From the Editor: Extraterrestrials?

No, not the marvelous monuments in the sky we call GPS. Rather the ones responsible for the crop circles that have appeared all over the globe. Angus Stocking has a particular fascination with crop circles, even sporting a tattoo of one on his wrist. Who knows who or what is responsible, but Angus shares a surveyor’s look at these beautifully inexplicable phenomena. With all the recent interest in UFOs, these crop circles present aspects that are simply unexplainable Perhaps an extraterrestrial will explain it to us one day.

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I’m sure those of you who have worked outdoors have had to deal with things that bite. But have you ever been bitten and almost died? Joe Fenicle shares his near-death experience in a cautionary tale. In recent years we’ve learned to deal with ticks that carry Lyme disease, and now we even have a tick that confers an allergy to red meat with its bite. But it’s time to consider adding an Epipen to your first aid kit. You do have one in the truck, yes? As Joe explains, these life-threatening allergies can develop instantly, depending on the number of bites.

It’s nice to know that surveyors down under read our magazine, and a retired heavyweight Australian surveyor weighs in on the subject of ground to grid and explains how the Aussies handle it. He was in the thick of the development and makes a good case for adopting a single distance. I remember when reporting both distances on subdivision plats first came up in Maryland and a few surveyors plotted how to avoid it. They had to be reminded that this is our job, something we as experts should welcome.

Another retired heavyweight, Dennis McKay, discusses a rapidly approaching day when the public tries to use augmented reality to establish property boundaries. Without a doubt AR can be used as a tool, but in my opinion, it and AI constitute yet more threats to our profession and bear close watching. My hope is that the GIS crowd will read the article and the book Dennis has written. A link to the book is provided in the article.

Rounding out the features is another article by Angus, this one being an interview with the developer of a potential game-changer for precise GPS corrections. Imagine having a base station that makes you money instead of having to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Elsewhere in the issue are more excellent contributions from Carl De Baca and Wendy Lathrop. Carl provides a two fer, the first being about finding old books and maps at garage sales, and the second being about a hot button topic, moonlighting. Wendy reminds us that a little humility goes a long way in resolving disputes.

I hope you have all the work you want and that 2024, in spite of all the Baby & Bathwater madness swirling around us, will be a great year!

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.