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July 1, 2005
Preserving a joint state boundary stone and ASPRS updates LiDAR data exchange format standard.

Monument No. 38 was originally set in 1858 to mark the Kentucky/Tennessee border. Now it is on display at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center.

Preserving a Joint State Boundary Stone

The Kentucky Association of Professional Surveyors (KAPS) and the Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors (TAPS) held a dedication ceremony for a joint state line monument on April 29, 2005, at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center in Glasgow, Ky. The hand-hewn limestone monument, originally set in 1858 as one of 64 Kentucky/Tennessee border monuments, has been re-set at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center for permanent observation and historic preservation.

After being displaced by local roadway construction, the stone known as Monument No. 38 was recovered in 1992 by a joint KAPS and TAPS committee. Limestone monuments were originally set in 1858-1859 at five mile intervals along the mutual state line boundary. Monument No. 38 was set 195 miles east of the 1858 point of beginning and was situated on the common boundary line between Allen County, Ky. and Macon County, Tenn.

Following the recovery of Monument No. 38, the KAPS/TAPS committee voted to preserve the stone in a place of honor and distinction. After efforts to place the stone in a university museum failed, a new KAPS/TAPS committee determined in 2003 that the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center would be a fitting place of final honor and public display.

The April 29 dedication ceremony was the culmination of the efforts of both societies to preserve a piece of surveying heritage. More than 50 people attended the ceremony. State Representative Stephen R. Nunn of Kentucky served as master of ceremonies and Tom Crabtree, PLS, president of KAPS, gave the opening remarks. KAPS member Robert W. Fentress, PLS, gave a historic presentation on the monument.

In addition to the preservation of the original stone, a replica of the stone with an accompanying informational plaque was permanently set in a grassed lawn at the Welcome Center on Interstate 65. The replica was crafted by Quarry Hill Monuments of Magnolia, Ky., from a block of high quality granite and duplicates the original stone carver's chisel marks and drill hole.

ASPRS Updates LiDAR Data Exchange Format Standard

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) released version 1.1 of its .LAS file format. This binary data exchange format is an industry standard for the exchange of LiDAR data between various hardware manufacturers, software developers, data providers and end users. The LAS format is primarily intended to make the exchange, manipulation, analysis and storage of LiDAR data faster and easier. In addition, a standardized LiDAR data format helps to facilitate the processing, editing and visualization of LiDAR data in a wide variety of commercial and proprietary software packages. The format is a public binary file format that is a replacement for the proprietary systems or a generic ASCII file interchange system used by many companies in the past.

The ASPRS LiDAR Committee maintains the LAS format through its LAS Working Group. The original version of the LAS format was released in May 2003. As part of its ongoing review, the LAS Working Group proposed an interim update of the standard to address several minor issues and provide clarification to the original documentation. After input was solicited from various industry stakeholders, a change document was submitted to the full committee for review and the revisions were approved at the March 2005 ASPRS conference.

A full version update of LAS is planned for 2006. Topics to be covered in V2.0 include optimization and revision of the existing format, inclusion of additional data such as RGB values, the potential for waveform encoding, the extension to cover other diverse data formats such as manufacturers' comprehensive outputs and the potential to have the LAS format cover LiDAR data from ground-based laser scanners as well.

Many ASPRS member organizations, including the major industry manufacturers and software developers, have adopted the LAS format since its release in 2003. ASPRS maintains the LAS standard to serve its individual members, sustaining members and the rest of the geospatial data industry. For more information, visit www.lasformat.org.