Articles by Robert W. Foster, PE, PLS

On the Level: Instant Replay for Ethics

In a Major League baseball game in 2010, Armando Galarraga, a Detroit Tigers pitcher, was one out away from throwing a perfect game. With two outs in the ninth inning, the first base umpire, Jim Joyce, called a ground ball hitter safe at first base. It was one of those bang-bang plays in which the umpire must see two things happening almost simultaneously: the ball in the glove as the foot hits the base.
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On the Level: Artificial Intelligence and Survey Solutions

In 1997, IBM defeated Grand Master Gary Kasparov, the world chess champion, with its computer Deep Blue. It was one giant leap for computerkind in the development of artificial intelligence. The work continues at places like MIT, Cal Tech and IBM in the attempt to create a machine that can think the way we do.
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On the Level: Surveyors in the Market Economy

The joint meeting of FIG Commissions 3 and 7 in Sophia, Bulgaria, in November delivered value consistent with its theme, “Information and Land Management A Decade After the Millennium.” In particular, two issues were of interest. One is a situation familiar to us here in the U.S., while the other involves a condition foreign to most American surveyors.
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On the level: Breaking down the silos.

There has been much discussion in the last few months about the move by the NSPS, a member organization (MO) of the ACSM, to establish a committee to study the financial and membership impacts of separation from ACSM. 
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On the level: Six rules for boundary disputes.

According to Black’s, “Title is the means whereby the owner of lands has the just possession of his property. The union of all the elements which constitute ownership.”1 These elements may be described as proof and quality of claim, which is the attorney’s area of expertise, and location and quantity of claim, the surveyor’s area of expertise. 
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On the level: A tale of tragedy, diplomacy and agreement.

In 1999, the FIG General Assembly voted that the FIG Working Week 2003 would be held in Israel, but the tragic events of 2001 caused us to change those plans. First, the World Trade Center in New York was destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, sparking a new round of violence in the Middle East, and then anthrax began showing up in people’s mailboxes. ...
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On the Level: The E-560 standard contract form.

In my many years of writing and speaking on the subject of contracting for professional surveying services, I have often emphasized that surveyors should use written contracts for all projects.
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On the level: Who owns the surveyor's information?

When a surveyor performs a retracement survey, who owns the results--the surveyor or the client?
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On the Level: A national cadastre for the U.S.?

My European friends in the surveying/engineering field often ask me about the American cadastral system and are always surprised to learn that we don’t actually have such a system in our country. How can that be?
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On the Level: Risk Mitigation for Surveyors

Surveyors in private practice need to be aware of ways to mitigate the risk of lawsuits and claims. For those who carry professional liability coverage, participation in an insurance provider’s risk-mitigation credit program may not only decrease the chance of being sued--it can reward proactive surveyors with a significant deductible credit when a claim is made.
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HxGN Live

More than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries attended HxGN Live, the annual Hexagon AB user conference, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 3-6. About 450 keynotes and panel discussions were held, and several companies from around the world exhibited their geospatial products. Here are a few snapshots from the event.


POB January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of POB, we take a look at integrated technologies that provide real-time 3D measurements of a Brisbane construction site.

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Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

With the unmanned aerial system (UAS) presence growing in surveying, you will in 2015:
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