Our Highlights in Surveying Project Contest Winner

April 1, 2005
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Our judges share their decision.

The votes from our judges are in and the virtual polls have closed. POB's first annual Highlights in Surveying Project contest was a cool experience, and we thank all of the participants for sharing their projects with us.

The awards competition was open to U.S. and international-based surveying firms, civil engineers, construction surveyors, mappers, photogrammetrists, imaging professionals, GIS practitioners, transportation employees and others. To be considered, projects must have been completed between January 2003 and December 2004. The award winner was selected by a concentrated panel of professional judges and members of POB's editorial board: Milton E. Denny, PLS; Robert W. Foster, PE, PLS; and Joseph V.R. Paiva, PhD, PS, PE. The chosen award winner was presented with an honorary award plaque at the 2005 ACSM Conference and Technology Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nev., in March, and provided with reprints of the article for promotional purposes. A contribution from contest entry fees was made to the ACSM Library of Congress Exhibit fund. On behalf of POB's staff and judges, we congratulate this year's winner: KS Associates of Elyria, Ohio for its Cleveland Lakefront State Parks Boundary Survey. Read about the project's details in this month's cover story "A Survey of Great Proportion."

The project undertaken by KS Associates from April to September 2003 was recognized for many elements: its quick turnaround; the quality of the team assembled including subcontractors DLZ Ohio Inc. and L.V. Surveying Inc.; the amount of research and coordination required among the city of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, adjacent property owners including the City of Cleveland Department of Port Control, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway Company; and the value of the project to the city of Cleveland. Following are observations from our judges:

Bob Foster: The Cleveland Lakefront project was one that any surveyor can appreciate. Although it was demanding in size and schedule, it combined several types of work that most surveryors ordinarily do. It involved extensive research, property boundary work, water boundaries and cooperation with several institutions. It required conventional on-the-ground surveying and the application of the latest technology available to the surveying profession. A smaller surveying office might not be able to deal with a project of this size and short time available for completion, but there would be complete understanding of the process and admiration for the value of the outcome and the professionalism of the service.

Joe Paiva: This is a classic story combining age-old elements of surveying with modern methods and technologies. Piecing parcels, sorting through conveyances that break up large holdings, aggregating parcels formed through accretion of land, vacation of easements and roadways-these are the juiciest aspects of the work land surveyors do. This survey implicitly reveals that every boundary line researched and marked by the surveyor is bound to have an extensive story to be told. It also draws attention to the fact that only surveying professionals can report such results.

Utilizing remote sensing and photogrammetry to understand the chronology of natural and artificial processes affecting the littoral landscape serves to heighten the complexity of the work and the reliability of the results. Using the modern stars-GPS satellites-to ease the surveying methods underscores how surveying has changed even as the service of reporting on the boundaries has not. Even the use of State Plane Coordinates extends the level of integration and understanding of the intersecting property lines while allowing such work to be done with an accuracy and scale that would have been vain in the 17th or 18th centuries.

This project should serve as encouragement to those who may see the clinical aspect of surveying as a victor of new technologies. Instead of dominating the project, these technologies were appropriately used by the surveyors to more thoroughly satisfy client criteria than would have been possible without them.

Milton Denny: "A Survey of Great Proportion" is a good example of what the modern surveyor faces in completing many surveying projects. It starts with historical research tied together using the latest technology. One very important aspect of using new technology is to give spatial location to the work. In the future this means that the location of any point can be re-established without the help of other field monuments. Additionally, the role of historical aerial mapping in relocating areas of the lake boundaries can play a far more important role in determining boundaries than many surveyors realize.

This project is a good example of how modern equipment should be used to gather the most accurate information to make decisions on boundary locations. The results are a survey that balances the final product with historical data and modern survey measurements.

Again, POB extends its hearty congratulations to KS Associates for its dedication to the profession!

Our congratulations to the following professionals involved in the project:

  • Mark A. Yeager, PS, Director of Surveying Services "¢ KS Associates
  • Trevor A. Bixler, PS, Project Surveyor "¢ KS Associates
  • Kimberly Repenning, Survey Technician "¢ KS Associates
  • Daniel Jenkins, Survey Technician "¢ KS Associates
  • Dave White, Survey Technician "¢ KS Associates
  • Todd Jakubowski, CAD Operator "¢ KS Associates
  • Adam D. Treat, PS, EIT, Project Surveyor "¢ DLZ Ohio Inc., subcontractor
  • Louise Veverka, PS, President "¢ L. V. Surveying Inc., project surveyor/subcontractor

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