Editor's Corner: Welcome to The American Surveyor!

A 1.118Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Welcome to the charter issue of The American Surveyor! As a magazine created by surveyors for surveyors, our aim is to deliver to your doorstep a one-of-a-kind publication that will inform, educate, entertain, and inspire you. More than twenty nationally known and respected licensed land surveyors have come together to provide content and help us launch this publication!

Drawing from forty years of experience in all aspects of land surveying—from field to management, and technical support to journalism—Editor Marc Cheves understands the profession from the ground up. From the prairies and gas lines of the Midwest to Pershing missile bases in Germany to the redwood forests of northern California to the urban sprawls of Maryland, he’s walked in your boots and sat in your boardrooms. Since the late 1970s, he has worked with surveying technology. Given the rapid advancements of GPS, instrument capability, software, and geo-data in recent years, you’ll find information here that you simply won’t find anyplace else.

Our tagline "A foot in the past… An eye to the future" sums up where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Like calibrating a a fine instrument, we are committed to hand-crafting each and every issue of The American Surveyor to best fit your needs. Cover to cover and issue to issue we’ll bring you topical news and information, technology expertise, product reviews, tips to help run your business today and take it where it needs to go tomorrow. We’ll highlight industry trends, debate controversial issues, and focus on challenges that lie ahead. And like the patina of an instrument grown handsome with age, to each issue we’ll rub in some history for good measure and polish it off with humor to make you smile.

Our choice of content is not based on marketing formulas or advertorials, but rather on the knowledge that if something appeals to us, there’s a good chance it will appeal to you as well. We’re certain that even family members, friends, clients and colleagues will want to pick up your copy and thumb through!

What’s in store in this issue?
Joining us as Associate Editor is one of the premier boundary writers in the nation, Joel Leininger. His monthly column, Point to Point, will focus on boundary surveying in the United States, foundational doctrines of the practice, how we got to where we are today, early practices that influenced current procedures, and current procedures that may be superfluous. Leininger leads off this month’s column by asking if we really need an ALTA-style certification and filing system for all boundary surveys.

When it came to selecting a cover story for the charter issue of The American Surveyor, few stories could have been as fitting as "Field of Flags." Surveyor Trent Turk relates how members of the Kiwanis Club in Marietta, Georgia enlisted the help of scores of community professionals and volunteers to pay a special tribute on the second anniversary of the September 11 attack on our country.

Those with an eye for detail and an appreciation for fine craftsmanship will enjoy the first in A Foot in the Past series by Jeff Lock about historical instruments. Lock’s painstaking work inspires him to "get inside the minds" of early instrument makers to understand how they used limited materials, equipment and techniques to manufacture the instruments that were used to measure and carve up the New World.

A natural inclination to break from the pack and define our surroundings is what makes us surveyors. Diversity, hard work, and a desire to advance, refine, and pass on our skills to those who will follow in our footsteps is what makes us American Surveyors. Our geographical boundaries unite us and our freedom to move about within those boundaries gives us room to grow and move ahead. In our unique ProFile section, you will meet contemporary surveyors and the companies they work for. By seeing how other surveyors operate, we hope that you will find something that you can apply to your own practice. This month’s ProFile spotlights survey department head Tom Merrill, a native of New York, and Greenhorne & O’Mara, the company he works for in Maryland.

Taking technology to the skies, owner Bryan Logan relates the success story that led to the development of what is arguably the leading international mapping organization, EarthData Holdings.

Well-known author and seminar-presenter Walt Robillard provides his views on the state of surveying education in the United States. Walt, at 73, is still going strong, and presented more than 90 seminars in 2003.

Nebraska writer and surveyor Jerry Penry brings readers a mini-lesson in geology and a tale of how one famous G LO surveyor satisfied a corner description once and for all. Seattle surveyor and writer Gavin Shrock provides an informative and entertaining article on data accuracy and GIS, with advice based on experience, and Karen Zollman offers insight into the process control of deliverables to mapping specialists.

It also brings us great pleasure to welcome well-known author and seminar presenter Dr. Richard Elgin who will present a new column based on the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) examination for surveyors.

We also extend a hand of welcome to Laurence Socci, government affairs consultant for ACSM, who will provide our readers with a lobbyist’s perspective on national legislative issues.

Lots more exciting features and columns are in store for next month and the months to follow! You’ll be hearing from many notable and highly respected folks in the industry. First and foremost is America’s own national treasure, historian Silvio Bedini. Also lending their expertise will be those listed in the masthead to the right, bringing you the strongest, most knowledgeable editorial line-up in the industry.

Thanks for Your Support
Some of the greatest rewards of doing what you love for a living are the relationships that are established along the way and the friendships that grow out of them. Our best proof of those friendships is this magazine that you hold in your hands. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you who have supported us and offered help in so many ways. Your encouragement provides a unique energy that fuels our creative spirit.

Like many of you, we are owners of an American-owned-and-operated small business. We understand what you do and why. By subscribing to The American Surveyor, you can help us bring you the information you need to be successful. Look for the subscription cards inside, or visit us online at www.TheAmericanSurveyor.com. We hope you will take time to sit back, turn every page, and see for yourself that you don’t want to miss the next issue of The American Surveyor. Subscribe today!

Marc Cheves is Editor of the magazine.

A 1.118Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

About the Author

Marc Cheves, PS

Marc Cheves is editor emeritus of the magazine. He has been a surveyor since 1963 and is licensed in five states. Since 1995 he has been a surveying magazine editor.