POB magazine announced today the winners of the 2008 Highlights in Surveying Project Contest, a national competition that recognizes the talents of surveyors, mappers and other geomatics professionals.

POB Magazine Announces Winners Of Fourth Annual Highlights In Surveying Project Contest

TROY, Mich.- April 23, 2008- POB magazine announced today the winners of the 2008 Highlights in Surveying Project Contest, a national competition that recognizes the talents of surveyors, mappers and other geomatics professionals.

The three reigning winners of the magazine's fourth annual project contest are:

(First Place) Expansion of Sunnyside Road in the city of Idaho Falls; (Second Place) Documentation of existing conditions and delivery of accurate 2D and 3D plans and models for the Las Vegas Convention Center; and (Third Place) Topographic, boundary and existing-conditions survey for Hancock, N.H., Historic District. Numerous other entries received honorable mention recognition.

“Teamwork and technology were the two elements that stood out in this year’s winning entry,” said Editor Lieca N. Hohner. “The teams proved that independent firms can work together for the good of the community and that rural areas are no less viable than urban areas for the use of advanced technology.

“With almost four times as many submittals as last year’s contest, our panel relied on a rubric system to judge this year’s entries,” Hohner continued. “Thanks to Managing Editor Kimberly Jensen, we evaluated each project according to six categories including technical difficulty, difficulty of conditions and collaboration/communication of team members. This system was helpful in choosing our top three choices from numerous and impressive entries. This contest, and its winners, is proof of the influence that surveyors and mappers have on our world's infrastructure.”
The winning city of Idaho Falls entry will be featured in POB's June 2008 issue and on POB Online at www.pobonline.com. The second and third place winners, as well as a few honorable mention entries, will be featured in future editions of POB. The first place winner will receive $2,000 in monetary awards; the second, $500; and the third, $250. POB thanks its contest sponsors for their generous and supportive contributions: Allen Precision Equipment, Crain Enterprises Inc., EngineerSupply.com, ESRI, Leica Geosystems, Magellan Professional, Optech, Topcon, Trimble and Tripod Data Systems.
Projects completed during the 2007 year were eligible for the fourth annual contest. POB welcomed entries from U.S. and international surveying and mapping firms, civil engineers, construction surveyors, mappers, photogrammetrists, imaging professionals, GIS practitioners, transportation employees and others involved in the geomatics profession. "Whether you use more conventional equipment such as lasers and total stations for your work, or advanced technology such as GPS or laser scanning, we wanted to know about it," Hohner said. "A cool project, an innovative approach or an impressive team can all constitute a great story."
POB will open its fifth annual contest this fall. Click to www.pobonline.com for details.
POB magazine is published monthly to help the progressive surveying and mapping professional succeed. We achieve this mission through concise and aggressive coverage of work in private practice and government by: highlighting industry news, milestones and product coverage for better decision-making; reporting on new applications and continually evolving technologies, including GPS, instrumentation, GIS and imaging; and providing practical solutions to the problems facing the geomatics industry including business, legal, legislative and educational issues. Eligible professionals can apply for a FREE subscription online at www.pobonline.com.

About the Winners:

First Place: Sunnyside Road, Idaho Falls, Idaho
On the third phase of the Sunnyside Road expansion from two lanes to five, city surveyors used surface modeling and what Party Chief Kenneth Roberts, PLS, calls “very cool technology” to connect the two previous phases of the road in this rapidly growing area of Idaho. Roberts says he and his crew were challenged with some “special trees, a very nasty 500-psi natural gas line and a 161 kVA power line that needed to be moved.” Roberts gives immense kudos to Project Superintendent, Karl Grover, of H&K Contractors, whose greatest tool is that “he is not afraid of using technology to be faster, better and more efficient.” Those tools included an advanced GPS system, a total station, a digital level and a GPS machine control system on one dozer, two graders and one excavator. The survey crew partnered with the state department of transportation, local heavy highway contractor H&K and several subconsultants to deliver the project in eight months on the motto that they “try to find a faster, easier way.”

Second Place: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

At the renowned Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, Architectural Resource Consultants (ARC, Irvine, Calif.), Optira (San Jose, Calif.) and Heritage Surveying (Las Vegas) set out to expand the center yet again under an $800-million renovation contract. The master architect called in a team of professional surveyors to document the existing conditions and deliver accurate 2D building floor plans, a unified structural grid system and three-dimensional above-ceiling plenum models-all within three months and while the facility remained fully operational. Using an arsenal of the latest technologies, including GPS, digital levels, robotic total stations, HDS laser scanners and reflectorless total stations with measurements shot straight into CAD in real time onsite, the teams accomplished the project on time and within budget. “This project required a wide breadth of expertise that spanned both building survey and traditional land survey, utilized a wide variety of the latest technologies and demonstrated the importance of establishing a solid control network,” says team member John Russo. The team overcame the logistical nightmare of working in a busy convention center and demonstrated how independent firms can combine resources to accomplish tasks that otherwise would not be possible.

Third Place: Topographic, Boundary and Existing-Conditions Survey for Hancock, N.H., Historic District

The town of Hancock, N.H., a quintessential New England village, needed to create what would essentially be a site plan for the entire Historic District corridor in the center of town. Todd Land Use Consultants, LLC encountered numerous project challenges including: analysis of deeds and plans dating back to the 1700s for 50 properties that contained the typical vagaries of old deeds as well as ambiguities and missing records, advanced reconnaissance to locate buried posts and iron rods, and the establishment of right of way widths as three rods wide as laid out from 1786 to 1790. Decades of confusion over the location of the easterly line of the Town Common were settled and the line was re-established. Details from an 1895 map were merged with modern images to solve mysteries. At the project’s completion, a 20-scale, 13-page plan set was created. Many citizens of Hancock were very grateful to have longstanding ambiguities resolved. Improvement designs that were built on the Todd survey have won statewide accolades.