Point of Beginning

Newsline: October 2009

October 1, 2009
ASPRS Approves Guidelines for the Procurement of Professional Services; Trimble and ESRI Launch 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program; GPS IIR-21(M) Declared Operational and more.



ASPRS Approves Guidelines for the Procurement of Professional Services

The board of directors of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) approved its “Guidelines for Procurement of Professional Aerial Imagery, Photogrammetry, Lidar and Related Remote Sensor-based Geospatial Mapping Services” in August. The document provides a definition of “professional services” along with detailed procurement guidelines and recommendations. “While these are guidelines, and by no means mandatory,” said James Plasker, ASPRS executive director, “we believe they constitute a best practices approach for the procurement of professional geospatial services.” The new ASPRS document supersedes the “Guidelines for Procurement of Photogrammetric Services from Private Professional Sources” published in 1987. A copy of the new guidelines document is available at www.asprs.org/guidelines.

Trimble and ESRI Launch 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program

Trimble and ESRI launched the 2009 Mobile Government Grant Program in September. The grants will award hardware, software and training with a value of $89,980 to 20 state and local government agencies in the United States. “There are tremendous opportunities to improve the efficiency of fieldworkers in the public sector,” said Robert Laudati, director of marketing for Trimble’s Mapping and GIS Division.

ESRI and Trimble developed the program to foster innovative approaches to solving government problems through the combined use of GIS, GPS, mobile and server technology. Projects must demonstrate increased efficiencies in collecting data for decision support or increased productivity in delivering government services. The deadline for all submissions is 5 p.m. PST, Nov. 20, 2009. Awards will be announced Dec. 18, 2009. For more information on the grant program, visit www.esri.com/govgrant.

A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket blasts off with the Air Force’s GPS IIR-21(M) satellite. Photo by Carleton Bailie, United Launch Alliance.

GPS IIR-21(M) Declared Operational

The last of eight modernized Global Positioning System IIR satellites, GPS IIR-21(M), was declared operational for military and civilian users worldwide on August 27. The U.S. Air Force successfully launched the satellite aboard the last of the Air Force’s United Launch Alliance Delta II rockets at 6:35 a.m. EDT on August 17 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. GPS IIR-21(M) joins the constellation of 30 operational satellites on orbit providing global coverage and increased overall performance of GPS service. GPS IIR-21(M) assumes plane E, slot 3 position replacing space vehicle number 40.

Landsat 5 Experiences Short Interruption

Landsat 5, the 25-year-old historically reliable earth observation satellite, began tumbling in space on the morning of August 13. According to USGS officials, engineers from the USGS Landsat Flight Operations Team immediately started processes to protect the satellite and to restore capability. The spacecraft was stabilized quickly and recovery operations initiated. During the following two days, the sensor was not used and no data were collected. By August 17, the systems were back in order and full capability was restored. The cause of the anomaly is being investigated. Further information about the Landsat program, including satellite status, is available at landsat.usgs.gov.

Auburn University Explores the Ellicott Line

On Dec. 3-4, 2009, Auburn University’s Technology Transfer Center will hold a seminar in Andalusia, Ala., to provide surveyors with information about the earthen mounds marking the Ellicott Line and launch a search for nearby mounds. Attendees will be given a classroom overview of the mound line, provided with locations of some of the mounds and assigned to teams to find them. “This event will provide an opportunity to work on a survey of great historical importance while walking in the footsteps of Andrew Ellicott, one of America’s great men of science,” said Milton Denny, PLS, one of the program directors. For more information or to register, visit www.engce.auburn.edu.


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