Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon Annual Conference
The 2108 PLSO Conference was held January 17-19 at the Salem Conference Center. The following is a summary of the seminars I attended, which I wrote up at the time. I just found it among my draft emails. Thought this would be a good place to put it for safe keeping .
Oregon Right of Way Law by Mike Berry, Deschutes County Surveyor
Mike made a very good presentation detailing the various statutory laws and cases governing rights of way in Oregon. Mike referenced the ORMAPS cartography manual, Chapters 14 & 15, as source material. Rights of Way are easements. To dedicate a right of way the owner must offer to dedicate and the public must accept it, either through overt acts of the government or through prescriptive use by the public.
Risk Management for Surveyors by Laura Ledbetter, Hall & Company
This was a presentation about insurance coverage (mainly prevention of losses caused by theft and damage to equipment and injuries to employees) for surveyors
Drone Mapping and Solving the Hiring Crisis by Daniel Katz, Aerotas
The presenter is with a company out of California that provides training for drone flying and mapping, and drone mapping services. He asserted that a surveyor could get into drone mapping for an initial investment of under $10k. The major costs he listed were as follows:
- Drone with 20Mp camera ($1600)
- Pilot training
- Pilot license testing
- Liability insurance
- Photo resolution software (Pix4d)
- Virtual surveying software (Virtual-Surveyor)
He recommend buying the smallest, cheapest, drone that would carry a 20Mp camera at the entry level. Such a drone would not withstand much wind but would do the job on calm days. Heavier, more powerful, drones are also available (vendors in the hall had models that range from $6600 to $35k) that will carry better cameras and lidar sensors, etc. But that was recommended for later, after at least a few jobs are in the can.
The pilot training and licensing takes several hours of on-line study and the tests are given at FAA centers. He says that anybody who can operate survey equipment is capable of passing the test with a little study, no big deal. No need to hire specialized staff for that.
The photo resolution software license can be purchased outright but it can be also be rented by the day, week, month, or year. It’s a few hundred dollars for a month. It appears to be pretty brain dead to operate. Load the photos, press a button to stitch the photos. Add control points to register the stitched photos. This creates an orthophoto and “Digital Survey Model” . You load this Digital Survey Model into the Virtual-Surveyor software, which can also be rented by the day, month, or year for a small cost and click to set points or draw linework which is spatially correct. You then export those points and lines to a dxf, which you open in Civil3d like any other survey field data.
You have to set out some photo control points and the drone flying time is a few minutes. You probably spend as much time getting it in and out of the box as you do programming and flying it. Field time to do topo of open field or street will be much reduced and office time should be about equal to conventional methods. And you would pick up a lot of excess area that could be mapped in detail later if the need arose, without returning to the field.
Naturally areas under canopy or other obstructions (like building eaves) would have to be conventionally mapped, and you would still have to make boundary and control ties the old way.
The “Hiring Crisis” portion of the program consisted mainly of maximizing productivity through using technologies like drone mapping and using outside services such as Aerotas’ mapping service to perform office tasks.
Expert Witness Testimony by Gary Kent, Schnieder Corp., Indianapolis, IN
Gary gave a well prepared presentation regarding the proper way to prepare for and deliver expert testimony. It is necessary to keep all the material used to form opinions well organized so that it can be referenced, or provided to the opposite sides’ attorneys, on demand. It is important that the expert be paid before giving testimony to avoid any appearance that the pay is dependent on the testimony. A document known as a “Rule 26 Report” is to be produced which explains the experts opinion and the data used to arrive at it. Rule 26 is a Federal Rule of Evidence which requires that opinions of experts and their data be “discoverable”.
2016 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys by Gary Kent, Schnieder Corp., Indianapolis, IN
Gary is the chairman of the joint ALTA & NSPS committee which maintains and updates the ALTA standards. He is the guy that writes the standard, and is therefore the authority on what it all means. He went through it section by section, particularly the Table A options. A handout which Gary has written is attached to this email.
Boundary Line Agreements by Alan Brickley
If a boundary line location is unknown to the adjoining owners its location might be fixed by an agreement, express or implied. The location must be unknown to avoid violating the Statute of Frauds. In Oregon, the adjoiners must a) disagree as to the location of the line, b) come to and agreement, and c) memorialize the agreement by some acts. These memorializing acts might be simply living with a fence or other dividing line which already exists, or construction one pursuant to an express agreement, or filing a survey or description of the agreed line. The relevant case law, in the main, is Ross v. DeLorenzo and Gibbons v. Lettow.
Easements by Alan Brickley
An easement is a non-possesory right in land. An easement is not abandoned by mere non-use. An easement is extinguished by unity of title. An easement may be extinguished by adverse possession (Faulkner v. Williams).
Risk Management for Surveyors by Gary Kent, Schnieder Corp., Indianapolis, IN
This program dealt with contracts for survey work. Every contract requires a clear and concise scope of services, a statement of the compensation, and schedule for delivery. The statement was made that if you want to be sued, sue somebody for not paying you.
Looked at the registration material...that was a bargain, three days for $500
Especially compared to this that I got in the email yesterday - 8 hrs day 1, 6 hours day 2, $1,350
The PLSO is usually pretty good, and good value. But $1350 to spend 2 days with a Phd on a very specific topic might have good, marketable payback potential.
If that was local, I'd be attending; if the Cubs were at Wrigley that weekend I'd be attending; I'll probably throw out feelers about attending anyway. "Technically" my job description is Senior Project Manager for Surveying & Instrumentation
PLSO 2019 begins next Wednesday in Eugene. Who is in?
See you there.
Annual Thread resurrection... My attendance is mandatory. 🤣 See you there.
Looking forward to it. The programs look good. Last two years i was a chapter officer which shoots a big hole in conference time. I'm back to being a plebeian which is more enjoyable.
We have family out Pleasant Hill and Dexter way so we'll do some vacationing and visiting on the trip back over the mountains.
Good seeing many old friends there last week, now back to work
So Shelby, what goes on in Eugene, stays in Eugene, OR?
So Shelby, what goes on in Eugene, stays in Eugene, OR?
That’s been my motto since I left Eugene in 1985
Gene, yes it stays in Eugene