an elevation mask or draw a specific mask using plots. Time
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selection is fast and easy. Just pick a start time and date and an ending date and time. Web Mission Planning automatically detects time zones according to selected sites. Satellite selection is also fast and easy. Select or de-select constellations (GPS, GLONASS, SBAS) and or individual satellites. EASY TO READ The results for satellite count and DOP values are presented in clear graphic form. Using mouse over the graphic display, users are able to highlight satellites, times and sums to quickly find the information they need. The satellites and DOP results window offers satellite visibility plus DOP curves. Using the mouse over the graphic display the user is able to display DOP values over time. So don’t wait. Visit ashtech.com and click on support, then click on Web Mission Planning. — Claire Geffroy, cgeffroy@ ashtech.com
Recognized as an industry innovator, Ashtech (formerly Magellan Professional) has been developing GNSS technology for more than 25 years. Ashtech is the creator of BLADE technology, which introduces a unique patented method to the market using multiple GNSS constellations for high-accuracy positioning. Ashtech has also introduced the MobileMapper® series of products for GIS and mapping, as well as the ProFlex™ 500 and ProMark™ series, including the ProMark 500, ProMark3 RTK and ProMark 3, a well-recognized GNSS Land Survey product line currently on the market. Ashtech S.A.S. is privately held and headquartered in Carquefou, France, with offices in Beijing, China, and Singapore, as well as affiliates in Santa Clara, California (Ashtech LLC) and Moscow (Ashtech A/O LLC). For more information on Ashtech, visit www.ashtech.com.
Some Ashtech products
Mobille Mapper 100 ArcPad
low–high tech Low-tech Skilcraft pens endure in a high-tech world —by Ylan Q. Mui Among the elaborate seals, bronze statues and marble hallways that adorn federal Washington, there is another symbol of the machinery of government that is often overlooked: the lowly ballpoint pen. For more than 40 years, standard black pens have cluttered the desks of thousands of federal employees, hung on a chain at post offices across the country and slipped into the pockets of countless military personnel. Yet few have realized that this government-issue pen has a history to rival that of any monument. Blind workers assemble the pens in factories in Wisconsin and North Carolina under the brand name Skilcraft as part of a 72-year-old legislative mandate. The original 16page specifications for the pen are still in force: It must be able to write continuously for a mile and in temperatures up to 160 degrees and down to 40 degrees below zero. It has been used in war zones and gas stations, and was designed to fit undetected into U.S. military uniforms. According to company lore, the pen can stand in for a two-inch fuse and comes in handy during emergency tracheotomies. “It’s the Coca-Cola of ink pens,” said Richard Oliver, operations manager at Industries of the Blind in North Carolina. “Everybody recognizes this pen.” The unassuming pen stamped with the words “SKILCRAFT U.S. GOVERNMENT” in white letters has endured despite quantum leaps in communications technology that have rendered lesser tools obsolete. Taking over from the fountain pen, it has withstood the advent of the rubberized “comfort grip” and the freely flowing gel ink, not to mention computers, instant messages and smartphones. The U.S. Postal Service alone orders 700,000 a year. Annual production at the Greensboro, N.C., plant has dropped during the past two decades from 21 million pens to about 4 million, but it remains a bestseller among Skilcraft’s office supplies. The National Industries for the Blind is trying to keep it that way by reminding federal agencies that it is the official ballpoint pen supplier to the federal government, even if agencies sometimes buy from other suppliers. The group has been advertising its products and workers with posters and radio and newspaper spots, and it held a workshop for 1,500 procurement officers in May. “It’s still a cornerstone,” said Kevin Lynch, chief executive of NIB, an Alexandria nonprofit organization that helps to coordinate production of the pens. “It’s a dependable product.” Perhaps that is because, like the bureaucrats who use it, the pen is more performance than pageantry. The original design— brass ink tube, plastic barrel not shorter than 4 5/8 inches, ball of 94 percent tungsten carbide and 6 percent cobalt—has changed little over the decades. It costs less than 60 cents.
The pen’s roots date to the Depression. The 1938 WagnerO’Day Act required the federal government to buy certain products made by the blind, thereby creating jobs for a thenmarginalized population. First came mops and brooms, but the program eventually expanded to include a full line of cleaning and office supplies under the brand name Skilcraft. In fiscal 2009, the program, now known as AbilityOne, raked in a record $658.5 million in sales of products and services. The pens account for about $5 million in sales each year. About 60 percent of business is from the military, but the Agriculture, Commerce and Justice departments are all reliable customers, according to NIB. The pens are primarily issued through government agencies, though civilians can buy them by request through some retail stores. Part of the pen’s cult appeal comes from its writing capabilities. Among other things, the original General Services Administration requirements for items FSC 7520 (the ballpoint pen) and FSC 7510 (the refill) dictated that: The ink cartridge shall be capable of producing under 125 grams of pressure a line not less than 5,000 feet long. Blobs shall not average more than 15 per 1,000 feet of writing, with a maximum of 25 for any 1,000-foot increment. Writing shall not be completely removed after two applications of chemical bleach. The pens have also spawned their own folklore. The length of the pen is said to be equivalent to 150 nautical miles on Navy maps, helping pilots navigate in a pinch. The metal tip has reportedly been cited as the maximum length for a woman's fingernails in the military. Chuck Lange, chief executive of Industries for the Blind in Milwaukee, said that the pens can write upside down and that they have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. A pair of pens purportedly used in the Vietnam War were on sale on eBay for $9.99. Tony Bridges, a pen enthusiast in Florida who writes for the blog Tiger Pens, said he remembers his father, a machinist in the Navy, stashing the pens in the garage at home in Virginia Beach in the early 1980s. Bridges said many kids showed up at school with the pens, and they quickly figured out how to re-configure them into pellet guns, pinging one another with ink cartridges. "It's one of those things that you just sort of take for granted because there's so many of them," Bridges said. "You don't think about the history that's behind them." december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 39
On the association wire —letter to the editor—
Associations 3.0: “The New Normal”
—by G.A. Taylor Fernley
“Are we learning as fast as the world is changing?” How would you answer this question? The business landscape as we knew it is forever changed. Many associations are remaking themselves or disappearing entirely. Some experts claim that it is not a recession we have been going through; however, an economic “compression” — the painful process of reconciling an economy based on perceived value with its actual value. The landscape that emerges after this so-called storm will be vastly different from anything we have experienced. That’s the bad news. The good news for those who see opportunities through the haze, the future is rich with new and exciting possibilities. Enter the “New Normal” The sooner we recognize that this downturn has been the precursor to another seismic shift in our economy and society, the quicker we can shift from a doom-andgloom mindset to being exited about new growth and ready to embrace the next area of, let’s call it, reinvention. Many forward thinking association leaders are already beginning discussions about what the new landscape will be. And again, rest assured, it will not resemble anything we have seen before. Enter “Associations 3.0.” We as association leaders need to invent the next “traditions” for our organizations, ways of thinking and being that will allow us to move forward with greater confidence so that we may realize our full potential and progressively and aggressively move our associations forward. 40
RE: NSPS w/o ACSM Ah! What a refreshing and stimulating Every ACSM member, and especially surprise it was to read the September our NSPS activists clamoring for total 2010 (vol. 70, no. 3) issue of Surveyseparation from ACSM, ought to read ing and Land Information Systems at least the well written “Editorial” (SaLIS)! The six LAND INFORMATION by Prof. Ahmed H. Mohamed, PE, of SCIENCE papers are all focussing the University of Florida who says: on future surveying, i.e., the future ”Surveying and Mapping organizations of surveying methods, tools, and need to get together with the FAA” technology. They address ongoing and discuss reasonable regulations state-of-the-art development and for commercial surveying business. In research aspirations for the surveying order to operate a lightweight UAV community. The articles are loaded (with a 1 kg payload and flying below with abbreviations and acronyms that 400 ft above ground) “one needs a may well overwhelm some of us old solid understanding of positioning and timers! But they are here to stay. By navigation.” Geodesy and geodetic now, everybody, and not just surveydatums do play a vital role in survey ors, know GPS. That fantastic technolpractice and cadaster. This fundaogy is at the foundation of what is to mental fact confirms Prof. Hazelton’s come. From the papers, we can learn point that technical “silos” are not the about the ever growing connections answer to our land surveyor problem with LiDAR, MEMS, IMU, CARS, and (ACSM Bulletin No. 244, April 2010, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Light- and SALIS vol. 65, No. 3, 2005). Let’s weight UAV may well be the most hope, somebody is listening! promising gadget in our professional Gunther Greulich, PLS, PE, future. Tiny GPS receivers in cellular fellow, life member telephones, today, may give us a clue former ACSM president (1991-92) how research may lead us toward centimeter accuracy positioning, soon. But what defines leaders in these uncertain times is a universal sense of optimism and a relentless search for opportunity; put another way, • They do not focus on the current problems, but on new solutions; • Their view is one of long-term growth, not short-turn survivability; • They identify and exploit changing dynamics in the marketplace; • They see who is joining, what their priorities are, what needs they can satisfy now, and what is just around the corner (The members of today will not be the members of tomorrow); • They see downturns as an opportunity to "de-clutter," reevaluate and refocus their strategy;
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• And, last but not least, they accept that what we have come through is a natural cycle and an opportunity to build capacity and resilience to face head-on the next challenge down the road. They use these times to aggressively position, or reposition themselves for the upturn just around the corner. And, that’s just where we are today. Growth and consumer confidence continues to improve, albeit at a snail’s pace. So again, and at the expense of being redundant:
“Are we learning as fast at the world is changing?”
Broadband usage growing even as gaps persist —by Joelle Tessler The U.S. still faces a significant gap households with income of less band plan filled with policy proposals in residential broadband use that than $25,000. in March of this year. The agency’s breaks down along incomes, educa• 84.5 percent of households with top recommendations include tapping tion levels, and other socio-economic at least one college degree subthe federal program that subsidizes factors, even as subscriptions among scribed to broadband last year, telephone service for poor and rural American households overall grew compared with 28.8 percent of Americans to pay for broadband, and sevenfold from 2001 to 2009. What’s households without a high school unleashing more airwaves for wiremore, even when controlling for key degree. less connections. Wireless broadband socio-economic characteristics, the • 77.3 percent of Asian-American is seen as a particularly attractive U.S. continues to confront a gap households and 68 percent of option for bringing high-speed serin residential broadband use, with non-Hispanic white households vice to rural areas that may be too non-Hispanic white Americans and subscribed to broadband last year, sparsely populated to justify costly Asian-Americans more likely to go compared with 49.4 percent of landline networks. online using a high-speed connecAfrican-American households and “The digital divide is an opportunity tion than African-Americans and 47.9 percent of Hispanic housedivide; if you can’t get online, you Hispanics. Those are some of the holds. can’t compete in the digital economy,” key conclusions of a new analysis of • 65.9 percent of urban households FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Census data released in 2010 by the subscribed to broadband in 2009, said in a statement reacting to the Commerce Department. compared with 51 percent of rural new Commerce Department report. It found that the percentage of households. “Connecting America to fast, affordhouseholds that connect to the InterOne surprising finding of the new able Internet will create 21st Century net using broadband grew to 63.5 Commerce Department report is that jobs that grow our economy and percent in 2009 from 9.2 percent African-Americans and Hispanics lag secure our global leadership.” in 2001, reflecting increases across behind in broadband adoption even NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service, nearly all demographics. when controlling for factors such which is part of the Agriculture DepartThe report—prepared by the Comas income and education. The data ment, have been handing out roughly $7 merce Department’s National Telecomshow a gap of 10 percentage points billion in stimulus money to pay for new munications and Information Administra- in broadband use between whites and broadband networks and programs to tion and the Economics and Statistics blacks and a gap of 14 percentage get more Americans online. Administration—is based on a Census points between whites and Hispanics. Strickling stressed that one key survey of about 54,000 households conAlthough the data do not provide challenge for policy makers lies in ducted in October 2009. The new study an explanation for these numbers, convincing Americans who are not provides some of the deepest analysis Rebecca Blank, under secretary for online of the benefits of broadband. yet of broadband usage trends in the Economic Affairs, believes it could The Census data found that 38 perUnited States; and it is likely to help reflect limited exposure to the Internet cent of Americans who don’t have guide Congress and the Federal Commu- among certain demographic groups. broadband at home say they don’t nications Commission as they develop “Internet usage relies on networks,” subscribe because they don’t need it, policies to ensure that all Americans she said. “If the people around you while 26 percent say it’s too expenhave access to affordable high-speed don’t use the Internet, you will be sive, and only 4 percent say it’s not Internet service. The analysis, said less likely to use the Internet, too.” available where they live. A survey Lawrence Strickling, head of the NTIA, The margin of sampling error for the conducted by the FCC last year shows that “there is no single solution” aggregate 2009 data is plus or minus reached many of the same concluto make this happen. Among the major 0.3 percentage points, with higher or sions. To try to change such attitudes, findings: lower sampling errors for questions the stimulus program includes $250 • 94.1 percent of households with involving subgroups. million for projects to teach digital litincome exceeding $100,000 Closing gaps in broadband use eracy skills and encourage broadband subscribed to broadband in 2009, is a top priority for the FCC, which adoption, plus another $200 million for compared with 35.8 percent of released a sweeping national broadpublic computer centers. december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 41
Mt. McKinley, also known as Denali, “the great one”, in the native Athabaskan language
North to Alaska —by David L. Holland Every September, a couple of college buddies and I go on a two-week camping trip. We fly out to the nearest large city in the western United States that strikes our fancy, rent an SUV, and head out to parts unknown. For example, last year we met in Phoenix and drove up to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon and then circled through southern Utah, camping at the various national parks. The year before that we met in Denver, 42
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rented an SUV, and drove up to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks. This year, we took John Wayne’s advice and flew up to Anchorage, Alaska. We rented a 30’ Winnebago RV and drove over to the nearest Wal-Mart to load up with the necessary essentials for our Alaskan adventure. After hauling our groceries and beer out to the RV and stowing them away, we determined it was time to hit the
road. The sun doesn’t set until 9:30 p.m. or so at that time of year, so we set the GPS for Denali National Park (about 240 miles) and headed out on the George Parks Highway. Leaving Anchorage behind, we drove through beautiful scenic countryside. Suddenly, we came onto a sharp curve doing about 55 MPH, and found ourselves dodging a bottle of Ragu spaghetti sauce which went flying through the air from an opened cupboard.
Whew, that was a close one!!! We pulled over, cleaned the mess up, checked all the cupboards, and resumed our journey. After another 50 miles or so I saw vehicles up ahead pulling over and figured there must be wildlife on the side of the road. So, after parking our behemoth RV, we all jumped out with our cameras and binoculars to check out the action. Sure enough, a magnificent moose and her baby moose were grazing off the side of the road. We all photographed the pair until they had enough, and off into the woods they went. Finally, we arrived at our campsite for the night at Denali State Park (not to be confused with Denali National Park 70 miles up the road in Interior Alaska). We walked over to the scenic overlook to get a look at Mt. McKinley, which, at 20,320 feet, is the highest mountain on the North American continent. I saw a tremendous mountain range in the distance, but Mt. McKinley was obscured by clouds. A fellow tourist pointed out that because of extensive cloud cover, the chance of seeing its peak is only 30 percent of the time. This clearly was not one of those times. We returned to our campsite and had supper around the campfire, hoping to be more successful the next day. I knew luck was on our side when I stepped out of the RV to clear, pristine skies and bright sunshine the morning after. I walked over to the overlook and, Mt. McKinley was absolutely awesome. It overpowered all the other mountains around it. We spent an hour or so taking pictures from every angle. Established in 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park, its original two million acres grew to six million acres by 1980, and its name was changed to Denali National Park and Preserve. We pulled into the park and found our campsite after sightseeing around the visitor center and checking out the exhibits and films providing background information about the park. There is only one road into the interior of the park; it stretches 92 miles and beyond the 15 mile mark is not accessible to private vehicles. So, the next morning, we boarded a “concessionary” bus and rode it through the wilderness to the Eielson Visitor Center at the 69 mile mark. Along the way the bus would stop on the gravel road whenever any wild life was spotted and we would get out our cameras and binoculars. As we drove deeper into the park, we spotted caribou in the river valleys, Dall sheep on the hillsides, and grizzly bear forag-
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Karibou [left] and Dall sheep [center] in Denali National Park
ing in the tundra. After about four hours on the road we rolled into the Eielson Visitor Center and stared across an enormous, glacier-filled canyon below Mt. McKinley. Denali Park is probably as wild and as remote as any park in the country but its extraordinary grandeur is something to behold. We spent three days at Denali and then headed out to Fairbanks. Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska and the northernmost in all of the United States. It is not necessarily a well planned city. However, we did find a large Safeway and after stocking up on food and beer, we drove out of town along Main Street. We then followed the Richardson Highway southeast to Delta Junction, a city at the confluence of the Delta and Tanana rivers. That night we camped at Big Delta State Historical Park, on the banks of the Tanana River. Rika’s Roadhouse, now the centerpiece of the park, served between 1909 and 1947 as a resting place for gold seekers, fur traders, hunters, freighters, and other travellers on their journey along the historic Valdez-to-Fairbanks Trail. There was a large gold strike around Fairbanks in the early 1900s, and the gold rush stampeders would cross the Tanana River by ferry at Rika’s. We continued along the Richardson Highway, the first major road built in Alaska, to historic Glennallen where we had crossed over the Alaska Range to the Wrangell Mountain Range (home of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park) and on through Copper Center. We camped that night at the fabulous Mangey Moose Saloon & Cantina RV Park. Now, this was definitely our kind of RV campsite! The place was rather run down and had what I call “atmosphere.” It was run by some Russians who barely spoke English, but all the locals hung out at the bar, watching a 52” HDTV playing MTV rock band videos or enjoying a game of pool. As a concession to the less hardy, hot showers were available for $5.00, and there was a sauna too. 44
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Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
That night we joined the locals for a few beers and an eight-ball tournament. When we finally packed it in, it was quite late, but it was a social night to remember. The next day we drove over Thompson Pass and hiked to the Worthington Glacier, then drove through the scenic Keystone Canyon to the Port of Valdez, the largest port Kenai Peninsular and home to 4,353 people. Valdez is located on the northeast tip of Prince William Sound, at the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. We rolled in that afternoon to clouds and light rain and registered at our RV campground in the heart of Valdez. There is a giant pier next to the oil terminal; and fishermen lined up along it casting for silver salmon. They were pulling in 20-25 pound salmon as fast as they could throw in a line. It was quite a sight. As I was walking around, a lady asked me if I would like to have a salmon. Well, of course I said “sure enough,” and before I knew it, she had hooked one and reeled it in. We filleted the fish at a nearby fillet stand and packed it in ice. That evening we grilled the salmon at our campsite—and, boy, did it taste good! The next morning we drove the RV onto the ferry for a five-hour trip across the Prince William Sound over to Whittier Island. That ferry ride was absolutely fantastic. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the Sound was a bluish sheet of pristine water basking in another perfect day. We saw a large sea lion
Columbia Glacier from the ferry
is filled with quaint shops and art galleries. Anybody who wants to visit the Kenai Fjords National Park goes there through Seward, the gateway to the park. We camped on the shore, in the heart of Seward. Every afternoon an otter would swim leisurely back and forth along the shore on his back, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to come colony and later sailed by the outflow of melting ice from the Columbia Glacier. Blue icebergs were floating in the Sound everywhere we looked. We finally docked at Whittier and headed for the 2.5-mile-long Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the longest highway tunnel in North America. The tunnel connects the port city of Whittier to the Seward Highway on the Kenai Peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska. This combineduse rail and highway tunnel opened to vehicle traffic in June 2000 after an extensive conversion from a World War II railroad tunnel. We waited in line, paid our toll, and drove through it, straddling railway tracks all the way. Fortunately, no train came from the opposite direction when we were in the tunnel. Once out, we drove 175 miles down the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, a hamlet on the shore of Kachemak Bay. Homer is famous among fishermen for sport and commercial fishing of salmon and halibut as well as orca and humpback whales. But Homer’s spectacular scenery has also made it very touristy. Regardless, we had great time exploring the local lore and its finest examples. Toward the end of the day we sauntered into the Salty Dog Saloon which was conveniently within walking distance from our RV camp. All the walls of Salty Dog are tacked with one-dollar bills from floor to ceiling. I don’t know when it all started, but it’s become customary for a patron to take out a dollar bill, write his or her name on it with a Sharpie, and then tack it to the wall. There must be at least 100,000 dollars on those walls. After a day or two we left Homer and headed for Seward on the other side of the Kenai Peninsula. Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest communities and it
Holmer hamlet’s finest
by. Then, as a lightening rod, it would flop over, dive down, and resurface again, holding in its paws its fish dinner which it then proceeded to devour while again swimming leisurely on its back. Quite a sight! After some more exploring at Seward and a hike to the nearby glacier, we headed back to Anchorage. We spent our last night camping in the parking lot of a RV rental place. Early the next morning we packed up, took a shuttle to the airport, and bade Alaska a fond adieu. Alaska is one beautiful place. I highly recommend adding an Alaskan vacation to your wish list for 2011. [Editor’s note: David Holland, LS, is Henrico County Surveyor and NSPS Governor from Virginia. This article was also published, in a different format, in The Old Dominion Surveyor, vol. 47, no. 4.] december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 45
Coldest Cities in the U.S. Baby it’s cold outside, but it could be a lot worse. The Daily Beast finds the 25 cities that will be turning the heat on full blast this winter—the coldest cities in America. There’s a cold spell sweeping through the southern states bringing an early freeze that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the winter. The wind chill level in Asheville, North Carolina on Wednesday the last week in December was 1 degree, while farmers in Florida have had to irrigate their crops with warm water to avoid damage, with some forsaking sleep to keep an eye on the near-freezing temperatures. Global warming-and-cooling concerns aside, the southern states are not typically hotbeds of frostbite. For that, we turn to the Northeast and Midwest plain states. To find out which cities are America’s coldest during the winter months, The Daily Beast looked at the top 75 most populous cities in the 15 historically coldest states. For these 75 cities we analyzed temperature readings from the National Climatic Data Center, retrieved via the Farmer’s Almanac. The coldest cities were determined by weighting the average temperature from December 2009 to March 2010 at two-thirds, and giving one-third to the cities with the coldest single days during the winter. Consider it an extra credit, so to speak, for cities where residents have had to suffer through the coldest of the cold. And southern states, count your blessings—as this too should pass. For the rest of us, winter is just rearing its head, so bundle up.
#1 Fairbanks, Alaska Average winter temperature 2009: -.6 degrees Coldest day: -41.1 degrees, January 12 Warmest day: 48.2 degrees, March 29 Days with snow: 38%
#9, Duluth, Minnesota #10, Butte-Silver Bow, Montana #11, Rochester, Minnesota #12, Sioux City, Iowa #13, Bozeman, Montana #14, Wasilla, Alaska
#2, Grand Forks, North Dakota Average winter temperature 2009: 14.8 degrees Coldest day: -32.8 degrees, January 2 Warmest day: 66.2 degrees, March 30 Days with snow: 47% #3, Bismarck, North Dakota #4, Fargo, North Dakota #5, Watertown, South Dakota #6, Aberdeen, South Dakota #7, Laramie, Wyoming #8, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 46
ACSM BULLETIN december 2010
#15, Newport, Vermont Average winter temperature 2009: 25 degrees Coldest day: -19.5 degrees, January 10 Warmest day: 55.4 degrees, March 19
America’s Smartest Cities #12, Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan area population: 2,066,732 Bachelor’s degrees: 21% Graduate degrees: 11% Year-to-date adult nonfiction book sales: 1,455,000
#1, Boston, Mass. Metropolitan area population: 4,588,680 Bachelor’s degrees: 24% Graduate degrees: 18% Year-to-date adult nonfiction book sales: 7,031,000
#13, Salt Lake City, Utah #14, Philadelphia, Penn. #15, Milwaukee, Wisc. #16, New York, N.Y. #17, Cleveland, Ohio #18, San Diego, Calif. #19, Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan area population: 1,801,848 Bachelor’s degrees: 22% Graduate degrees: 11% Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 1,248,000
#2, Hartford, Conn. #3, San Francisco Bay Area, Calif. #4, Raleigh/Durham, N.C. #5, Denver, Colo. Metropolitan area population: 2,554,474 Bachelor’s degrees: 25% Graduate degrees: 13% Year-to-date adult nonfiction book sales: 4,040,000 #6, Seattle, Wash. #7, Austin, Texas #8, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. #9, Washington, D.C. #10, Rochester, N.Y. #11, Portland, Ore. Metropolitan area population: 2,241,913 Bachelor’s degrees: 22% Graduate degrees: 12% Year-to-date adult nonfiction book sales: 2,936,000
#20, Baltimore Metropolitan area population: 2,690,886 Bachelor’s degrees: 20% Graduate degrees: 15% Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 2,303,000
#21, Pittsburgh, Pa. Metropolitan area population: 2,354,957 Bachelor’s degrees: 17% Graduate degrees: 11% Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 1,682,000
december 2010 ACSM BULLETIN 47
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7/12/10 9:04:52 AM
Popular science magazine published by ACSM for geospatial professionals