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National Surveyors Week: March 16-22, 2014 - Help NGS

Type:  Featured News  


National Surveyors Week is celebrated annually during the week in March that begins with the 3rd Sunday..


More Information from NSPS.


Reaching New Heights

A Quick Guide

By Frank Lenik, PLS

There has been tremendous interest nationwide in participating in National Surveyors Week, which runs from March 16 – 22, 2014.  This program, which is designed to celebrate our profession while assisting the National Geodetic Survey, is off to a fantastic start.  Although it would be great to coordinate your efforts with others, it is perfectly acceptable to perform these observations on your own and a time which is convenient to you. 

What you will need to participate is a GPS receiver capable of tracking L1 and L2 signals from GPS satellites.  This is a requirement of the National Geodetic Survey for submission to OPUS, the Online Positioning User Service.  You will also need to locate an NAVD88 bench mark in your area, log four hours of GPS data take some pictures and submit then submit the data.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for and participate in the Reaching New Heights program:

  • Go to the OPUS website and read about how OPUS works. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/OPUS/about.jsp
  • While at the OPUS website download the Observer Field Log and see what data you will be expected to submit.      http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PROJECTS/NGSforms/obslog-OPUS.pdf
  • Check out the NGS Website notice regarding the 2014 GPS on Bench Marks Campaign. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/heightmod/GPSonBM.shtml
  • If you have Google earth on your computer, you should download DSWorld.  This is a free program from the NGS.  It links their monument data sheet information to make it interactive with Google Earth allowing you to plot where the NAVD88 bench marks are. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/PARTNERS/#DSWORLD
  • Download the GEOID12A accuracy estimate (95% confidence) from DSWorld, Go to “Plot” then Geoid 12A Accuracy.  This will download a .kmz file into Google Earth so you can see those areas which are most in need of observations.  The orange areas are the most important, but any observations will help.
  • Download the data sheets in your geographic area of interest from DSWorld by going to “Download”, “Data Sheets by”, County and State”, select your state and county from the drop down menu, don’t type it in.  Choose as the type “VERTICAL – NAVD88 ONLY” and “ANY STABILITY” and say OKAY.  DSWorld will report that you are “receiving data”.  Once these are plotted in Google earth they are interactive and you can click on the marks to get their data sheets and recovery information.
  • Once you choose your mark, go out and recover it.  Many of the marks shown in the data base have been lost or destroyed.  Some are located in vertical walls or under trees and not suitable for GPS observations.  After recovering the mark, you can submit a recovery report through DSWorld by going to “Submit” and Recovery Report”.
  • Finally, go out and have some fun by spending a day in the field.  Once your data is accepted by OPUS DB you will get a report back from the NGS and you will have helped to improve the geoid in your region.  http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/OPUS/getDatasheet.jsp?PID=HX1559&style=modern




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