All posts by Scott Martin

Social Distancing – It’s What We Do

As I contemplated the topic for this article, my thoughts could never completely detach from the world we now find ourselves. Despite my desire to write something unrelated, hopefully with some humor, I couldn’t seem to get there. I would venture to say that there is nobody who reads Field Notes who has not been...

Source: Oklahoma Historical Society

Advice to Younger Surveyors

by Michael R. Johnson PLS xyHt editor’s note: The surveying profession is blessed to have gifted storytellers in our midst, though we need more. One, known as “Uncle Paden” on the RPLSToday.com surveying forum, is Michael R. Johnson. A surveyor in Oklahoma, Johnson regularly regales readers with tales past and present of surveying, observations of...

Surveying Degree Requirement: How Is That Working Out?

As we come to the end of another decade, I decided I would really stir it up for this edition of Field Notes. Sometimes you just have to whack the hornet’s nest, then take cover and see what happens. I am not a trained journalist. If I were, I would have done extensive research on...

Camp Fire Before and After

Rising from The Ashes: Paradise Strong

Almost exactly one year ago, the residents of the town of Paradise, California, and the surrounding area awoke to a wind-driven inferno eventually named the Camp Fire. Before it was over, 86 people would lose their lives, more than 13,000 single-family homes (including mobile homes) would be destroyed, along with over 600 commercial structures and...

Petaluma and Napa Creeks 1861. Re-issued 1882 with Aids to Navigation corrected to 1885. Credit: NARA C&GS; Collection.

Steeped in History

Recently I spent a few days with my family at the remote cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where I had retraced an 1876 mining claim boundary two years prior. I wrote about that experience here. Humoring the Old Man During this recent visit my daughters and sons-in-law humored me by agreeing to let me...

The March toward 2022

Above: A screenshot of the GPS on Bench Marks web tool mobilized in 2018. NSRS modernization: What NGS is doing and what you can do. “The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus Although this quote pertains to all of life, its truth is especially painful for professional surveyors and geospatial professionals. But...