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I have been in the surveying –civil engineering field for close to 30 years and worked for mutable disciple firms all across the county so when offered the opportunity to return to Oklahoma and work for a nationally ranked university, I couldn’t pass it up. The “Campus Surveyor” position is a newly established position and I am the first to hold it and some of my responsibilities are to assist my department head in the acquisition of new survey grade equipment, I’m pleased to say we will be setting a permanent reference station, rover linked to network system along with a scanning capable robotic total station.

This being said the facilities information department is not closely affiliated with any of the civil engineering department or do they perform under any professional standards of practice. Any and all standards of practice are self policed and established by the department head and the GIS technicians. The department is set up and operating an Arcubus GIS data system associated with Map3D for their drafting needs and this is where my questions occur.

As I’m sure you are aware of survey data is compatible with GIS data but has its own unique properties and in some ways very delicate. So a survey data base set up as well as collected data sets need to be handled in a specific manner and by individuals that are experienced with these types of data sets. Obviously this creates a conflict between the GIS technicians and the surveyor constructing and collecting data sets due to entrenched mind sets on data management. To aggravate this issue my department manager is the President/CEO of a National Technology Association and can be somewhat opinionated in where surveying stands in the data field apply. He has a basic understanding of surveying and its principles but his field of expertise lays in the Arcubus GIS world, there for trying to communicate the differences in data input is very difficult. I have gone as far as attempting to present him with documents and instructive videos on node construction, auto line draw and how it applies to a survey data base construction along with the need to isolate project point data from the general drafting staff. As of yet there has been no general response to this queue nor do I expect one.

Is there anybody out there with any advice on how to navigate around some of these entrenched mind sets so I can provide the best data sets for their GIS system? Also wanting only the best for the campus and the survey profession and am attempting to incorporate national Minimum Standards of Practice into the mindset of this department and as of yet I have no success on that matter as well.
So any advice or insight you could provide would be a great help in my attempts to blend in survey data to the GIS world.

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  • GIS and Exams... I thought this was well over due, and a good idea




    "The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) invites all interested parties to comment on a proposal to update requirements for GIS Professional (GISP) certification.  On January 28, GISCI made public a proposal to update the certification requirements. Key among the proposed updates is the addition of a required examination. The Working Group that prepared the proposal recommends that the exam be based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Geospatial Technology Competency Model and related resources.

    The “GISP Certification Update” proposal and instructions for commenting on the proposal are available at www.gisci.org. As part of its deliberations the GISCI Board of Directors will consider comments received between February 1 and February 28, 2011. A Board decision about proposed changes is expected in April, 2011.

    GISCI has certified nearly 5,000 GISPs since its founding in 2004. The purpose of GISP certification is to advance the GIS profession by promoting competent and ethical practice. The goal of the GISP Certification Update Initiative is to strengthen GISP certification by increasing its value to individual GISPs, to the profession, and to society.

    For more information about GISCI and GISP certification, visit www.gisci.org.  "

  • Government Professional
    I´m working as a land surveyor in cadastral dependencies, and I use Autocad Map3D to manage our GIS, the total satation-GIS "link" in my case is a simple lisp that transforms comma delimited info (N°,X,Y,Z,Name) to named points in the GIS.
    The data sheets are indexed excel data tables, that way I can manage the data from any computer and link point data to points or cadastral data to the GIS, I have as many tables as I need, it is simple you never leave the autocad environment, no compatibility issues, excellent precision, and hi speed, also I´m drawing and measuring auxiliary points and open and closed poligons all the time, a complex or impossible task in most of the GIS programs, when the engineers need something I just give them a .dwg and it´s done.
  • GEO Ambassador
    http://www.pyramidsystems.com/infocenter/info_080305.asp This is a link with some information that maybe helpful. My experience with Archibus and most of the everyday surveying rules and procedures are very far apart. I had the pleasure of dealing with Archibus in the 1998 range. It is more of a analytical program for boxes, lines and lots of templates like AutoCAD. Not civil, irregular; shapes, contours, elevations, etc. Archibus is designed to manage facilities, large facilities, dealing with space layout by floor, square footage cost and work flows. Complete across the board all the way to managing power, lighting/electrical, plumbing...all the disciplines. back in the day i was scanning old drawings in order to get the information in the data base. Now as ESRI has partnered with Archibus, managing the foot print of the facility has become equally as important. I would think that every light pole, fire hydride, street, parking space, etc. everything that's in the boundary of the facility. From the upper level management this helps reduce engineering cost, maintenance cost, and also financial decisions are made and projected more specific and exact with the data that can be extracted from this software. Facilities management is a very big business, in 1998 we had professors from Egypt, University of Nova Scotia, and across the US working with us on this software.
    I would say that the more you dig into GIS and understand how they use the data, and even more understand the power of Archibus, you will figure out how your expertise will be utilized. I'm sure one of the civil engineer professors could be of help, but this information may not be shared with them. I have attached a couple of links to a site where they have webinars. There is also a conference in 2011 the university should send you to so you can meet others that are doing the same thing. I'm sure your surveying knowledge is going to be exactly whats needed when you get into it a little bit, its just that your strategies and requirements that you would relate to on a average surveying day will not be the same. Like you said the upper level understand basic surveying, but may not understand how to tell you if what your presenting is right or wrong. I believe that you can find a share group, call Archibus and ask for some names, believe it or not this is a great vertical market for the surveying industry to be involved in. I have a friend that is a GIS dept. manager for one of our states largest Engineering and surveying firms and he had to be certified to maintain that position. certified in GIS and Surveying.
    Good luck, let us know how your doing and if there is anything or anybody we can help you with, just let us know.
    Skip Farrow
  • Some minds will not be changed. Sometimes it is best to keep nudging people in the direction they should go while tolerating circumstances we cannot change. This is just advice from the Wise Old Indian.

    I can remember an engineer who often said, "I just need a few shots." But I also knew I would be back on that job site if I did not get more than he asked for on the first trip. It only took a few projects for me to figure out what price I needed to give him for "just a few shots". When he came back asking for the rest I was able to respond quickly and without burning gasoline. He liked my work and we had a solid business relationship for many years because I knew just what he needed.

    Use your experience and expertise to give them what they need without overwhelming their perception. Many people have never cleared the brush away from a storm drainage pipe just to get some measurements on the thing. They have no perception that clearing the brush is part of the cost of measuring the pipe. You know that. Use what you know. They are never going to understand why it took you an hour to do a 15 minute job no matter how much you want them to understand.
  • Yes keep to the standards and run redundancy checks. Hook into a Good CORS and keep good Survey Accurate Points with State Plane Coordinates with WGS84 Lat/lon data in a spreadsheet or form that can be easily managed. The layer should be based on the accuracy standards.
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