Editorial: In This Issue

I hope you are having a pleasant summer and the heat and smoke is not too bad where you are. The Olympics just wrapped up and the United States made a good showing. While I’ve never been a big fan of pro sports, I’m a nut when it comes to the Olympics, binge-watching and simultaneously recording on four channels. Hats off to all our athletes who worked so hard to reach the pinnacle and represent our country.

We’ve got another great issue for you, starting off with Joe Fenicle’s eloquent account of his surroundings for his new position at the University of Akron. Joe has been writing for the magazine since 2017, and lucky for us, even though he could easily write about technology or education, has chosen to write about our history. No matter which side you are on, given the racial turmoil our country is experiencing, I feel having John Brown on the cover is apropos. Who knew he was also a surveyor?

Continuing with our series on the history of RTK, Stacey Hartmann informs us that everybody wanted it: for hydrography, photogrammetry, machine control and more. Even though our piece of the pie is tiny in comparison, could you do your job without RTK? Some of you remember the days of lengthy observations at odd times of the day just to get a single point position. Now look at us! And thanks to scientists who brought us this marvelous capability, there’s no telling what’s next in positioning and measurement.

Moving on, Mary Jo Wagner provides an application story about how Trimble technology aided in the construction of twin tunnels in Norway. After that, the program chair of the survey program at Cincinnati State shows how future survey professionals helped the Archaeological Research Institute bring past cultures to light. I’m encouraged by the success of these programs all across the country. There’s still work to be done in encouraging young folks to consider surveying as a career, but the opportunities for education are there.

The last feature by Emily Pierce is about the rope stretchers. How many times have you had a non-surveyor ask you what you do? We often start by telling them how old surveying is and use the rope stretchers as an example. Emily dives deep into the subject and goes beyond ropes into geometry and other surveying techniques employed by the Egyptians. So, the next time someone asks, you’ll have more facts for your explanation. As an aside, just last week, it was revealed that the Pythagorean Theorem was used 1,000 years before Pythagoras. You can do a web search and read all about it.

Rounding out the issue is an article from Wendy Lathrop about the implementation of the latest changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. If you are involved in flood management, it will behoove you to pay attention. Finally, Gary Kent is starting a series on the state of surveying. Gary is a national seminar presenter and has noticed a disturbing trend among attendees. It goes without saying that boundary surveying is not a math problem, and furthermore cannot be completely taught in school. Schools such as Cincinnati State and the University of Akron can provide an excellent start, but experience is the best teacher.

I hope you enjoy the issue and that you have plenty of work. Still having trouble finding employees? The answers are all around you, but one thing’s for sure: these folks do not grow on trees.

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.