The Arizona desert offered attendees sunshine and 80+ degree days, as well as learning and networking opportunities. Including exhibitors, about 1,450 people attended more than 70 booths, participated in workshops and meetings, gained continuing education credits, and generally had a good time and enhanced themselves professionally with fellow surveyors and mappers.
ACSM Awards Ceremony and NSPS Surveying Excellence AwardThe annual ACSM awards ceremony honored the following individuals as they assume new roles within the ACSM member organizations.
Front Row (left to right):
Edward McKay, ACSM President-Elect
Patrick Beehler, ACSM Director from NSPS
Thomas W. Brooks, ACSM Director from NSPS
M. Greg Johnson, ACSM Director from NSPS
Rebecca Somers, ACSM Vice President
Gary Jeffers, ACSM Director from GLIS
Robert Cromley, President CaGIS
K. Eric Anderson, ACSM President
Back Row (left to right):
John Matonich, ACSM Director from NSPS
Joshua Greenfeld, President GLIS
John Fenn, President NSPS
Wesley Parks, President AAGS
Not pictured: William Soderberg, ACSM Director from NSPS
Student Surveying CompetitionThe second annual student surveying competition was held on the grounds of the convention center. This year students were required to do a surveying project related to Lewis and Clark. Teams from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, New Mexico State University of Las Cruces, N.M., the University of Akron in Ohio, and Renton Technical College in Washington, participated in the event. The University of Akron team, winners of last year’s Roman-themed contest, won the surveying competition this year also. A separate award was given to the Renton Technical College team for authenticity of clothing and gear that best portrayed the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This team even had a black Newfoundland to play the part of Lewis’ dog Seaman and one student dressed as the Indian guide Sacagawea.
RPLS.com GatheringIn the lobby bar of the Phoenix Crowne Plaza Hotel, about 25 rpls-ers gathered, some to meet for the first time, others to reunite, having met at last year’s party. The atmosphere was light, and conversations (and cocktails) flowed with ease, and just barely faster than they do online. Pictures were taken, toasts made to Mark Deal, the board’s creator, and plans were made to do it again at the 2004 Nashville conference. Plan on attending—the more the merrier!
Surveying OlympicsThe Surveying Olympics were an attraction for many attendees. POB sponsored its sixth annual chain-throwing competition. William Coleman, PLS, of Charlotte, N.C., winner of last year’s event, retained his title as the ACSM show’s fastest chain thrower with a time of 46 seconds, winning a Schoendstedt XT magnetic locator. He did comment that he only throws a chain twice a year—once at the ACSM show and once at the North Carolina show (where he doesn’t even win!). The second and third place winners tied with 48 seconds. A throw-off led to Richard Brantley of Hattiesburg, Miss., receiving second place with a prize of a Magellan Meridian Gold handheld GPS unit donated by Allen Precision Equipment and Craig Atwood from Ferris State claiming third place, winning a replica mini-chain and POB hat/T-shirt combo.
Manufacturer NewsTopcon, Pleasanton, Calif., introduced a completely cable-free RTK GPS system, the HiPer Lite. The HiPer Lite incorporates the Euro-80 GPS board and is designed for dual-frequency GPS tracking. HiPer Lite offers a high performance 915 MHz spread spectrum radio that provides interference-free communication of up to 1.5 miles on the jobsite.
Topcon Introduces Wireless Solutions for GPS
Topcon also introduced another product from the HiPer family, the HiPer+, which offers the advantages of a small, lightweight design, wireless communication and an advanced center-mount UHF antenna design that boosts RTK performance and distance without degradation of GPS signals. The receiver, antenna, power supply and RTK radio link are packaged inside a rugged, compact housing. The HiPer+ dual-constellation (GPS plus GLONASS) tracking option provides 40 percent more satellite coverage than GPS alone.
Sokkia Introduces New Reflectorless Total StationSokkia, Olathe, Kan., introduced the SET230R, its new reflectorless total station featuring a RED-tech (REvolutionary Digital processing technology) EDM that maximizes the speed and precision of reflectorless distance measurement. As an EDM utilizing a modulated Class 2 laser, the SET230R offers reflectorless measurements as far as 150 m. Accuracy is ±(3+2 ppm x D) mm (range up to 100 m (320 ft)) with a continuous measurement speed of 1.3 seconds. Angles are given with 2-second accuracy. Using the SET230R with a single AP prism, measurements of 5,000 m can be made with an accuracy of ±(2+2 ppm x D) mm. Reflective sheet targets increase its range up to 500 m with ±(3+2 ppm x D) mm precision.
Trimble and Nikon Sign Joint Venture AgreementTrimble, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Nikon Corporation, Melville, N.Y., reached a definitive agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture in Japan to address the survey instruments market. The venture, Nikon-Trimble Co. Ltd., will purchase assets from Nikon Geotecs Co. Ltd. and Trimble Japan KK, and is expected to begin operations during the second quarter of 2003. Under the terms of the agreement, Trimble will acquire a 50 percent ownership stake in Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., which will assume the operations of Nikon Geotecs Co. Ltd. in Japan. The new entity will focus on the design and manufacture of surveying instruments including mechanical total stations and related products. In Japan, the joint venture will distribute Nikon’s survey products as well as Trimble’s survey products including GPS and robotic total stations. Outside Japan, Trimble will become the exclusive distributor of Nikon survey and construction products.
Leica Introduces New GIS ProductLeica Geosystems, Atlanta, Ga., highlighted the GS20 Professional Data Mapper (PDM), a new GIS product that combines the all-in-one simplicity of a recreational GPS handheld with the power and flexibility of a professional grade mapping system. The GS20 PDM is a professional GPS receiver, antenna and data collector, all in an ergonomic handheld. It features wireless connectivity to PCs and accessories provided by Bluetooth technology.
The 2004 ACSM/TAPS Conference and Technology Exhibition will be held April 18-22, 2004, in Nashville, Tennessee.