Letters to the Editor

September 1, 2001
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Letters about geomatics and metric and international feet.

“Editor’s Note”

July 2001

Finally someone else agrees with me and put it in print.

Geomatics. Are we following the lead of numerous businesses whose unwritten corporate policy is “minimal customer service” and then change their name to try and rebuild their customer base?

Very few people understand what a land surveyor does. The public seems to know we set property corners, but what it entails for us to set them, even after a lengthy explanation, is still foreign to them. Most of the construction superintendents I deal with refer to me as an engineer no matter how many times I tell them, “I am not an engineer; I am a land surveyor.” And how many people will think to look up land surveyors in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under geomatician?

If it was good enough for George Washington and Abe Lincoln then the title “land surveyor” should be good enough for the rest of us.

W. Tom Foster, PLS
Via E-mail

“GIAA Mailbag”

July 2001

I wrote to reinforce the last sentence of the article. That seemingly inconsequential 2 ppm can create a full fledged blunder when converting data that was received in metric units into U.S. survey feet. Especially when the “international firm” that did the design work was working in international feet prior to converting the data to metric units for delivery to the client. Consider the effect of 2 ppm in this scenario when one is working in the Texas, South Central Zone where the magnitude of northing ordinates is 13 million. (Not that anything like that ever happened to me! But I have heard horror stories about it.)

Jim Boswell, PLS
Via E-mail


A part of the description for TDS’ Ranger T-Series in the New Equipment, Supplies and Services department of the June issue was incorrect. The hand-held computers contain a large touch-screen display, not a larger display, as printed.

Also, the answer to the second question in July’s GIAA Mailbag column contained an incorrect conversion. The column reads 1 in = 25.4 cm. The correct conversion is 1 in = 2.54 cm.

We regret the errors.

The ideas and opinions expressed by our readers do not necessarily reflect those of POB.

Send your thoughts to the editor at or mail to Letter to the Editor, POB magazine, 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 1000, Troy, MI 48084.

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