2006 June 30

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Editor's Introduction

This week I interviewed about twenty surveyors on their changing relationship with GIS. Most of them shared a few key conclusions, which I can now assert confidently. I also point out an interesting article on pedestrian navigation in Japan and bring you the usual round-up of news from press releases.


Surveyor Survey

GIS and surveying, like GIS and GPS, are natural partners. Survey data provides the control for GIS and GIS contains key data onto which cadastre, land base, and orthophoto layers are registered. Surveyors can also use GIS to publish their data, to manage their survey operations, and even to manage survey data as part of an integrated geospatial information system. The shift to GPS-based surveying systems is creating a further opportunity for integrating GIS and surveying. Yet most surveyors do not (yet) use GIS.

To explore the relationship between surveying and GIS I interviewed surveyors and survey managers at fourteen surveying and engineering firms and asked them the following questions:

  1. Are surveyors shifting from CAD to GIS?
  2. Are changes in software leading or following this shift?
  3. How do your firm's surveyors use GIS?
  4. How can GIS be most useful to surveyors?
  5. What are the major remaining obstacles to surveyor's use of GIS?
  6. What evolution in GIS would help surveyors the most?
  7. What evolution in surveying would most improve the usefulness of GIS?
  8. As surveying continues its migration toward GPS-based systems, how will this change the relationship between surveying and GIS?
  9. How do you see software changing to integrate surveying and GIS?
  10. Are younger/new surveyors using GIS more?

Read more …

Briefly Noted

On June 28, on the front page of its "Business Day" section, the New York Times ran a story titled "With a Cellphone As My Guide: In Japan, Hand-Held Navigation Is Making It Harder to Get Lost." It includes the following statement: "According to the market research firm Frost & Sullivan, the [U.S.] market for location-based applications of all kinds will grow from $90 million last year to about $600 million in 2008."

News Briefs

Please note: I have culled the following news items from press releases and have not independently verified them.


    1. Pinnacle Mapping Technologies, Inc., in cooperation with its flying partner Great Lakes Aerial Surveys, has purchased the DiMAC 2.0 digital aerial camera from DIMAC Systems, LLC - a joint venture of DIMAC Systems, s.a.r.l. of Luxemburg and VXServices, LLC, of Longmont, Colorado. Read more …

    2. Merrick & Company—a LIDAR, digital ortho-imaging, photogrammetry, and GIS mapping company—was awarded a $345,000 contract to deliver raw and processed LIDAR data, 2-foot contours, and a DEM for 1,650 square miles of Stearns County, Minnesota and a small portion of two neighboring counties, Sherburne and Benton. Read more …

    3. The National Spill Control School in Corpus Christi, Texas, is using GPS-Photo Link software from GeoSpatial Experts to teach emergency personnel how to respond to spills of oil, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. Read more …

    4. The U.S. Forest Service has recently awarded a multi-year contract to Forest One, a company that applies remote sensing and spatial technologies to forestry, to develop new software and algorithms that will transform LiDAR data into usable forest inventory biometric information. Read more …

    5. The State of New Hampshire has selected Applied Geographics, Inc. (AppGeo) to prepare strategic and business plans for the ongoing development of GIS data and services for the State. Read more …

    6. Tensing, an international provider of mobile and GIS solutions, has earned status as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Read more …

    7. Cadcorp, a developer of digital mapping and GIS software, has appointed Swift LG as a business partner for the UK local authorities market sector. Read more …


    1. Applanix has introduced a new waterproof exterior casing for its marine-based onboard position and orientation (POS) technologies, POS MV. Read more …

    2. ESRI has released a new version of the GIS Portal Toolkit. Read more …

    3. GlobeXplorer's AirPhotoUSA has released the first comprehensive collection of 1-foot resolution aerial photography for the United States. Read more …


    1. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) have announced the Second Geospatial Integration for Public Safety Conference (formerly URISA's Addressing Conference: Street Smart and Address Savvy) to be held April 15-17 in New Orleans. Read more …

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

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