Scientists, especially geologists, are thrilled with new discoveries that help them describe how the shape of the earth changed in a day. They have evidence of the asteroid impact near the Yucatan that literally changed the face of the earth.

Meanwhile, the National Spatial Reference System is quantifying much less dramatic changes. With a better understanding of the Earth’s core, we can measure how points on the planet shift. The important element is time. 

None of this is really new territory for professional land surveyors. When it comes to measuring and documenting locations, surveyors are on the front lines whether measuring coastal erosion and any number of other factors reflecting the change in the contours and of the landscape. What’s interesting is that monument indicating where the county line is has moved slightly over time, and we can probably now quantify that movement. The updated NSRS will actually help us see and document those changes.

The vast majority of people will be totally unaware of the changes and are likely to be unaffected by them. As with the declination measurements on a compass, if I am generally aiming to arrive in Cape Canaveral, Florida, nearly any compass will help point me in the right direction. If I’m launching a rocket for the moon, a couple of centimeters’ shift in the launch pad since the last Apollo mission might make a difference in my calculations. It’s not only amazing to watch as our tools change and evolve, it is thrilling to see what we are learning when we apply these new capabilities.

With this issue, POB is setting in motion its own sequence of changes. We’re not going for an asteroid impact, nor are we making mere centimeter shifts. Our goal is to provide better resources. That means being disruptive without being destructive.

The more visible changes are in our logo and the design elements of the magazine. We’ve moved from the “global grid” image in our POB logo to a map point icon. I guess I’d describe it as a recalibration of our perspective. The point can mark a beginning or an end to a journey. POB wants to be the destination for those seeking solid, credible information and resources on land surveying geospatial topics. We would also like to be the starting point for ideas and learning. The shift from a globe to a point doesn’t mean losing the larger view. After all, when a surveyor sets a monument, he or she is defining a precise location, but keeping in mind that it is in the context of a larger landscape.

Our compass on this journey is the feedback we got from the geospatial community. We listened carefully to what you wanted us to keep and what you wanted us to modify. As we roll out more enhancements in the coming months, we welcome your comments. Think of it as playing the role of RTK to our GNSS – a little real time adjustment as we move forward. In the meantime, enjoy our new look.

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