Editorial: Celebrating Our Profession

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While blistering cold fronts hammered the U.S., and political candidates flocked to the wires announcing their candidacies for 2008, early February found us hunkered down and putting the finishing touches on this issue.

The actual footwork for each month’s selection of articles begins months earlier, often with hundreds of hours of travel and meetings. Cameras and notebooks in hand, we spend many hours interviewing people, then taking the raw material back to the office for fact-checking, drafts, and fine-tuning our revisions to get things just right. By the time each piece is ready for prime-time, there is probably as much information left on "the cutting room floor" as made it into the final copy. Much credit is also due to our great team of professional designers, LTD Creative, that takes each set of final articles, works their creative magic, and returns them "polished and set" as a stand-alone work of surveying and publishing "art". (If we sound like "proud parents", we are! We’ve had many people tell us that the magazine is as attractive as Smithsonian or National Geographic.) Packed between the covers of each issue is a broad range of subject matter that we believe surveyors will enjoy. Of course, for story selection and guidance, it helps to have a surveyor at the helm! 

• This month, our cover feature by Jerry Penry is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever imagined finding a message in a bottle. Better yet, make it a message from the Coast & Geodetic Survey that was part of a measurement experiment beginning in 1846! 
• To bring you the FARO feature, son Allen (our publisher) and I "put the pedal to the metal" in our rental car and drove 140+ mph along Germany’s Autobahn — it was a tough job, but someone had to do it — to follow up on interviews that began with meetings at last year’s SPAR Conference in Texas and in Florida earlier in the year. 
•It was also our pleasure to combine notes from two separate visits with Trimble’s Bryn Fosburgh to bring you the story of his interesting life. 
• Regular columnists Leininger, Lathrop, Stocking and Schrock apply their expertise and share opinions on several hot (even controversial) topics, and Joe Betit rings in with a unique perspective on machine control and automation in the Surveyors Report department. 
• Technology drives our industry today. Find out what equipment one surveyor in Connecticut is using to give himself an edge, how the new "Dial 811" will affect you, and how laser scanning is being used to monitor Jerusalem’s sacred Temple Mount.

As always, our goal with each issue is to celebrate and elevate the profession, provide content that’s relevant to your job, and keep an eye to the future by informing you about technological developments. Once again, we’re confident that this one measures up just right.

A 196Kb PDF of this article, complete with images, is available by clicking HERE