Point of Beginning

Letters to the Editor

July 20, 2000
What's on readers' minds


Back to Basics
April 2000

I was surprised to see that on p. 61 of the April 2000 issue of POB, Professor Wesley G. Crawford suggested referencing a point to a sign post. My experience is that when sign crews re-install a damaged or vandalized traffic sign, they are not very careful in putting the new sign in exactly the same place. In fact, if the sign has been struck by a vehicle, they may try to move it to a safer location. If there are no other more permanent objects to tie to, a sign post may work, but otherwise they are not that reliable.
Don Andersen
Surveying Instructor
North Dakota State University
Fargo, N.D

To add to the ease of recovering a point: If you have the option of setting the point where there are suitable buildings and/or landmarks, you can align the point to be set with the projected face of a building. The building can be nearby or far removed from the work site. By showing the same in the notes along with the reference points, this gives one an "eyeball" location of where to look.
George Cataldo
Glenfield, N.Y.


Letters to the Editor:The Soap Box
April 2000

Well it's 5 a.m., and for some reason I find that I am having a hard time sleeping. Generally this happens when something is bothering me deep inside. I lay there in a half state of awareness, unable to re-enter lala land and not quite ready to enter Ã'realityÓ when it occurred to me what it was that was tweaking my mind. The previous evening I had opened the April POB and read the"Letters to the Editor" column before retiring. I guess it set in me like tacos from a cheap taco shop, if you know what I mean. I donÕt often do this, and normally I would just let something like this pass, but I feel quite compelled to stand on the"soap box" and cast my two cents onto the circle of thought on multiple corners.

How can multiple corners not exist? Let's get to reality. Quoting the letter by Michael Stanton,"It takes years of resolving different boundaries in different situations to master the art of surveying. These skills are not learned in college with a four-year degree." I applaud this gentleman for stating what we all know is true. Those of you who truly care about the profession should be feeling uneasy about the future because reality is that as time goes by, those who have honed their skills to be the best in the field will leave us forever with all that they have. If we who follow in their paths have not absorbed their knowledge and learned the skills, then how will we be able to...

I have studied in this business under some of the best for 30 years, yet the law in its requirements more than implies that it is not possible to learn these skills without a degree.

Back to multiple corners--I once had a "learned" professional surveyor quote to me that, "We follow in the steps of the previous surveyor." Ring a bell? It ought to; it ought to ring your ears off if you agree. Thus, those who follow in the previous surveyor's path respect each and every iron they find, and adjust and compensate to fit accordingly. To quote: "Follow in the steps of the ORIGINAL surveyor." And when I find the original monumentation as described by the original surveyor; and I find this monumentation in good condition; and I find the accuracy between the monuments to be the work of a skilled professional; and I find a capped iron "one foot off the back of the walk and record from the closest monument;" do I now respect the position of this capped iron and not place my iron where I know the corner should go?

The image of a pie often comes to mind as I ponder the mysteries of this art. As"the original surveyor" it is my duty to cut the pie. As "he who follows" it is my duty to find that cut. Finding the original cut (especially after so many have obliterated and corrupted the evidence) can truly be the prophetic "can of worms."

I could go on for quite some time, but this is just a letter to the editor and I feel the need for a few hours of sleep. Multiple corners? Experience, knowledge, skill, persistence, honor, integrity... These are but a few of the answers to this question. Sweet dreams.
Dennis Adams
Redford, Mich.