Newsletter Editorials

Navigating the World of GNSS

September 9, 2009By

The increasing number of Global Navigation Satellite Systems means more choices — and more confusion — for the user. Knowing the capabilities and schedules of each can help you make more informed purchasing decisions, including when (and when not) to upgrade existing equipment. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

ION GNSS Conference Peers into the Future of Surveying

September 1, 2009By

The Institute of Navigation’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ION GNSS) conference is one of my two favorite industry events of the year; the other being the ESRI conference. At ESRI, I mix it up with GPS technology users, listen to what they are doing and what they want to do with the technology. At ION, I listen to GNSS designers and researchers. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

ESRI Conference and SVN-49 Troubles

July 29, 2009By

I had a great visit at the ESRI User Conference earlier this month. If you recall last year, I wrote: “As much as surveyors, engineers, and constructors may not appreciate geographic information systems (GIS) technology, at some point everyone should attend at least the ESRI Survey/Engineering Summit and the first couple of days of the ESRI User Conference held every summer in San Diego, California. This is not a GIS sales pitch. It's a networking sales pitch. When other conferences are struggling to maintain attendance levels, the ESRI conferences seemingly never fail to grow in attendance. This year, it attracted some 15,000 people from 120 countries. That means gobs of GIS people, and also gobs of surveyors and engineers.” The statement rang true this year too. Even in today’s economy where conferences are severely impacted or even cancelled due to travel budget cuts, the ESRI User conference still attracted ~11,000 people this month. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

GPS Receivers for GIS Data Collection

June 22, 2009By

In my column earlier this month, I discussed the use of consumer GPS receivers for GIS data collection. Remember the analogy I used?a Volkswagen Beetle wasn?t designed to run in a Formula One race? This column is going to focus on the Formula One cars, not the Volkswagen Beetles. In other words, it will focus on the GPS receivers on the market that are designed for GIS data collection. I will refer to them as GPS/GIS receivers. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

Consumer-Grade GPS Receivers for GIS Data Collection

June 3, 2009By

Three categories of GPS are used to populate GIS databases: consumer-grade receivers, GPS receivers designed specifically for GIS data collection, and survey receivers. This month, I discuss consumer-grade receivers. In a new issue in two weeks' time, I?ll cover the class of GPS receivers designed specifically for GIS data collection. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

Block IIF: Follow-on, or Failure?

May 27, 2009By

A few short weeks ago, the U.S. GPS program had its posterior firmly planted in the catbird seat. Government spokespeople in international fora looked on benignly as European, Chinese, and Russian GNSS programs struggled to resolve their issues and meet their heady challenges. All was well with the world. A new GPS satellite launched, a segment of radio-frequency spectrum secured for a promising new signal, a next-gen satellite shipped to the Cape, and the next-next-gen program nearing successful preliminary design review (since completed). In the blink of an eye, the world is turning. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in GNSS Opinions, GPS Modernization, Newsletter Editorials

Survey Perspectives: RTK Networks Webinar Q&A Follow-Up

May 6, 2009By

Many surveyors I know use RTK for setting boundaries. Some even use single-baseline RTK for this task, which is essentially just a radial survey (no redundancy). I?d say that almost all whom I know that are doing this have used their RTK systems enough to understand the limitations. In fact, I think most have run RTK and total stations side-by-side on jobs to gain confidence and understand RTK in the field. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene

Survey Perspectives: RTK Networks: The Wild, Wild West

April 1, 2009By

What can you say about RTK Networks, except wow! They have popped up everywhere and continue on a path of rapid growth. In the last five years, I'd say it's clear that two GNSS technologies have changed the survey/construction industry more than any others; machine control and RTK networks. read more

This article is tagged with and posted in Newsletter Editorials, Opinions, Survey, Survey Scene