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:    Survey Math

Calculations and Applications
In this course, Mr. Duryea will lead a discussion of the typical math functions that the used daily by the surveyor. With sample problems to work through together, topics will include the basics of Significant Figures, Units of Measurement including least count, a review of basic geometry and trigonometry. Applications of computing coordinates, coordinate geometry, and Traverse Adjustments will be presented including a brief introduction to Least Squares computations along with an introduction to Geodesy and State Plane Coordinates. 

Conference Material - Survey Math
Conference Material - Intro to Least Squares

Boundary Control & Legal Principles
Boundary law in Washington has its roots back to biblical times. This course is designed to give the student a basic understanding of the Title, Rights and Interests in real property with a focus on the written transfer of title. Topics will include Sequential and Simultaneous conveyances and the rules of interpreting the written intent of the parties to locate a piece of real property on the ground including how to address ambiguities and conflicts within the recorded instruments. The session will conclude with the definitions and applications of easements and rights-of-way to real property rights. 

Conference Material- Boundary Control and Legal Principles

United States Public Land Survey System (UPLSS)
The State of Washington is a Public Land Survey state. The entire state (almost) is defined by Sections or portions of those sections within Townships and Ranges. This course will provide the participant with historical background into the system and a discussion of original surveys. Re-Surveys following the rules of the 2009 Manual of Surveying Instructions published by the Bureau of Land Management. 

Legal Descriptions
Using the materials presented in the Boundary Control and USPLSS sessions, this course will introduce the students to the art of writing legal descriptions to ensure that the intent of the parties of a conveyance are clearly prepared without ambiguity. A separate workbook written by Mr. Duryea will be used for this course. This workbook available for purchase for $25 will all proceeds going to the Geomatics Student Club at Oregon Tech.

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.