2019 Conference Presentations

 Dr. Jan Van Sickle, PLS

GPS Modernization and GNSS: 
 The configuration of the GPS Space Segment is well-known. A minimum of 24 GPS satellites ensure 24-hour worldwide coverage.  But today there are more than that minimum on orbit.  There are a few spares on hand in space.  The redundancy is prudent.  GPS, put in place with amazing speed considering the technological hurdles, is now critical to all sorts of positioning, navigation and timing around the world.  It's that very criticality that requires the GPS modernization.  It is certainly necessary.  The oldest satellites in the current constellation were launched in 1997.  Imagine using a personal computer of that vintage today.  Therefore, it is not surprising that there are plans in place to alter the system substantially. What might be unexpected is many of those plans will be implemented entirely outside of the GPS system itself. GNSS, the Global Navigation Satellite System is here.  New capabilities are available. It is prudent to consider the ramifications of a constellation  including QZSS, GLONASS, Beidou, GALILEO and GPS satellites.   What does this mean from the user's point of view?

Coordinates and Geodesy:
There is a fundamental change coming.   Two datums at the foundation of current work will be replaced, The North American Datum 1983 and the North American Vertical Datum 1988.  This talk provides some of the information necessary to cope with that change.  Fundamentally it is about coordinates.  Coordinates?  Press a few buttons on a computer and they are automatically imported, exported, rotated, translated, collated, annotated and served up in any format you choose with no trouble at all.  There really is nothing to it.  Why have a discussion about coordinates?  It’s a good question really.  Computers are astounding in their ability to make the mathematics behind coordinate manipulation transparent to the user.  However, it is vital to know how these systems work, and how they sometimes don’t work.  It is about how points that should be in Washington end up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean even if the computer has done nothing wrong.  And that is, I suppose, the answer to the question from my point of view.  Computers are currently very good at repetition and very bad at interpretation.  People are usually not so good at repetition, but we can be very good indeed at interpretation, that is if we have the information in our heads to understand what we are interpreting.  This is about providing some of that sort of information on the subject.

Mitch Duryea:
 (abstracts coming soon)

Survey Math:


Boundary Controls and Legal Principles:

Legal Descriptions:  

Dennis Gelvin:

All 45 Presidents Related to Land Surveying through Philately  (The collection and study of postage stamps)

Presidential Surveyors: All 45 of the Presidents of the U.S.A. can be related to the profession of land surveying. Some through actually working as a surveyor, others through speeches, declarations or other byways and approaches. 
This presentation shows, through the format of philatelic covers, cancels and stamps, how each president has had an effect of the profession. The presentation can take about four hours to get through all the presidents, with a few interesting detours and my opinions about the three presidents who have had the most impact on the profession of Land Surveying.