Point of Beginning

Editor's Points

February 1, 2005
Celebrating what works.



1975. The Vietnam War finally ended, to the relief of all. Jimmy Hoffa came up missing. Pol Pot took over Cambodia, creating a new definition for the word "appalling." Steven Spielberg released "JAWS," establishing a legacy in the entertainment arena. Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" was the biggest hit single of the year. Headlines highlight Watergate, VCRs and the Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. It was quite a year, and one filled with new things.

A new publication for the surveying industry emerged, headed by a non-surveyor. Holding a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering, Edwin Miller didn't know much about surveying. Before he began publishing Point of Beginning, he'd taken one class in college by mandate, but he soon learned more about the profession. He explains how he learned: "If you can get them [surveyors] onto the subject of surveying, they're great. I'd go through my spiel [Miller initially sold subdivision computation software to surveyors], they'd look at me and they'd give me some excuse, or they'd use a term I'd never heard of. So I'd ask them, "˜What do you mean by that?' and about an hour later I'd leave the office knowing full-well what the term was and having [made] a friend."

POB's editors, then and now: Ed Miller and Lieca Brown.
Soon, his software clients began asking him about equipment. To meet their needs, Miller hired a gentleman named Tom Cayce who developed a relationship with the manufacturer of Geodimeters: AGA, which later became the first advertiser in Point of Beginning. Renowned industry guru (R.) Ben Buckner, RLS, PE, wrote the first article in the magazine. And the publication blossomed from there. Advertising sections and editorial content grew, the name caught on and the industry gained a solid source for all-things surveying. From 1975 through early 1995 the magazine flourished under the leadership of Miller and excelled through the impressive skills of many contributors. Then, the February/March issue mailed-with a new look and different ownership; Miller had sold the rights of the magazine to Business News Publishing of Troy, Mich. Today, POB magazine remains under the direction of this company, albeit carrying a modified name: we are now BNP Media.

We strive, in every issue, to plan, publish and provide, as our editorial mission states in part, "concise and aggressive coverage of"¦ industry news, milestones, and product coverage for better decision-making." We're glad you've made the decision to read POB as your preferred industry source.

As we reflect on the path this publication has taken to reach the year 2005, we are inspired to look ahead to another 30 years. If the progression of the past three decades is any indicator of what the future holds, it should be quite a trip, indeed! From chains to transits to total stations and GPS, the technological advances alone have been awesome. Today, manufacturers are designing solutions that automatically guide heavy machinery on construction sites and also melding measuring tools into one unit-what will we share in future issues? It's hard to tell. But one thing is for certain: it's always an exciting time in the surveying profession!

The careers of tomorrow's surveyors will appear different in many respects from those of the profession's forebears. But, to withstand and outshine the challenges ahead of them, they will need a strong foundation. Education, experience and a solid foundation in the areas of licensure, legislation and representation all fare to be important for this class. These factors cannot be improved in a lackluster presence. We encourage you to support the future of your beloved profession.

And we promise to do the same. We at POB view surveying as fondly as you do-and we promise to provide you with the many tools you need to succeed. It is our purpose. As Miller said: "We found it [POB] worked for us. We found it worked for other people." Exactly as we see it, Mr. Miller.