Harrison urges rapid agreement on future NSPS direction, webinar summarizes benefits of 2011 Survey Summit, and NGS prepares to implement new database policy.

Harrison Urges Rapid Agreement on Future NSPS Direction

A strategic planning committee assigned to study how a withdrawal by NSPS from ASCM would affect NSPS’ membership and finances presented its report to NSPS area directors and governors in September. Rather than advocating a specific plan of action, the committee concluded that additional studies are necessary to determine the best way to proceed.

Wayne Harrison, president of NSPS, agreed that further discussion is needed among individuals and state societies to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. However, he cautioned, “time is of the essence to present a clear picture of the organization’s structure so that members and prospective members will remain confident that their organization is strong and represents their interests.”

Also in September, a separate task force comprising members from all four ACSM member organizations (MOs), including NSPS, issued a proposal for restructuring ACSM based on a December 2009 report compiled by strategic marketing firm Scott Oser Associates (commonly called the “Oser report”) along with the task force’s own in-depth analysis. Harrison said the proposal is a good one but that it presents a number of “sticking points” that likely would have to be resolved before it would be accepted by NSPS and the other MOs. He noted that it was too early to determine whether a consensus would be reached in time for the NSPS business meeting in November. “The proposal is a starting point, but the question is whether we can implement it quickly enough,” he said.

“I encourage everyone involved in the profession--both members of NSPS and nonmembers--to talk to their state governors and area directors about the issues,” Harrison said. “Ask questions and get as many answers as possible. We need to reach an agreement sooner rather than later on how we’ll proceed in a way that will move us into the future.”

Webinar Summarizes Benefits of 2011 Survey Summit

During a brief Webinar held on Sept. 22, Curt Sumner, ACSM executive director, and Brent Jones, Esri Survey Industry manager, presented an overview of the 2011 Survey Summit and took questions from Webinar participants. The first ever Survey Summit will be held July 7-12 in San Diego and will be co-hosted by Esri and ACSM under a three-year agreement. The event replaces ACSM’s annual conference and has generated a number of questions regarding the timing and location as well as the collaboration with Esri.

Sumner noted that the ACSM conferences have become stagnant in recent years, and so a major goal was to incite change and create new business and networking opportunities for attendees. “What we’re trying to do with this conference is [share information about] the services surveyors can provide using their existing tools and experience,” he said. “The more opportunities we can explore, the more things open up. We have to figure out how to use existing technologies and look outside the box to see what’s available to us.”

Although the Survey Summit will offer courses for continuing education, that won’t be the primary objective since many surveyors earn their CEUs at the state level. Instead, the Summit will intersperse CEU offerings with plenary sessions, social activities and other opportunities as well as free time, with the goal of making it a “memorable event.”

Jones noted that “the business of business” will be a major focus of the Survey Summit, with attendees from diverse backgrounds sharing their experiences and success stories. When asked about the location, he explained that Esri has had a long-standing relationship with San Diego for 25 years, which provides some economic perks. “We have special arrangements with some hotels so that it won’t be any more expensive than any other ACSM conference in the past,” he said.

Attendance is anticipated to be in the range of 1,200 to 1,500 for the first year of the joint event. “We expect to have the most successful surveyor conference in the country,” Sumner said.

Additional information about the 2011 Survey Summit can be found at www.thesurveysummit.com

NGS Prepares to Implement New Database Policy

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will cease accepting data of all orders and classes from triangulation and traverse geodetic surveys as they are described in the Federal Geodetic Control Committee September 1984 “Standards and Specifications for Geodetic Control Networks” for inclusion into the NGS Integrated Data Base (NGSIDB).

According to a statement from NGS Director Juliana Blackwell, NGS has not received a traditional (triangulation or traverse) survey for purely horizontal work since 2006, since this work is now performed with GPS. The resources that were dedicated to traditional horizontal surveys will be used elsewhere. For more details, e-mail mark.eckl@noaa.gov