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NGS Webinar Apr 25 on the fate of the US Survey foot  

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justtech
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I think that NGS and Surveyors should be using the Meter or/and stay with the US Survey Foot. International foot will create more mess that system used now due mentioned by others small difference US Survey FT v. International FT. If we can't adopt more practical Metric System than we need to stick with US Survey Feet. Meter is already adopted in all surveying CAD, GIS, point cloud and least square adjustment software products so it is no cost to switch if needed. Also carpenters may use Decimeter = 1/10 of meters if they want smaller units for convenience. If we adopt now International Foot ("new" foot) then after 10 years we will have to adopt meter anyway, so double transition cost (double whammy). Maybe it is my bias opinion due to the fact I used meter 15 years ago in Europe.

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Norman Oklahoma
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"I think that NGS and Surveyors should .... stay with the US Survey Foot"

And ignore that 6 states are using the International Foot now. Somebody is going to have to change.  

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R.J. Schneider
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TheOnion

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Charles L. Dowdell
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About 20 years ago, Arizona decided they were going metric with their highway design. I don't know how many projects that they did in metric, but they did one here on State Highway 90, approximately 20 miles worth of new construction. That was the end of their going metric regarding highway design work and went back to the way it should be.

This country has almost 500 years of records based on the foot/pound and chain/link measurement system and has worked just fine. Why toss a monkey wrench into mix and make things confusing?

Another thing that shouldn't be done is to survey properties down onto a grid. People are buying what they see up here in the real world, not down on something they can't see or comprehend.

I never could figure out how grid bearings can be brought up on the surface when bring in ground distances. I shake my head on this. Things just don't work that way.

 

 

 

 

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John Putnam
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First, change in inevitable.  before 1900 most people had never been more that a hundred miles from their home.  Now I don't think twice about jumping on a plane and fly to a job.  I could use a compass and chain for all of my projects but prefer to use the total station and GNSS. Your statement prove the point, those before us changed from the chain or var to the foot.  I'm sure some made the same case.

As for grid bearing and ground distances, it is simple math.  Scale points by the same factor and their angular relationship remains the same.

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dmyhill
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Watch the webinar.  Going to all International Feet will not be painful.  The states have to update their laws anyway, since all those that refer to US Survey Feet also refer to the outgoing NAD83. Survey Foot vs International foot really only matters when converting meter coordinates to feet, or importing state plane coordinates (with large false eastings, for instance) into CAD. Distance-wise the difference is 2ppm, which means that the difference is withing the measuring error of your instruments. You will never notice the difference when putting plans or legal descriptions on the ground (and if you do, just make the conversion like with rods or chains or whatever).

Straight meters everywhere would be best for our industry, but there would be a lot of friction in that change. 

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RichardLHardison
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Why on earth should NGS be talking in terms of feet in the first place? Can't they make up their minds? They made the decision, years ago, I might add, that all positions and results would be reported in meters with the individual states mandating what ever foot they wished.  NGS is a Geodesy organization and they need to stay within their lane, and let the rest of the world make their own decision as to the final form. they use on a day to day basis.

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mkennedy
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Michael Dennis is assuming that "feet" in one or both versions will creep back into NGS products. Wouldn't it be handy for NCAT to publish (your version of) feet as well as meters? And on the survey mark datasheets? etc.

Michael mentioned this topic to me in an email before the webinar (I'd queried about the 0-360 longitudes) to which I'd responded negatively which surprised him. Esri already more-or-less supports both foot versions and will have to continue to support both for years no matter what happens in 2022. I was negative because I thought there would be lots of push-back and I'm cynical that way.

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Shawn Billings
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I heard the same from Michael. I can't fault his argument. As you say, from a software perspective, we'll have to support both indefinitely. I'm wondering in our products if we'll need to limit the units selection when 2022 is selected to meters and international feet only.

 

I don't think there is a perfect answer. All of them have some sort of liabilities.

 

I lean toward going only to meters and let users pick their units and make the conversions, but that is problematic as well.

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MathTeacher
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Doesn't the longitude format used in climate model data have something to do with the change to 0 - 360? 

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mkennedy
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Yes, there's a lot of world data, usually rasters, that uses 0-360. Occasionally you'll get -360 to 0 data. 

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MathTeacher
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To an outsider, it just seems a bit strange. Weather forecasting and climate models already have a substantial number of ways to convert data from -180, +180 to 360 and back again.

i can see reasons for your objections.

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Shawn Billings
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As far as staying "within their lane" goes, the US Constitution leaves establishing weights and measures to the Federal government, not the State government. I agree with everything else you said, but ultimately the Federal government has the authority in this (and should).

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Phil Garcia
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While the Federal government has the authority to establish standard weights and measures, and it has the power to ensure that people adhere to those standards. It has no authority to dictate ( outside of federally funded/controlled projects) what unit of measure
any individual or group prefers to use.

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RichardLHardison
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NGS or NIST could go to Congress with such a request. When only a minority of states using the falsely labeled International foot, what do you think the result will be? Dennis can think the foot will creep back in eventually, but it doesn't have to. Years ago NGS published the decision to report only in SI units. They should stick with that decision and leave the rest alone.

 

Yes, NGS should stick to it's lane.

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