Newsline: July 2009

Iowa Grants Surveyors Right of Entry; ASPRS Publishes New GIS Manual and ACSM and ESRI Consider Collaboration in 2011.

Iowa Grants Surveyors Right of Entry

An Iowa law giving land surveyors the right to enter land without consent took effect July 1. More than half the states currently have laws permitting surveyors performing surveying services to enter lands without permission or legal consequences. “This law will cause better communication with the neighboring landowners and should make for a safer environment for land surveyors and their crews to conduct their work,” said Craig Johnstone, PLS, PE, chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Society of Land Surveyors of Iowa, which drafted the bill.

Senate File 435, referred to as Land Surveyors Bill, states that a licensed land surveyor, or a person under his or her direct supervision, may enter public or private land or water only to occupy, locate, relocate, install or replace survey monuments; locate boundaries, rights-of-way, and easements; determine geodetic positions; and make surveys and maps. The law requires a land surveyor to provide written notice to the landowner or occupant at least seven days in advance. The notice may be sent by ordinary mail to the address of the landowner as contained in the property tax records or delivered personally. The written notice of the pending survey must identify the party for whom the survey is being performed, the purpose of the survey, and the identity of the surveyor as well as provide dates, times, locations, timetables and other pertinent information. Entry does not constitute trespass, and land surveyors cannot be liable to arrest or civil action. The full text of the law is available at

ASPRS Publishes New GIS Manual

The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) released this month the “Manual of Geographic Information Systems,” a comprehensive resource on GIS. “The ‘ASPRS Manual of GIS’ will provide land surveyors with basic principles, definitions and resources for advancing their data collection technologies and enhancing the visualization and delivery of map products to customers,” said Marguerite Madden, PhD, editor of the manual and director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science at The University of Georgia. “With over 1,300 pages, it is hoped that the ‘Manual of GIS’ has something for everyone with interests in geospatial data.”

Sixty-two chapters are organized into eight sections: Introduction, Background & Overview; Data Models, Metadata and Ontology; GIS Data Quality and Uncertainty; Spatio-Temporal Aspects of GIS; Analysis and Modeling; Blending Technologies: Remote Sensing, GPS and Visualization; GIS and the World Wide Web; and GIS Reaches Out: Applications. The wide range of topics covered demonstrates the role GIS plays in blurring the boundaries between land surveying, cartography, traditional photogrammetry, remote sensing, geodesy and computer science, according to ASPRS officials. Surveyors will find the “Parcel Data” chapter, by David Cowen, Nancy von Meyer and Bob Ader, especially useful for its focus on the status of land parcel data in the context of GIS, including the creation, maintenance and distribution of high-resolution land parcels representing ownership, use and property value, Madden said.

The book includes a DVD containing more than 300 color figures plus digital content contributed by leading GIS organizations, including ESRI, ERDAS, NOAA and USGS. More information, including a table of contents and a comprehensive list of author affiliations, is available at

ACSM and ESRI Consider Collaboration in 2011

ACSM is in discussions with ESRI to hold its 2011 annual conference in conjunction with ESRI’s 2011 Survey and Engineering GIS Summit and International User Conference. “ACSM and ESRI are at the forefront of surveying, mapping and GIS issues,” said Curtis Sumner, ACSM executive director. “A collaboration between our organizations would provide a valuable example of how elements of surveying and GIS work together.” A final decision about the conference is expected later this summer. For more information about the ESRI SEG Summit, visit The ACSM Web site is at

Associate Editor Wendy Lyons compiles “Newsline.” Contact her at 248/786-1620 or lyonsw@bnpmedia. Visit for daily news updates.

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