Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 Surveying and Mapping Conference

NSPS has received a lot of feedback on four major points: (1) there is a need for NSPS to resume a national surveying and mapping conference, (2) there is too much of a proliferation of conferences in the geospatial community (3) a national conference should compliment, not compete with or duplicate, continuing education provided by state surveying societies, and (4) there is a need for a exhibit hall opportunity that crosses disciplines and is not tied to a specific company.

I am pleased to announce that NSPS, in cooperation with MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, ) will host “Collaboration: The Map to the Future” - A national surveying and mapping conference.  This special event will be April 13-16 at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City (Arlington), VA.
The overall conference will serve as an umbrella to include plenary sessions, an exhibit hall, and social/networking activities designed to create synergy among the many vertical segments (technical disciplines, applications, and sectors) of the surveying, mapping and geospatial community.  It will also feature a “conference within a conference” format in which participating organizations will hold their own meetings and conference sessions.

For NSPS members, the conference will feature our student competition, meetings of NSPS committees and our governing body, and, on Wednesday, April 15, NSPS members, together with MAPPS, will be on Capitol Hill visiting some 200 Congressmen and Senators advancing a common agenda of legislative issues that serve the public and engage the surveying and mapping community.

Also on the program will be symposia by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Geospatial Management Office (GMO) of the Department of Homeland Security.
In the coming days, we will be launching a special website,,  that will be the forum for information, registration and other details on the conference.  We will let you know when that site is operational.

This conference will bring together all sectors, stakeholders, constituents, and levels of government in the surveying, mapping, and geospatial field.  It will be a forum for a discussion of issues and policies, sharing of information and provision of education, and collaboration on data acquisition, processing, applications and the employment of new and emerging technology, as well as new markets.

The conference will be “vendor-neutral”.  It will focus on collaboration between government and the private sector, as well as among various governmental entities at all levels, and the introduction of new technology (GPS, GNSS, LIDAR, BIM, Mobile Mapping, Cloud Computing, UAVs, etc.) to facilitate those collaborations.

The Hilton-Crystal City Hotel is conveniently located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  It is within walking distance of the Metro system and is near Ronald Reagan National Airport.  This will enable easy local transfers from the airport (or Amtrak station in Alexandria, VA or Union Station in Washington) and will provide for easy access to Capitol Hill for members’ Congressional visits.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend this exciting event.  We will keep you informed as more details are unveiled.

Curtis W. Sumner LS
NSPS Executive Director

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Attention Professional Surveyors and Survey Technicians: Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Again Seeks help from NSPS Members

NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner has recently been approached by the Skill Assessment Team of O*NET to again assist in a U.S. Department of Labor effort to identify occupation experts who can help to insure that occupation descriptions listed in the O*NET database are current and accurate. The two categories for which descriptions are being updated are Surveyor and Surveying Technician.
Volunteer participants identified by NSPS should have five (5) or more years of experience, or supervisory/training experience, in the respective categories for which they will provide input. Participants will be asked to complete O*NET questionnaires. The O*NET team has specifically asked that NSPS seek out current Surveying Technicians as part of the group that reviews the technician category.

Anyone interested in participating, or has staff they believe can contribute, should contact Curt at There is likely to be a time lag between the time a person volunteers and when they are contacted by O*NET.

Thursday, December 11, 2014



Media Contact:
 Joseph V.R. Paiva, PhD, PS, PE
 Principal, GeoLearn LLC


Noted Retired NGS Expert Makes RTK and Heights with GNSS Real

Dec 11, 2014 - Kansas City, MO - GeoLearn, a company focused on serving the geospatial industry with online learning and continuing education credits, is proud to announce that nationally recognized geospatial expert Bill Henning's seven new GNSS courses have been added to the GeoLearn course catalog. Bill Henning is a professional land surveyor who was instrumental in developing RTK guidelines for surveyors at the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). Here he expands on the basics of positioning with RTK and adds a special three-course series on heighting with GNSS.
Bill's four courses on RTK dissect how GNSS works, covering the physics and surveying implications of what affects the signals from space, benefits and costs of single base versus real time networks, and best field methods to maximize a surveyor's effectiveness with RTK.

His heighting series (three courses) cover the interrelationships between gravity and heights, use of the NGS hybrid geoid model and height modernization procedures, and use of the NGS 58 and 59 guidelines and real-time precision. "I've tried to incorporate the very latest in the science and practical knowledge that many have developed at NGS in collaboration with public and private partners on the subject of effective RTK use and heighting with GNSS," said Henning.

"We were so pleased when Bill agreed to teach this series of courses," said Joe Paiva, CEO of GeoLearn. "Bill is a national treasure to surveyors and we are pleased to be able to extend his legacy to the public beyond his tenure with NGS."


About GeoLearn

GeoLearn, LLC is an online education company, based in the Kansas City metropolitan area that serves professionals and technicians in the surveying, mapping, GIS and related communities with interactive online video courses. As of now, GeoLearn has over 45 courses online in its growing catalog. GeoLearn also provides a complete range of custom video production services for business training, news, publicity, promotion and education purposes.

Call: 1-877-225-0317 or visit    Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Google+  View our videos on YouTube            

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© Copyright 2014 GeoLearn LLC. All rights reserved.

Memorial fund established for family of young Oklahoma surveyor

On November 24, 2014 John David Crockett was operating a surveying instrument on the side of a residential street in North Tulsa, OK when he was struck by a SUV, resulting in his death on November 25. He was laid to rest on December 2, 2014.

Police say the SUV's driver lost control and drove onto the grass, hitting Crockett and his equipment. "We had safety cones set up down here at the back sight point, and we had cones on our occupy point. That's where he was," said Danny Hawley, a coworker. After hitting the man, the woman driving the SUV continued on, hit a parked car, then left the scene and went to a family member’s house. Police say family convinced her to return.

John has two young daughters, 8 & 6 years old. His employer, Sisemore Weisz & Associates has established the John David Crockett Memorial Fund for his daughters, and asks that anyone wishing to make a contribution to this account please make their check payable to "Cianna and Kyra Crockett" at RCB Bank. Donations can be delivered to any branch location, or mailed to RCB Bank, 5000 West Kenosha St, Broken Arrow, OK 74012. Donations can also be delivered to Sisemore Weisz & Associates, 6111 E. 32nd Place Tulsa, OK 74135 for deposit in the fund account.

On behalf of surveyors nationwide, NSPS extends it sincere sympathy to John’s family, coworkers, and friends. “He was one of us”, said NSPS Executive Curt Sumner, "we are a small, but close-knit professional community. When we lose any of our fellow surveyors we are saddened, but when we lose one so young we are heartbroken for both his personal, and professional, families." 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

NSPS Radio Hour — Dec. 8, 11 a.m. EDT

Curtis Sumner,
NSPS Executive Director

The results of the November, 2014 national elections will significantly change the composition of the U.S. Senate, and fortified the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Will this have a positive impact on getting things accomplished to benefit the economy, and the country? Join NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John Palatiello as he discusses the issue with host Curt Sumner.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, listen to the archive of the show at Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ALTA/ACSM Questions

Thanks to all who have commented on the series of questions that have been posted about the ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Requirements. From time to time, we receive requests for access to the entire series of questions. Access can be achieved through the link, and in the search box type in ALTA. NSPS also plans to provide this link directly from our soon to be completed new website. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mason & Dixon’s Original Instrument Being Restored

Mason & Dixon’s Original Instrument Being Restored

The most historically-significant surveying instrument in America ― Mason & Dixon’s astronomical transit, used on the 5-year colonial survey of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania following the French & Indian War ― is being restored to its full original condition.

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

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

Several professional organizations have made substantial donations, among them Surveyors Historical Society (SHS,) the District of Columbia Association of Land Surveyors (DCALS,) and the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE.) Contributions have been coming in from surveyors all across the country, but the goal is far from met.
Once completed, the beautifully-restored instrument will become part of the main public display at Independence Hall. Each donor’s name will be inscribed in a large leather book to be entitled, “A Gift to the Nation”, which will be permanently displayed with the transit.