Editorial: In This Issue

A 120Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Our lead cover feature pertains to a subject that should interest all surveyors. How many times have you narrowly avoided injury or death while working close to a roadway? The article was written for the California Society newsletter, and as a result primarily refers to the situation in California, but the topic is germane wherever surveyors are working. And with the advent of robotic total stations, having someone to "watch your back" is not an option. The possibility that both the surveyor and the driver are looking down, either working or texting, is a sure recipe for disaster.

As I detailed in my 2012 article about the company that gave me my start in surveying, Topographic in Oklahoma City, the son of the founder, Robert Keating, has been working with asset location and management for the oil & gas industry for decades, both for client and in-house purposes. Bottom line for Topographic: they serve their clients with a product they need, and make money doing so. In his article Robert details the long and winding—and successful—road.

Chad & Linda Erickson have written a fascinating article about how rebar came to be. Even though we surveyors mostly see rebar as just a common boundary marker, before reinforced concrete came into being, concrete was a less-than-reliable building material, especially in areas prone to ground shaking. And even today, if moisture—especially salt-laden moisture—penetrates the concrete to the rebar, structural failure can be the result. Just take a look at our crumbling infrastructure as proof. And speaking of that, it sure would be nice if we could put surveyors to work on said infrastructure.

Massachusetts surveyor Pat Garner reviews a GNSS receiver that the manufacturer has been marketing to the GIS crowd. Pat has found that the unit is well-suited to medium and large scale as-builts, natural resource delineations or asset collection. As he says, "If used creatively the Zeno is far more than a GIS device." And this is a great example of what I always liked about implementing survey technology: Looking at a piece of gear and wondering if I could do "this with that."

Frequent contributor Larry Trojak details a Detroit-area firm that upgraded its total station and found that the time saved resulted in an extra 100 billable hours per year, an amount that cannot be ignored. And is that not what implementing the survey technology is all about? Moving on, Eric Stahlke regales us with more Alaska tales in Part 11 of The Final Voyage. Part 12 next month will mark the end of the series. Due to ad space requirements, the Curt Brown installment is not in this issue, but rest assured his words of wisdom from long ago will once again appear in future issues.

Continuing with the ethics theme started last issue with Bob Foster’s Globalized Ethics, Wendy Lathrop opines about everyday professional behavior as she provides a voice of reason and sage advice for running a survey business. In a time where our country is tearing itself apart, I’m reminded of the line—according to Wikipedia—from the character Thumper in the film Bambi, watching as Bambi is first presented as the young prince to the creatures of the forest. He remarks that Bambi is "kinda wobbly" but is reproved by his mother who makes him repeat what his father had impressed upon him that morning, "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all." This, and the things Wendy discusses, should be our marching orders, both as an industry and as a country.

Marc Cheves is editor of the magazine.

A 120Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE