- SPECIAL REPORTS
- THE MAGAZINE
On Saturday, March 19, 2011, at 11 a.m. MT, surveyors around the U.S. are being asked to gather up their GPS/GNSS equipment and head outdoors for Surveying USA, an event designed to raise awareness about NSPS and the surveying profession as a whole. The event will kick off National Surveyors Week, which runs March 20-26.
Although the event is being coordinated nationally through NSPS, each state will celebrate it in a different way. “There will be a coordinator for every state, and each coordinator can decide how to draw attention to the event in his or her state,” explained Debi Anderson, NSPS Governor of Montana, who is the chairperson for the committee leading NSPS Surveying USA. “We have some states holding Lincoln memorials, while others are highlighting special monuments in their state. Ideally, surveyors at each location will be available to answer questions about the event and discuss the role of surveyors in the community. It’s a great opportunity for surveyors to share what they do.”
The goal is to have at least one person involved from each state so that every state is represented in the effort. However, Anderson believes the event will be much larger. “The response so far has been overwhelming,” she said. “We even have a representative now in Guam, and Puerto Rico might also participate. Even if we only have 10 people from every state, that’s more than 500 people participating at one time. And that’s the thing I find exciting-we’re all going to start at the same time, regardless of the time zone, so this event could really generate some good publicity.”
Beyond drawing the attention of the media and the general public, the event will also serve to help NGS update specific points and gather data for the Height Modernization Program. Anyone with a GPS or GNSS unit (handheld or otherwise) is welcome to participate; a surveying background and membership in the NSPS is not required. Participants simply need to gather latitude and longitude in degrees, minutes and seconds and be willing to provide their name and a description of the point they occupied. These data will be compiled by the state coordinators and sent to Anderson for inclusion in a nationwide map that will be developed by GLIS.
“We’re actually hoping to get a broad range of participants, from surveyors and GIS professionals to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and anyone else who’s interested and has GPS equipment,” Anderson said. “I’m really excited about this event!”
For more information and to find out how you can get involved, e-mail Anderson at NSPSSurveyingUSA@yahoo.com or visit www.nspsmo.org.