Offices are fine. Plenty of staples, swivel chairs and people who share the same grievances about parking lots and vending machines.

But offices lack variety, different voices and different experiences. Sharing views with those from outside your office has obvious value.

Here’s where POB comes in. It’s a great place for surveyors and other geospatial professionals to connect.

Although POB began as a print magazine, it’s up and running 24 hours a day online. If you haven’t yet, I invite you to check out POB’s LinkedIn group. There are several conversations on the POB page that draw points of view from many directions.

Crystal Harris, Survey Superintendent for the City of Fort Worth, recently posted this question: “Are cut-sheets becoming a thing of the past?”

Within a week, responses from New Jersey, Nevada, Florida, Kansas and other locations popped up on the page. The conversation included young and old as well as local codes and common practices. The points of view were interesting to compare.

One surveyor said that he’s heard the word cut-sheet just a handful of times in the past 10 years and only provides them to clients upon request, which doesn’t happen often. Then he pointed out that a job can be properly staked only to have a non-matching error on the cut-sheet … in other words, a cut-sheet being extraneous opportunity for error. Another surveyor said that his company insists that contractors rely on cut-sheets so that field measurements can be quality controlled.

In addition to POB’s LinkedIn group, the RPLS nework on pobonline.com is a great place for professionals to share experiences and thoughts. RPLS can be found at the on our site’s home page either by clicking on the menu bar at the top of the page or scrolling down the center of the page to find the most recent posts.

And one connection that I invite you to make is with me at POB. I’ve been on the job as editor for a half-year now and I’m getting more and more emails commenting on stories that have run online and in print. I love it. So, please, reach out to me at macleodb@bnpmedia.com and maybe we can exchange thoughts that we wouldn’t be able to get at our offices’ water coolers.

I’m excited about our cover story this month about the book, “The Map Thief.” Investigative journalist Michael Blanding tells a good story about how $3 million in ancient maps were stolen from libraries at Yale and Harvard and from cities like New York and Chicago between 2003 and 2005.

The man who admitted to taking the maps was a rare-map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley, who wasn’t caught until he dropped an X-Acto knife on the floor of a Yale library. His story helped libraries realize problems in their security … problems that they were able to rectify.

POB has a lot of great stories about interesting and unusual projects and how professionals overcame obstacles. I’m trying to add more broad-appeal stories to the mix; stories like the one about “The Map Thief” this month that reach out to the non-surveyor side of surveyors’ psyche.

If you know of such a story, let me know and we’ll share it with our readers.