2006 July 13

This issue sponsored by


If, for some reason, you cannot read this document, please visit:

Editor's Introduction

This week's issue is shorter than usual because I am on vacation, skippering a 42-foot sailboat in the San Juan Islands, Washington. This week I follow up on the last two issues with an interview with Brent A. Jones about ESRI's "Survey and GIS" summit and some pointed comments by Al Butler on the use of GIS by surveyors. Plus, a few news items from press releases.

The latest issue of "Intersect" is now available on the GIS Monitor website.


ESRI Survey & GIS Summit

In San Diego, California, August 5-8, concurrent with its 26th annual International User Conference, ESRI will hold its fourth annual "Survey and GIS" summit—this year titled "Bridging the Gap." According to ESRI, "This conference brings together surveyors, engineers, and GIS professionals to explore business, technology, and collaboration opportunities." (Full disclosure: GITC America, this newsletter's publisher, is a sponsor of the summit.)

The program includes plenary sessions on the state of surveying and GIS technology; a keynote address by Wendy Lathrop—a long-time surveyor, author, and speaker; and a survey and GIS exhibit. Summit topics will include GPS technology; integrating survey data and GIS; survey and GIS technology case studies; implementing GIS; engineering and engineering design with GIS; GIS business opportunities for engineers and surveyors; surveyor/engineer synergies; survey and GIS integration; and geodetic control.

Following up on my interviews about GIS and surveying, I discussed the "Survey and GIS" summit with Brent A. Jones, PE, PLS, Survey Industry Manager at ESRI. Jones took this position last fall, succeeding Mike Weir. According to Jones, Weir "went to Topcon, a surveying instrument company, because of the growth of the GIS field that they see happening."

Read more …

Letter to the Editor

I never cease to be amazed at the opinions of many surveyors and engineers on the topic of GIS. As you recently reported, persons you interviewed for the survey-grade GIS article said, "that they do not use GIS for data collection—citing habits, lack of training, and concerns about GIS accuracy." I've had surveyors and engineers claim for 20 years that CAD is so much better than GIS because the data in CAD are more accurate. What a bunch of [baloney]! You put the same data into both platforms, and you will get exactly the same level of accuracy. The issue is that people often don't put the same data into both platforms because they are generally applied to solve different problems.

Yes, I know that you can put cadastral data into both CAD and GIS, and that, somehow, the GIS data gets corrupted. It's not really corrupted; it is just altered to fit a different purpose. That's because the adjacent surveys don't match and someone—the GIS guy—has to make it all fit together because he is tasked with producing a map where each square inch of ground is in one and only one parcel. But before all the surveyors rise up in arms to defend their profession, let me assure them that it's not my goal to demean an honored profession. What I am saying is that GIS is normally intended to cover a large expanse of the Earth in a somewhat abstract manner that emphasizes relationships among spatially distributed phenomena. Surveyors, engineers, and the CAD applications they employ normally deal with things in a very concrete manner (pun intended), where the ultimate scale of representation is 1:1. I would like to see surveyors try to create a database of such fuzzy phenomenon as wildlife habitats, neighborhoods, and other poorly defined phenomenon that don't have a clearly defined location for someone in the world to measure to within 0.001 of a foot.

Read more …

News Briefs

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


    1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has awarded a 10 million dollar contract for developing an enterprise GIS based on ESRI GIS technology to Woolpert, Inc., a design firm. Read more …

    2. The Revenue Commissioner's Office in Bullock County, Alabama, selected ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop software for its parcel mapping needs. Read more …

    3. The Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario, Canada has elected to deploy InfoWater Suite and InfoSewer Suite Pro by MWH Soft, by a provider of environmental and water resources applications software. Read more …


    1. "GIS & Social Networking to Solve Crisis Response Needs," a Homeland Defense Journal training workshop, will take place October 3, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm in Arlington, Virginia. Read more …

    2. The Honorable Pat Bell, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, British Columbia, will speak on Wednesday, July 26, at the GeoWeb 2006 conference, which will take place July 24-28 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Read more …

    3. GeoSpatial Training Services LLC, a provider of virtual and instructor-led GIS training courses, is about to release four new short virtual training courses, including "Geocoding with Google Maps," "Reading Databases and XML Files in Google Maps," "Web Services 101," and "Reading ArcObjects Object Model Diagrams," designed to provide educational content specific to a narrowly focused topic of interest. Read more …

GIS Monitor Back Issues

You can reach more than 23,000 GIS professionals every issue by sponsoring GIS Monitor. For more information, email us.


Please send comments and suggestions to:

Matteo Luccio, Editor
GIS Monitor

Ultimate Map/GIS Directory — Your search is over!

GIS Monitor is published by:

GITC America, Inc.
100 Tuscanny Drive, Suite B-1
Frederick, MD 21702 USA
Tel: +1 (301) 682-6101
Fax: + 1 (301) 682-6105


If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe visit our subscription page.