PSM Field Notes  5.5.11

This first Surveying USA was a national event sponsored by NSPS and held on March 19; it was designed to raise public awareness for the role of surveying.  One participating group was the Colorado Spatial Reference Network (CSRN), which highlighted GPS for the land surveyor and showcased and compared Colorado’s Real Time Networks (RTNs).  Colorado has two private RTNs, with Trimble VRS and Leica SmartNet supporting the Eastern Plains and a public network for the Western Slope provided by Mesa County and supported by Trimble.

CSRN held their event at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) headquarters in Denver, where GPS observations were obtained on the NGS monument TRANSPORTATION, routinely used by local surveyors. Approximately 120 people attended, ranging from land surveyors to scout troops. The support of several local vendors was crucial to the event's success.

“A hand-held GPS navigation course at the CDOT complex proved popular with the scouts, who are considering becoming a regular part of the event and making the GPS navigation course a requirement for earning a badge,” said CSRN president Brian Dennis, PLS. He added, “Attendees were amazed at the GPS tools and their array of uses.” The event also included NSPS’s request that participants nationwide simultaneously occupy and observe a monument with GPS for a possible spot in the Guinness World Records.

Additional activities included RTK GPS network position comparisons. Each network sponsor was allotted 30 minutes to observe the TRANSPORTATION monument with RTK GPS or mapping-grade GPS (which required post processing) and to capture a total of nine measurements each, with three measurements at 15-second, 60-second, and 180-second intervals for position comparisons to the post-processed OPUS static session and the NGS data sheet. Graphic representations of the results will be posted to the CSRN website under the Industry Showcase section (or email For information on the national effort by NSPS, visit Because the event was a success, the CSRN voted to continue hosting it annually.

For a more detailed story on how Colorado Spatial Reference Network’s celebrated Surveying USA, click here.


The key factor to our success is the reliability and the full service experience Riegl USA offers to our customers, from your initial purchase, integration of the system, training and support, Riegl stands out as an industry leader.
Riegl USA is a 17 year old, LiDAR Resource Facility for North America. We are a distributor of Riegl GmbH Systems, based in Horn, Austria. Riegl GmbH has 32 years experience in the research, development and manufacture of time-of-flight based optical radar systems. Our products are used for airborne survey, tripod, mobile industrial process control, altimetry, aerospace, hydrographic and bathymetric applications.
Today, Riegl is recognized as the performance leader in the mandated NERC/FERC program for LiDAR airborne power line mapping, civil infrastructure, mobile mapping, hydrographic, mining, and terrestrial based industries. Our instruments are well known for their ruggedness and reliability under demanding environmental conditions. 
Riegl is dedicated to the design, development, and production of the best possible laser sensors for any desired application to perfectly fulfill the given measurement task; therefore fully satisfying the customer's expectations and future technological breakthroughs.

Microsoft Announces Next Generation UltraCam

At the ASPRS 2011 annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Microsoft’s photogrammetry division introduced the UltraCam Eagle digital aerial camera, manufactured by Vexcel Imaging, GmbH, a Microsoft subsidiary. The Eagle has a larger footprint of 20,010 pixels cross-track and 13,080 pixels along-track than previous models and features improvements including easily swappable lenses as well as integrated navigation and modular storage compentents to reduce cabling requirements. For more information visit their website.
KeyStone EagleKeystone Aerial Surveys was the first North American firm to order the new generation Eagle. Keystone program manager, Neil DiFranco, President, Mary Potter, and Ken Potter pose with the impressive new sensor system after the well-attended unveiling and presentation. For more information visit their website.
Microsoft also presented a video describing their Bing Maps Global Orthophoto project for which they intend to obtain world-wide aerial imagery at a 30-centimeter pixel resolution. Microsoft characterized this massive undertaking as “game-changing” and promised completion in 2012 with urban areas to be updated on a 3-year cycle. For more information visit their website.

Some say very high inflation is coming, and that may well be correct. We see signs of this all around us, from a gallon of gas to a gallon of milk. In a conversation recently my wife asked me, "Why, when the price of everything else is going up, do surveyors charge less?"

Are you charging less for your services? If yes, why? If no, how are you avoiding doing so? And how have these decisions affected your business?

In our next issue, we'll share some of the feedback and ask more questions. In the meantime, visit our forum to connect with other professionals.
Current Issue

New Heights for Photogrammetry : Software development was Mike Kitaif’s ticket to being part of NASA’s space shuttle program, fulfilling a childhood passion for space exploration.

 Grand Prix Mapping by Helicopter: Before the green racing flag can drop, surveyors map the route for an Indy race in downtown Baltimore, Maryland.

Surveying USA

Optech ILSC


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