xyHt: A New Magazine

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Online-Only 2014

I grew up in an Esso family and an Esso world.  In the service station world (my dad owned and operated an Esso station), the Esso brand was the gold standard.

Our cars and Jeep always had the legendary tiger tail hanging from the gas nozzle.

When it was announced that Esso would become Exxon, our world was shaken.  Exxon would never work.  E, double X, ON.  Really?

For 33 years our brand has been Professional Surveyor magazine. And for over three decades its has worked well.  However, as the world of opportunities for those of you with surveying skills expands, and expanding it is, too often being a land surveyor prevents you from getting work in hydro surveying, building information modeling, scanning, and yes, even GIS projects.

After years of soul searching and hundreds upon hundreds of hours of honest, open discussion with those who understand what direction or world is evolving in, we have decided to take a large dose of our own medicine.  For years, we’ve been preaching and demonstrating editorially where the myriad opportunities exist for those of you who make a living in our world.  

xyHt, the new name of our magazine beginning this July, represents the absolute DNA of surveying and precision measurement.  Blame America’s foremost geodesist and one of our editors Dave Doyle for the initial introduction of xyHt.  But the hundreds if not thousands of you who have helped us get to where we are today are already on board.

A growing list or organizations are partnering with us in this new endeavor. Yes, NSPS and MAPPS remain right at the top, but organizations as diverse as URISA and AUVSI (the premiere unmanned vehicle organization) are offering free subscriptions of xyHt to their members, and they’re offering some of their leading authorities to help direct our editorial mix.

This is an extremely exciting time to be entering the world of surveying, precision measurement, and related fields.  But only if you are willing to take educated risks and grow, learn new skills, and grab the future by the horns and be a part of it.

Back in my youth, I remember my dad Abe lamenting the switch over to Exxon and whether he’d survive.  But the alternative was to give up the Tiger and sign on with Dino, the Dinosaur.  Oh, those of you too young to remember…  Dino the Dinosaur was the trademark of Sinclair.  Any of you remember the Sinclair Oil Company?

See my point?! Welcome back to the future.

-Neil Sandler


From the Editor in Chief

Our new magazine really did start over a beer with Dave Doyle.

“Five to ten years from now, what will surveyors be doing? Really, what’s at the heart of surveying, no matter the tools or the era?” 

We ponder these questions here at the magazine like you do, and during one of many discussions at our local Irish pub with Dave Doyle we nailed the answer. 

Positioning is at the heart of what you do. 

That doesn’t mean technology. Surveyors have always adapted to new technology—even driven it—that’s not new and it won’t stop. But the critical role surveyors play is in understanding the value of what this technology produces—what all this means—and that boils down to being experts at positioning. 

For example, soon we’ll have cars that drive themselves, but how will their developers know where the centerline of the road is? What about the nearby infrastructure? As we create smart vehicles, we’ll want smart data. We used to think of this product as maps, but we now know it as “relative location”—because now everything needs to be in the same reference frame. 

Coordinates may seem like small potatoes now, but they’re the DNA that all positioning shares. Dave emphasizes this often and emphatically. 

We also talk about accuracy. Dave explains that it’s second nature to you, but people using your tools in BIM, agriculture, forensics, archeology, and all the rest—they need to know its value, and that’s the strong suit of the surveying community. 

Among all the professionals in the precision measurement and positioning fields, surveyors are the strongest link. You have the historical, legal, geodetic, and cartographic knowledge that’s essential to knowing what exact data is needed, plus how to gather it, interpret it, and put it to good use. You are the crucial link to understanding the “why” of positioning. 

We know this, so we’re adapting this magazine to help connect other professionals with you.  Your demand for accuracy is what’s driving the geospatial revolution; you’re the experts in the “why” behind the coordinates, so we’re putting you forward by connecting you with those who need accuracy.

Starting in July, Professional Surveyor becomes xyHt. “xyHt” more accurately describes what you’re doing; it shows that positioning is global, it’s 3D, and at its heart it’s surveying. 

In July, if your subscription to Professional Surveyor is current, the magazine you’ll get in your mailbox will be xyHt. Same publisher, same staff, evolved direction.  The tools change, but the “why” does not. 

Shelly Cox

Click here to jump to the xyHt temporary landing page to read Gavin Schrock’s poetic take on the new magazine. 

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