Readers sound off on topics from recent issues ofPOB.

The Latest News
April 2003

We all know as surveyors that technology is a double-edged sword. Express-Map is a perfect example of the wrong side of the sword for the surveying profession. Nevertheless, First American is doing what any other company would do given the resources and technology. This is a signal to the surveying profession to get our house in order or this just might be the tip of the iceberg! First American clearly knew this service would be a wake-up call to the surveying profession. They review surveys every day and clearly know the minimum requirements of an ALTA survey. I encourage everyone to visit the website ( and click on the Advantages tab. This shows the [company’s] frustrations with the surveying profession. Better yet, click on FAQ and click on “Does ExpressMap eliminate the ALTA field survey and plat?” The first word is “Yes.”

Bill Nailling
via E-mail

Editor’s Note
April 2003

Great article. The Quintessential Surveyor [Henry David Thoreau] also had some ideas on the same subject in his essay “Huckleberries.” Perhaps [POB] readers can relate to the following from “The Natural History Essays” by Henry David Thoreau, who was also in the same business that we are.


“I once did some surveying for a man, who remarked, but not till the job was nearly done, that he did not know when he should pay me. I did not at first pay much heed to this observation, though it was unusual, supposing that he meant to pay me within a reasonable time. Nevertheless it occurred to me that if he did not know when he should pay me still less did I know when I should be paid. He added, however, that I was perfectly secure, for there were the pigs in the stye (and as nice pigs as ever were seen), and there was his farm itself which I had surveyed, and knew was there as well as he. All this has its due influence in increasing my sense of security, as you may suppose. After many months he sent me a quart of red huckleberries, for they grew on his farm, and this I thought was ominous; he distinguished me altogether too much by this gift, since I was not his particular friend. I saw that it was the first installment of my dues—and that it would go a great way toward being the last. In the course of years he paid a part of the debt in money, and that is the last that I have heard of it. I shall beware of red-huckleberry gifts in the future.”

My father, who was also in the same business, said, “The best way to make money is to quit losing it.”

Jon Girand, PE, RLS
Phoenix, Ariz.


The article “The Fine Points of Scanning” in the May 2003 issue contained an oversight in the name of the agency that issued contract work at the World Trade Center highlighted in the article. The Port Authority of New York should have been referenced as its full name, which is The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Route 30/130 Collingswood Circle project cited is a New Jersey Department of Transportation project.

The ideas and opinions expressed by our readers do not necessarily reflect those of POB.

Send your thoughts to the editor at or mail to Letter to the Editor, POB magazine, 755 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 1000, Troy, MI 48084.