Products, People, Places

PRODUCTS

GS20 Professional Data Mapper
Leica Geosystems announces the introduction of the GS20 Professional Data Mapper (PDM), combining the accuracy of a sub-meter GIS mapping system, the ease of a handheld GPS receiver and the convenience of Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The high-resolution high-contrast screen is easily readable under any outdoor conditions. A removable Lithium-Ion battery provides all-day runtime, and can be easily swapped with a charged battery in the field. The GS20 GPS/GIS receiver was selected by The International Non-Traditional Teaching Initiative 2003 Expedition (INTI 2003) to be used on a recent expedition to Ecuador's Nevado Cayembe to study glacial recession in the tropics. Students mapped the glacier and its environs to facilitate future studies of the nature and extent of tropical glacial recession. Because of the accuracy of the GS20, next year's expedition will be able to compare how much the glacier has changed. More information on the expedition may be found at www.oldfieldsschool.org/INTI/inti2003.html.

Autodesk Civil Series 2004
Autodesk, Inc. has shipped the latest version of Autodesk Civil Series 2004—a key component of the company's evolving infrastructure lifecycle management (ILM) solution of creation and collaboration offerings. This new ILM design solution enables civil engineering and surveying professionals to design, communicate, and visualize any type of civil project, while maintaining data integrity, and meeting drafting and design standards. Autodesk Civil Series also helps professional surveyors and civil engineers integrate and share their data with GIS professionals.
Autodesk Civil Series 2004 is the ideal choice for professionals who need to communicate survey data to and from the field, incorporate raster imagery such as aerial photos and scanned drawings, and design projects ranging from subdivisions to roads. As part of its ILM solution, customers can also take advantage of Autodesk's third-party applications and Autodesk Professional Services resulting in a quick implementation and deployment and a rapid return on investment (ROI).

Premium Imagery Service for MapShop
ESRI
has added the first premium service to MapShop from GlobeXplorer. GlobeXplorer partners with the providers of aerial imagery worldwide to provide online access to their imagery. The new GlobeXplorer Premium Imagery Service includes high-resolution aerial imagery of major metropolitan areas in the United States and Europe as well as 3,000 square kilometers in and around Baghdad, Iraq. The addition of this detailed imagery can dramatically enhance the maps created by users of MapShop. The service allows graphic artists to create sophisticated, data-rich maps or download MapShop data to marry with local data sets in ArcView to create unique maps. With the addition of the GlobeXplorer Premium Imagery Service to MapShop, subscribers will have timely access to satellite imagery from Digital Globe, GlobeXplorer's own Citipix imagery. Users can also add vector layers to their images, resulting in highly informative and attractive maps for their readers.

GPS Post-Processing Software
Leica Geosystems has announced the introduction of SKI-Pro Version 3.0 GPS post-processing software. The continuous ambiguity checking of CheckMate technology onboard the System 500 is now duplicated in the SKI-Pro post-processing software. Immediately after having completed the ambiguity search routine and computing the most likely ambiguities with one set of GPS observations, the SKI-Pro software repeats the routine using a different set of GPS observations resulting in a second set of ambiguities, which are compared with the first set. If the two are identical, they are considered to be correct. In order to ensure the highest possible reliability, the ambiguity search routine is continually repeated for the entire observation interval. In this way, the highest possible reliability is achieved, not only for typical rapid static observations, but also for long baselines and for kinematic data. Other major new features in SKI-Pro 3.0 include a new concept for reporting using HTML and XML technology to produce high-quality, visually attractive reports, a routine for creating and editing National Geodetic Survey B-files, and a new GPS processing analysis tool.

The Pipehorn MagHorn
Pipehorn Utility Tool Company, producer of high frequency pipe and cable locating equipment, has introduced a new ferromagnetic locator—The MagHorn. Mag!Horn is ideal for quickly pinpointing deeply buried or paved-over iron or steel objects. Ergonomic and easy-to-use, the Mag!Horn features a waterproof probe and a pistol-grip design that allows comfortable one-handed operation. Locating iron or steel pipes, meters, manhole covers, valves, valve lids, and property markers has never been easier. Continuing in Pipehorn tradition, Mag!Horn is rugged to the extreme and simple to operate.

New Releases from Prosurv
Prosurv announced the release of Prosurv CE version 3.7.3 and Prosurv PC version 2.2.5. The new versions now support Leica's TCA/TCRA 1100 series robotic total stations. New features include various continuous functions, including auto topo, auto stakeout, and auto stake to line. Other new features include auto traverse completion and full-featured remote control of the robot. Prosurv also announced that Prosurv CE is now available for the Allegro platform. Many other enhancements to the software have also been made.

Softree Terrain Tools V4
Softree Technical Systems has announced the release of Terrain Tools Version 4, their standalone program for surveying, mapping and terrain modeling. The Terrain Tools suite is a quick and easy mapping package with functions for digitizing, coordinate entry, import and export, bitmap image display, drafting and creation of output drawings. It is ideal for the busy professional who is not a GIS specialist, but who needs to work with maps and scaled drawings. Terrain Tools commercial products are based on their freeware version and are available in several configurations (2D, 3D and Survey). The 2D Edition provides basic functions for creating and analyzing maps including coordinates, attributes and images. The 3D edition includes digital terrain modeling, contouring, earthwork calculations and profile display and editing. The Survey edition includes a field note entry module. Features include survey adjustment history, user definable attributes, coordinate system transformations, improved import/export, 3D window and image rubber sheeting.

New Version of Sokkia G2
Sokkia Corporation announces the release of update 1.21 to SOKKIA G2 Graphic Field Assistant data collection software. This latest update includes TIN and Contour creation, enhanced layer control and color support, and additional MAP screen features and functionality. Digital Terrain Modeling (DTM) stakeout can now be done on a user-defined grid. Support has been added for newer Sokkia GPS models, including the new GSR2600, as well as additional third-party Robotic and GPS instruments. LandXML support has been enhanced to allow for transfer of points, cross sections, horizontal and vertical alignments. With the release of Sokkia G2 version 1.21, Sokkia has also released the latest version of SOKKIA I/O, a "freeware" upload/download and data reduction utility. Version 2.02 takes advantage of the improvements and enhancements incorporated into the latest version of SOKKIA G2. SOKKIA G2 was also recently released on the Allegro CE Rugged Field Computer, and is available throughout the Sokkia Dealer network.

SurveyTrak 3.5 from TrakSoft
TrakSoft Inc., a software development and marketing firm, today announced the release of SurveyTrak 3.5, a Survey Point/Survey Monument Management System. SurveyTrak 3.5 will provide the capability to process and maintain active and historical (superseded) survey control and monumentation data related to survey control points. It will provide users and management with mission critical information that is accurate, accessible, and current. Additionally, it will decrease data entry and search time while increasing data accuracy and integrity by providing logical and user-friendly interfaces and reporting capabilities. SurveyTrak 3.5 is GIS compatible.
System highlights include comprehensive survey control for horizontal, vertical, ellipsoidal, geoid, mean lower low water (MLLW) and superceded control; detailed history tracking; 14 powerful search methods; seven listings and one detailed report; and has user-defined lookup tables and flexible system defaults. New features include data import functionality, additional data fields, and automated datum adjustment calculations.

TDS ForeSight DXM V3.1
Tripod Data Systems (TDS) has released version 3.1 of its ForeSight DXM (Data eXchange Manager). ForeSight DXM allows easy data transfer from Survey Pro software to a laptop or PC to display survey data graphically. It also aids in management of project files, checks data for accuracy and completeness, lets you make simple edits and prepares data for field survey or CAD development. Version 3.1 can be used to edit TDS data files without linking to a project; allows more support for HP48 and DOS-based data collector users; improves Cut Sheet reports; processes and produces polylines from Raw Data Linework Codes; features a new, fully functional Coordinate Systems Editor and Geodetic Calculator. Version 3.1 now generates linework within the program so it can be checked and edited prior to exporting to the customer's CAD software. Another new feature relates to how geodetic controls and tools are utilized. A new, fully functional Coordinate Systems Editor is now provided to edit and customize user CSD Sites and Zones.

Thales Navigation MobileMapper
Unlike recreational GPS receivers sometimes used for GIS data collection, MobileMapper from Thales Navigation provides a data capture system that eliminates manual data entry and permits direct download via either a secure data card (SD) or serial connection to major GIS office software systems. The direct download capability of MobileMapper can be expected to halve the time it takes to deliver data to the GIS system compared to recreational GPS devices. Its easy-to-operate, real-time direct-to-digital data collection capability enables users to easily record features and characteristics and distinguish between layers of data. Its full-color screen provides vivid viewing even in full sunlight. In addition, MobileMapper has an easy-to-use, built-in navigation and reference capability, enhanced by the easy uploading of background maps for all of North America and most of Europe.

Thales ProMark2 for Int'l Market
Thales Navigation announced that its ProMark2 with kinematic capabilities now offers multiple-language support, with all screens displayable in French, German, and Spanish, in addition to English, enhancing the system's appeal to surveyors in several important international markets. The company will also add French, German, and Spanish as language support to its Ashtech Solutions GPS post-processing software (L1), thereby creating a complete package in the languages of choice for these markets. ProMark2 is the only GPS survey system currently on the market to combine precise positioning and street navigation capabilities in one compact solution. With data collection 100 times faster than static GPS systems, one-person operation and no line-of-sight requirement between points, ProMark2 can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of any survey project.

Topcon Wireless Total Station
Topcon has introduced the world's first electronic total station that features cable-free, remote data collection. Utilizing Bluetooth wireless technology, the new GTS-230W series communicates directly with the Topcon FC-1000, eliminating cable-caused downtime and allowing the instrument man to work tether-free. Four models are available featuring 3, 5, 6 or 9 arc second accuracy. Onboard data collection is enhanced by display screen 50 percent larger than its predecessor and the addition of function keys. Each model includes a long-life (10 hour) NiMH battery operation, "point guide" system for fast staking alignment, and a laser plummet for accurate set up. Three models feature an EDM range of 4,000 feet (2,700 feet on 9 second model).

BUSINESS

Crain Enhances Website
Crain Enterprises, Inc. announces its redesigned and updated website. The new section, "Discover Crain," expands on the company's focus, and includes sections on its history, team, design, innovation, manufacturing, and community initiatives. Customers now have product information at their fingertips. Along with our product description and images, part numbers and schematics are also available. Most product categories also have sections for "Additional Product Information." Downloadable brochures will also be available. Check out the "News and Events" link for upcoming trade shows, and view summaries of recent events that Crain has attended. Visit www.crainent.com.

ESRI LBS Supports Nextel GPS
ESRI announced that Cloudberry, CompassCom, MobileGates, and Navtrak have all successfully implemented ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) software and Web services into their location-based applications using i58sr and i88s global positioning system (GPS)-enabled handsets over the Nextel iDEN network. The Nextel GPS Java API allows application developers to use Nextel's i58sr and i88s handsets as GPS receivers. In turn, developers are able to build handset applications that transmit location coordinates over the Nextel data network to back-office GIS server applications. In the back office, ESRI's GIS software and Web services can process the location to add maps, addresses, points of interest, and routing directions to location-based applications.

Leica and Intuicom Sign Agreement
Leica Geosystems and Intuicom have formed a strategic relationship for integrating Intuicom's proprietary high-bandwidth wireless data transmission technology with Leica Geosystems' advanced high-precision GPS network technology. Intuicom has developed a family of robust wireless transceivers utilizing frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology to provide long-range bi-directional data communication at up to 115 bps. The Intuicom transceivers include built-in functionality for error correction, remote network monitoring, diagnostics and a proprietary bandwidth optimization protocol. Under the agreement, Leica Geosystems will offer the Intuicom products to its customers through its dealer distribution network worldwide. Likewise, Intuicom will be able to offer Leica Geosystems' high-precision GPS products to its customers in certain markets. Intuicom and Leica Geosystems have worked closely together to build an integrated system for automatic deformation and stress-load monitoring for the Skyway Bridge in Florida.

PEOPLE

TDS Appoints Hutson
Tripod Data Systems (TDS) announced today it has named Kent Hutson as national accident investigation sales manager. Hutson will be responsible for sales activities of Nikon accident investigation products through TDS. In June, Trimble, TDS' parent company, finalized a joint venture agreement with Nikon Corporation by which TDS will serve as the distributor for Nikon survey and related products in the United States, including sales, support and service. Prior to joining TDS, Hutson spent 22 years with Nikon as a regional sales manager.

National Trig-Star Winners
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2003 Richard E. Lomax National Trig-Star Scholarship Awards. First Place: Mason Victors, Chugiak High School, Chugiak, Alaska; Sponsor: Anchorage Chapter of ASPLS, Michael Miller. Second Place: Christopher Dow, Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, Washington; Sponsor: MacKay and Sposito, Inc. Third Place: David Liu, Jasper High School, Plano, Texas; Sponsor: Texas Society of Professional Surveyors Chapter 5.
The Richard E. Lomax National Teaching Excellence Awards are presented as follows: First Place: Mr. Goniewiecha; Second Place: Ms. Cindy Jager; Third Place: Ms. Jayne Fischer.
The awards will be presented in a special ceremony at the NSPS Board of Governors meeting during the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) annual conference in Nashville Tennessee, April 16 to 21, 2004.

NEWS

GOS Portal Provides Shareable Data
The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) portal provides data that is shareable by anyone, anywhere. Overseen by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it is the result of an e-government initiative to make access to geospatial information from multiple sources faster and less expensive for all levels of government as well as the public. The site at www.geodata.gov was launched on June 30, 2003. Built with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and based on open standards, the site is secure and supported 24/7 with fail-over capabilities. The portal was designed to be open and interoperable with virtually any GIS data set or service. In crafting GOS, ESRI paid particular attention to both Web services standards and emerging GIS standards from the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). More than 15 viewers from a variety of software companies are supported by the site.

Lewis & Clark Site on ESRI.com
ESRI has launched a website to commemorate the exploration of North America by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's Corps of Discovery. The Lewis and Clark website covers everything from the tools used by the Corps of Discovery to modern cartographic methods. It also offers many resources for exploring geography today, including classroom learning guides and links to Lewis and Clark maps and journals. The expedition and its bicentennial commemoration provide an evocative jumping-off point for geographic inquiry, as well as an opportunity to use geographic technology to understand change and learn how to manage change wisely. Visit www.esri.com/lewisandclark.

Reflections on 25th Hurricane Conference
Five dignitaries were seated on the dais at the 25th Annual National Hurricane Conference, held April 14-18, 2003 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher explained that South Louisiana was sinking away and NOAA was going to do what it could to mitigate the situation and help Louisiana adapt to it, "NOAA has a unique perspective," he said.

Memories of his youth flashed into his head. He recalled the fresh beauty of Spanish moss draped from shadowed cypress trees that grew amidst the still, dark, rusty water. Clumps of floating duckweed float past with small fish nibbling at the edges and relishing the shade. A torpedo-shaped mullet jumps. A Great Blue Heron swoops past. Then someone coughs nearby and his attention focuses once again on the proceedings of the meeting room.

The Admiral took his seat, replaced by Mr. Challstrom, the director of NGS. He is obviously proud of the data his people collect and their analysis of it. NGS was instrumental, along with the Louisiana congressional delegation, in the creation of the Louisiana Spatial Reference Center at LSU. Dr. Dokka was seated to his left who, along with Prof. Mugnier, essentially are the LSRC. Just a few months earlier Mr. Challstrom was corresponding with him about how to make public NGS' determination that "existing bench marks … throughout the southern portion of the state have undergone dramatic changes in elevation, making existing height information unusable."

In the late 80s, he remembers, NGS ran levels through Louisiana at Prof. Mugnier's prodding, to prevent anomalies in the NAVD88 adjustment. There was the story of the NGS crew running levels from Texas to Mississippi looking for a one foot bust at the Rigolettes followed by the check run from Arkansas south that agreed with the bust! The shock of everyone at the previously unrecognized downward movement of south Louisiana is still vivid; the empty feeling when setting a FEMA grade for a house nearly a foot higher than its neighbor, whose grade he had set only weeks earlier! The lawsuits between FEMA and parish governments due to inaccurate bench marks broadcast the confusion.

The rostrum was given to NOAA Meteorologist Paul Trotter, from the Slidell Weather Forecast Office who lamented the seriousness of the challenge faced by forecasters. Even as the population is crowding the coastline more and more, the protections afforded by the marshes and the escape routes are being lost to subsidence.

He has always savored the atmosphere that precedes a summer thunderstorm in Louisiana. The cool, soothing, electric sensation, calming yet pregnant with anticipation is an ancient memory from a distant childhood. The boy, called in from play just before the storm, crouches at the window screen to enjoy the gathering of the storm. The strong chilly breeze from the storm's downdraft is intoxicating. He plays absently with the old bumps of paint droplets on the bottom of the oft painted sash. Eventually the spray from rain drops hitting the window screen chills his skin … until his mother comes to close the window to prevent the rain from getting in.

The next to speak was Mr. Maestri of Jefferson Parish Emergency Management, who explained that while the loss is obvious when seen in aerial photographs, not so obvious is the loss of lead time that civil planners need to make decisions about public safety. The voice sounds like so many who have led and served the New Orleans area before. The confident sound of a public leader tempered with the concern and knowledge that his decisions are based on the work and data of others. The roads are lower than plans show and they flood easily. The precious delay of tidal effects afforded by the marshes is gone. Mr. Maestri says that Mayor Camardelle, of Grand Isle "would be the Mayor of Nowhere" were it not for the prudent decisions made in 2002 between tropical storm Isadore and Hurricane Lili.

Mayor Camardelle's casual, colorful shirt contrasted with the dark suits and starched shirts of other politicos in the room. He mixed fishing stories with tales of hurricanes past and sand dunes raised as sacrifices to placate storms' furies in favor of more valuable properties. He also spoke of faithful public servants who, using little more than walkie-talkies and a so-called "Cajun tide gauge" at the low spot at Dos Gris, help the mayor make evacuation decisions.

Earliest memories of hurricanes are fond ones. Only as he grew up did he learn of the devastation wrought by that visit from Hurricane Audrey to Cameron Parish in those days. The Category Four storm with a thirty-foot surge and one hundred fifty mile per hour winds killed more than four hundred people and marked people's memories forever. June 27, 1957 was the boundary between Before-Audrey and After-Audrey. Other hurricanes were less severe and always brought back fond memories of those earlier days at the open window.

A lady named Betsy paid a wrathful visit to the Louisiana delta in 1965 leaving as her calling card death for seventy-five and flooding all around, following a ten-foot surge and one hundred thirty-five mile per hour winds. Four years later while many were celebrating a festival at Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, the boy was among those keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Camille that smashed into the Gulf Coast with winds gusting more than two hundred miles per hour with a wall of water twenty-four feet above normal high tide. One hundred forty-three people were killed along the coast, and as it moved inland toward and over the state of Virginia, one hundred thirteen more people lost their lives in flash floods and landslides.

Back at the conference hands were shaken, business cards exchanged and photographs posed—but the awareness was raised, his curiosity piqued. What was Mother Nature up to? Would South Louisiana, the source of his wonderful memories, become just a memory, like a sand castle on a beach surrendered to the incoming tide?

The numbers are stark. They suggest most of South Louisiana is subsiding at the unbelievable average speed of a half an inch a year! Hurricanes Isadore and Lili last year made plain the changes of the last decades. There was flooding where none had been before and Lili maintained hurricane strength further inland than storms ever do. Time-lapse images of the coast are reminiscent of a horror movie where flesh shrivels to reveal only a skeleton.

Most of the public and many officials feel confused. Waiting and studying feels like sitting on one's hands, but, "make do" projects only waste precious resources. Agencies need to find ways to complement each other rather than competing for heroic status.

The public deserves better information than simply confusing erosion with subsidence or donating used Christmas trees to build up the marsh. Perhaps it is fitting that the namesake of Louisiana, Louis XIV, was able to bring stability to France as he brought together arguably the greatest collection of scientific minds since the Library of Alexandria in the Royal Academie. Today, many of the best scientists and technologies are being brought to bear on her plight. Perchance it isn't too late.

Submitted by Anthony "Tony" Cavell, LS. Cavell has been a licensed surveyor in Louisiana since 1990. He is presently consulting, and also works for ESP Associates in Louisiana.

CALENDAR

For a complete calendar of events, visit: www.profsurv.com

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