Free Report Helps Surveyors, Engineers Win ARRA Bids; PA-MAPPS Endorses Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania; Nominations Open for NGAC and more.

Free Report Helps Surveyors, Engineers Win ARRA Bids

Leica Geosystems published in July “The New Infrastructure Boom Market,” a free special report offering pricing, bidding and marketing tips to help surveyors, engineers and contractors win infrastructure projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

The report addresses how to price bids to maximize the chance of winning a contract, where to get online notification of infrastructure projects coming up for bid, ways that technology gives an edge when competing for ARRA projects, federal and state requirements for bidding on and managing ARRA projects, and more.

The federal government is expected to spend $787 billion to stimulate economic growth in the U.S. under the ARRA; approximately $140 billion is earmarked specifically for infrastructure rebuilding and expansion projects, according to the report. “With the Obama administration’s emphasis on cost cutting, bidding for these projects is highly competitive,” says Gerard Manley, vice president, Engineered Solutions, Leica Geosystems. To download a free copy of the report, go

PA-MAPPS Endorses Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania

PA-MAPPS, the first state chapter of the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS), is the first organization to formally endorse the “Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania,” which calls for the establishment of a Pennsylvania Statewide Geospatial Coordination Council. Upon the membership’s unanimous vote on June 11 to endorse the strategy, President Mike Shillenn proposed the creation of a state version of the Council of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) to organize stakeholders in support of the plan.

On June 26, PA-MAPPS hosted an exploratory meeting with senior leadership from two other leading Pennsylvania geospatial organizations: the County Geographic Information Systems Professionals Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Mapping and Geographic Information Consortium (PaMAGIC). “All three organizations affirmed that council formation is a critical step to insuring the long-term stability and success of geospatial technology in the Commonwealth,” Shillenn reported. Each organization has indicated that it will further discuss the opportunity to work together to leverage their combined strengths and resources in support of council formation. For more information, go

Nominations Open for NGAC

The Interior Department is seeking nominations for membership on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The NGAC was created to advise the federal government on the management of national geospatial programs and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), which promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors and the academic community.

The NGAC includes 25 to 30 members who are selected to achieve a balanced representation of the viewpoints of the various partners involved in national geospatial activities. NGAC members are appointed for staggered terms, and approximately half of the seats on the committee will be appointed during this round of appointments. Final selection and appointment of NGAC members will be made by the secretary of the interior.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of others, or individuals may nominate themselves. Nominations for appointment should be submitted electronically tongacnominations@fgdcby Aug. 21, 2009. Instructions about qualifications and the nomination process are available

A scan generated with Optech’s LYNX Mobile Mapper system.

Optech Holds Successful LiDAR Conference

Optech’s first Innovative Lidar Solutions Conference (ILSC), held June 24-26 in Toronto, drew a total of 186 registered attendees (technology providers and users) from 30 countries. Attendees at ILSC 2009 participated in discussions on specific issues surrounding LiDAR data collection, measurement and analysis and shared their experiences in addressing survey problems. The presentations provided a greater understanding of how LiDAR tools and systems can be optimized to take advantage of their full potential.

Numerous advanced concepts in airborne, bathymetric, stationary and mobile 3D laser scanners were discussed. For example, in the keynote address, Doug Houston, Optech’s vice president of operations, discussed the history and evolution of LiDAR and noted that over the past 40 years, significant advances have been made in sensors, computers, positioning technologies and results. Today’s cutting edge technologies are ultracompact with multiple sensors for improved data acquisition at a lower cost. Houston said that the future will bring more sophisticated processing algorithms, data fusion between multiple sensors and improved lasers, detectors and data acquisition technologies.

Nick Holden of the U.K.’s Environment Agency said that there is a driving need for accurate data and that visuals are important to helping clients understand the data. “When people see data in a visual form, it mobilizes them very quickly,” he said, adding that visual data helps “empower everyone to make the right decisions.” Holden explained how the Environment Agency uses Optech’s LYNX Mobile Mapper technology to generate 3D records of survey areas and develop raster surfaces for flood modeling.

Clay Wygant of WHPacific Inc. discussed how the LYNX technology allowed the firm to handle a complex freeway surveying project on Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. The project required vast amounts of data to be gathered on the 1-mile-wide freeway in a short timeframe. Using the LiDAR technology allowed the firm to collect 25 million data points on a 3-mile section of the freeway in just four passes on each side (northbound and southbound). Other presentations addressed airborne applications, railway infrastructure surveys and coastal surveys as well as new sensors, cameras, software and other tools.

“LiDAR is not a one-size-fits-all technology,” said Don Carswell, president of Optech. “Quite the opposite, in fact−users are driving applications in a variety of new areas. Everyone’s firm has a different approach, and their clients all have different needs. What we’re really hoping to convey [with this conference] is the possibilities--a greater vision for and understanding of LiDAR. Through the exchange of ideas, we believe innovative new solutions will emerge.” For more information about the conference,

Associate Editor Wendy Lyons compiles “Newsline.” Contact her at 248/786-1620 or lyonsw@bnpmedia. Visit for daily news updates.