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POB Magazine Announces Winners Of Third Annual Highlights In Surveying Project Contest

May 3, 2007
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TROY, Mich.-POB magazine announced today the winners of the 2007 Highlights in Surveying Project Contest, a national competition that recognizes the talents of surveyors, mappers and other geomatics professionals.

TROY, Mich.-POB magazine announced today the winners of the 2007 Highlights in Surveying Project Contest, a national competition that recognizes the talents of surveyors, mappers and other geomatics professionals.

The three reigning winners of the magazine's third annual project contest are:

(First Place) Precision Surveys Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., for its complex ALTA/ACSM survey in New Mexico; (Second Place) Tetra Tech of Greenwood Village, Colo., for completing an as-built survey in Al Basrah, Iraq; and (Third Place) Holt Survey Associates of Woodstock, Vt., for mentoring local fourth graders from Woodstock Elementary School. Numerous other entries received honorable mention recognition.

“For many of the surveyors across the country who provide ALTA/ACSM surveys, the project challenges overcome by Precision Surveys Inc. are reality,” said Editor Lieca N. Hohner. “The team proved all of the obstacles of a massive site can be conquered if all members work together toward a positive end and a quality product.

“This year's contest entries surprised me,” Hohner continued. “In past years, the entries have been varied and impressive, but this year topped any other year. We received submissions on projects from coast to coast and overseas, conducted by one-person operations to divisions of large companies. They covered every type of public service surveyors are known to provide. This contest, and its winners, are proof of the influence that surveyors and mappers have on our world's infrastructure.”

The winning Precision Surveys Inc. entry will be featured in POB's June issue and on POB Online at www.pobonline.com. The second and third place winners, as well as some of the projects from the honorable mention entries, will be featured in future editions of POB in 2007. The first place winner will receive $2,000 in monetary awards; the second, $500; and the third, $250. POB thanks the sponsors of its contest for their generous and supportive contributions: Allen Precision Equipment, Cardinal Systems, Carlson Software, The CEDRA Corporation, CRAIN Enterprises, Eagle Point Software, Leica Geosystems, Lengemann, Optech, Schonstedt, Topcon, Trimble and Tripod Data Systems.

Projects completed during the 2006 year were eligible for the third annual contest. POB welcomed entries from U.S. and international surveying and mapping firms, civil engineers, construction surveyors, mappers, photogrammetrists, imaging professionals, GIS practitioners, transportation employees and others involved in the geomatics profession. "Whether you use more conventional equipment such as lasers and total stations for your work, or advanced technology such as GPS or laser scanning, we wanted to know about it," Hohner said. "A cool project, an innovative approach or an impressive team can all constitute a great story."

POB will open its fourth annual contest this fall. Click to www.pobonline.com for details.


About POB Magazine

POB magazine is published monthly to help the progressive surveying and mapping professional succeed. We achieve this mission through concise and aggressive coverage of work in private practice and government by: highlighting industry news, milestones and product coverage for better decision-making; reporting on new applications and continually evolving technologies, including GPS, instrumentation, GIS and imaging; and providing practical solutions to the problems facing the geomatics industry including business, legal, legislative and educational issues. Eligible professionals can apply for a FREE subscription online at www.pobonline.com.

About the Winners

First Place: Larry Medrano, Precision Surveys Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.

Commissioned to perform an ALTA/ACSM survey on an irregularly shaped parcel encompassing almost 56,000 acres, Precision Surveys Inc. overcame many challenges. The establishment of a static network across such a large site required particular coordination to ensure adequate time to establish good base lines. The team implemented GPS and CORS data for post processing along with OPUS solutions prior to the RTK surveys. Research revealed that, although the boundary to the subject property was established by a quiet title suit in 1973, the description for two large parts of the survey did not form a mathematically closed figure. Significant development on the east and south areas of the site, along with right of way acquisitions and grant of easements were factored into completing the survey. The title commitment had more than 500 exceptions that had to be sorted through, and several adjoining plats had to be plotted.


Second Place: Gregory Keena, Tetra Tech, Greenwood Village, Colo.

Tasked with designing and building overhead coverage structures on military bases and embassies throughout Iraq to protect personnel inside buildings from incoming rocket or mortar rounds, the Tetra Tech team had to complete an as-built survey of existing buildings on a seven-acre compound. In 21 days on 11 different sites of the compound, the team members wore body armor in temperatures over 100 degrees and experienced 14 nighttime rocket attacks. Strategic placements of control points to avoid sniper attacks required the team's surveyor to climb on top of each building to shoot the eaves, ridgelines and utility locations.


Third Place: Bob Holt, Holt Survey Associates, Woodstock, Vt.

Bob Holt volunteered as a mentor to fourth graders at Woodstock Elementary School who participated in a history fair at the local historical society. The group studied the history of the Woodstock Country Club from 1895 to 1901 when the golf course was laid out not on the flat valley bottom where it attracts hoards of visiting golfers today, but atop what was a barren hill known locally as Mt. Peg, now a forested town park. The students found old photos of Mt. Peg in the collection of the Woodstock Historical Society, and set out to identify their locations on the ground today. They conducted deed research at the town hall; plotted deed descriptions, and received an explanation of bearings, chains, rods and links. Guided by GPS, the students entered a landscape that bore no resemblance to an 1896 photo of a barren hilltop pasture, but they identified the very same rocks on a long ridge now thickly covered with pines that was in the photo.

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