April 2023 Archives

The Cahokia Mounds

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This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series April 2023

The largest single-instrument geophysical survey ever in America hopes to uncover some of the mysteries of the Cahokia Mounds Long, long before any of our great Mississippi River cities, and long before Europeans landed on New World shores and pushed westward, Native Americans were thriving in an urban center so big and so complex it […]

Looking Forward: Scanning History

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This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series April 2023

Looking Forward On a family cruise to Mexico several years ago, I was intent on seeing the Mayan ruins at Tulum. It required a 45-minute ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and then an hour bus ride to the ruins. With the palm trees, warm Caribbean December breeze, white-sand beaches, and warm aqua water […]

Stories from the Field

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This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series April 2023

We celebrate Land Surveyors United’s 16th anniversary with a couple of stories from their website. Dingoes and Tall Tales  Dingo is a small town located just across the railway line from the Capricorn Highway in a remote area of Queensland, Australia. The origin of the town’s name is shrouded in mystery. Some say a railway […]

Teaching the Ethics of Geo

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This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series April 2023

Maps have always been powerful means of communication, whether etched in cave walls, stone, wood, silver of centuries past, or, in the 20th Century, copper plates and, later, film. In our own century, maps are everywhere—on our phones, computers, fitness apps, and news media, communicating in a myriad of ways about changes over space and […]

Rapidly Mapping Infrastructure

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This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series April 2023

Could a Pittsburgh-based start-up help improve (and save) America’s bridges? Early in the morning of January 28, 2022, a Pittsburgh Regional Transit Authority bus crossing the Fern Hollow Bridge began bouncing and shaking for no apparent reason. Moments later it plummeted into a ravine along with several other vehicles as the bridge collapsed beneath them. […]

Mechanics, Science, Chemistry, and Surveying

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This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series April 2023

The genesis of modern surveying and geodetic instruments sprang from a convergence of multiple sciences I held the century-old instrument, a compact high-precision optical theodolite, and thought: ‘This has more in common with our present-day instruments than not. And who were the geniuses that engineered and built such things?’  Surveying instruments have been in a […]