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French Surveyors Roll Out GPS NetworkBy the first half of 2006, 1,900 French chartered surveyors will have the opportunity to benefit from a nationwide Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-the largest real-time GPS network to be implemented at a single time. In April 2003, the French Order of Chartered Surveyors (OGE) began the endeavor for a system to provide real-time, centimeter-accurate positioning across the nation. The French GNSS, which is known as the TERIA network, will integrate satellite measurements from the U.S. GPS, the Russian GLONASS and the future European Galileo system, and supply corrections in a standard RTCM exchange format. Users will be able to use dual-frequency technology units less than five years old with real-time functions to access the network system.
A civil partnership between the OGE and its 18 regional councils is making the network possible. The partnership is linked with 551 chartered surveyors who provided financial funding of 8 million Euros for TERIA's creation; this commercial partnership is known as EXAGONE.
French-based suppliers Thales Navigation, Martec Tekelec Services and Geo++ were chosen to optimize the system. According to EXAGONE and hardware provider Thales Navigation, the TERIA network "will enable users to locate themselves on the ground in real-time and with a degree of accuracy appropriate to their requirements (from the nearest met[er] to the nearest centimet[er]), anywhere and at any time. To do this, TERIA will send differential corrections to any GPS mobile phone using the GSM or GPRS network as a transmission channel."
The system will be best utilized by chartered surveyors, but TERIA can also be used in public works, precision agriculture, land registry, environment and agriculture development. Fees established by the OGE will be required for use of the system. Local governments, schools and public administrations with existing stations can utilize the network by establishing partnership agreements with the OGE. Other potential users may be added once initial results are validated from the operational network.
France and the island of Corsica will be the first to roll out TERIA with around 100 stations. This rollout will be extended to cover the island of Reunion, where seven stations will be installed. A study is being conducted to evaluate the possibility of covering Guyana and the West Indies. The overall network is expected to be operational at a national level in the first half of 2006; the validation zone will be operational this fall and will cover one-fifth of France and both sides of the Paris-Lyon axis.
The network plan follows the successful implementation of similar networks installed in other countries, including Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Serbia and Portugal.
BNP Media and POB Sponsor Habitat for Humanity HomeDozens of employees from POB's parent company BNP Media lent their hands-and hearts-in building BNP Media-sponsored house #20, one of 31 homes dedicated June 24 as part of HFHI's Jimmy Carter Work Project in Detroit's Core City/Thurgood Marshall neighborhood. The house is now the home of Efrain and Damaris Guevara and their five children.
Known as a Blitz Build, the annual project takes place in a single location and results in the construction of a large volume of homes in just one week. Low-income families receive the homes by committing to no-interest loans and providing hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" on their homes and other Habitat homes.
For volunteers, the Blitz Build provides an opportunity to serve others in a meaningful way. Most Habitat families have undergone hardship and are struggling with housing. Habitat is able to provide affordable housing because of donated labor, materials and funds.
The Detroit project employs a strategy called neighborhood infill. The strategy involves placing homes on vacant lots located in the same neighborhood, thus increasing the appearance and value of an entire area. To reinforce the infill strategy, a new playground was installed in the center of the neighborhood.
The BNP Media employees involved in building the Guevara home were greeted only by a foundation and floor base upon arrival at the worksite on June 18. More than 50 people participated throughout the week. By the end of the first day, volunteers had raised the walls, installed trusses and roof boards, and framed interior walls. Professional contractors then installed rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Over the course of the next five days, volunteers installed insulation, a bathroom tub, fixtures, sinks, faucets, shingles, doors, windows, siding, trim, floor tile, appliances, cabinets and landscaping.
On Thursday morning, June 23, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn visited house #20 and presented a signed Bible to the Guevara family. For lunch, the BNP Media work crew was treated to a Puerto Rican-style meal home-cooked by Damaris.
On Friday, the final day of the build, the crew and family celebrated together with a ceremony that acknowledged everyone's contributions. The ceremony concluded by handing the home's keys to the Guevara family.
Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses, providing shelter for nearly 900,000 people worldwide. Now at work in 100 countries, Habitat is building a house every 26 minutes. By the end of 2005, Habitat houses will be sheltering 1 million people. POB, with BNP Media, is proud to have been a part of this process. For more information on Habitat For Humanity, visit www.habitat.org.
Trimble To Hold ConferenceTrimble announced its Dimensions 2005 conference "Move Your Business Forward" to be held October 23-26 at the Mirage in Las Vegas. The conference will feature sessions on applying technology to real world problems, introductory and advanced product training, and practical tips and techniques to help organizations grow their businesses and maximize returns on investment. The conference scope will include the complete suite of Trimble survey, construction, engineering and infrastructure solutions including products from Tripod Data Systems (TDS), Applanix, Pacific Crest and Apache. Highlighted solutions and technologies include GPS and total station technology; field computing and data collection; 3D scanning; wireless communications; data transfer; and field and office applications.
The keynote speakers for the event include Dr. Scott Pace, Erik Lindbergh, Mark Pflederer and Steven W. Berglund. Dr. Pace, associate administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation for NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., will discuss how NASA is using GPS today and how it plans to use it in the future. Dr. Pace will also cover what is happening with GPS modernization, the U.S. and EU agreement, and GPS and Galileo working group meetings. Lindbergh, vice president of the Lindbergh Foundation, will discuss how he overcame rheumatoid arthritis to retrace his grandfather's historic New York to Paris solo flight in a small, single-engine aircraft, and the role GPS played in his epic journey. Pflederer, vice president of Caterpillar's Technology & Solutions Division, will address the coupling of machine design, ruggedized and reliable positioning solutions, utilization of digital design data in the construction process and less rework for the earthmoving contractor. Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble, will discuss how Trimble's advanced positioning solutions are transforming the engineering and construction industries as well as his vision for the future of positioning technology. For information about registration or session details for the Trimble Dimensions 2005 User Conference, visit www.trimbleevents.com.