Connecticut/New York Surveyor Posthumously Honored with State’s First Final Point Marker

Note: Hover over the images for the captions.

Milford, Conn., April 26, 2014 – A gentle breeze and sunny skies were the order of the day on Friday, April 25, for the 35 attendees of a dedication ceremony for land surveyor, Bill Giel.

The event, which took place at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, honored the distinguished surveyor for the many important professional advancements he was responsible for during his lifetime. Giel passed away in January of 2012, however his contributions continue to benefit those in his field.

Of his many achievements, Giel played a large role working with DEEP and others to establish the new Coastal Jurisdiction Line legislation in Connecticut. Besides the advantage these regulatory lines, which are now standard, offer to the state of Connecticut and its municipalities, Giel’s mastery and ingenuity toward the land surveying profession have earned him praise from peers, a number of whom were in attendance at the Milford dedication.

“He was one of the first people to get involved in GPS, and when I say ‘get involved,” that doesn’t mean learning how to push the buttons. That means build a base station, write programs in all kinds of arcane mathematical language, become a geodesist,” said West Haven surveyor and engineer, Jay Doody.

An official Final Point marker inscribed on brass with the words William O. Giel is now permanently installed at Silver Sands, which was a favorite area of Giel’s.

“Bill was one of our leaders, and as a surveyor, there is nothing more special than a monument to us,” said Doody.

“This is the first marker of its kind to be placed in the state of Connecticut. The exact longitude and latitude can be identified from anywhere in the world,” added CALS President David Palmberg, who officiated the event.

Those in the audience agreed that the marker was a fitting tribute to their friend, who had developed his experience through a number of positions over the years. Besides his 35 years as chief surveyor at Rocco V. D’Andrea, Inc. (RVDI) in Riverside, Conn., Giel was appointed to serve as a member of the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at the Department of Consumer Protection in 1995, a position in which he served until his death. Prior to that, Giel was a consultant on the board as well as a member of the American Congress on Surveying & Mapping, the National Society of Professional Surveyors and the American Association of Geodetic Surveyors. At CALS, Giel served in many capacities and received the prestigious Surveyor of the Year Award. As owner of Moondog Software, Giel designed, developed and maintained comprehensive surveying software known as BASIS and later developed a companion system for hand-held computers for use by field crews. He also developed JEDI, an advanced custom client/server resource.

“He did everything to perfection, and you can’t say enough about the guy,” said Tony D’Andrea, owner of RVDI. “I think that’s what this marker represents. It’s just a fine tribute in the earth, to someone who was down to earth.”

The half-hour ceremony concluded with heartfelt remarks by Giel’s son, Bill Giel, Jr., who credited his father for his own career in the land surveying profession.