Sensory Overload of Spring

When early spring rolls around, I'm just the opposite of most people. Because I love to ski, I dread the warmer weather coming that melts the snow. And I cuss when I see those little crocuses, daffodils, and tulips rear their heads because it not only signals the end of ski season but also foreshadows grass to mow, bushes to trim, weeds to pull, and on and on for many months ahead.

But I get used to it after awhile, and after a few bicycle rides and April 1 rolls around, a switch flips inside me, and I embrace the warm season. Something else happens that also triggers it: the Masters, the most celebrated of golf tournaments. I'm not a big golf fan, but I do get caught up in the majors, especially the Masters.

This year, the Masters came at a time when many things were coming together, nearly causing sensory overload. Our cover story tells how the PGA TOUR uses surveyors and surveying technology to measure the distances of golfers' shots and their ball positions during tournaments, information that in turn is displayed on your TV screen during the telecast. In writing the story, the author focused on the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando, Florida. He crossed paths with some guy named Tiger, who went on to win the tournament in his usual dramatic fashion after coming off reconstructive knee surgery.

About the same time, we ventured to Baltimore for the ASPRS annual conference. This was good timing because the theme of this issue is aerial mapping and photogrammetry. Several things related to this have occurred this month. While the golf story didn't involve using aerial mapping to measure the length of drives, we did get a nice aerial shot of the Bay Hill course (see the cover). Our Conference Recap on the ASPRS event tells how this is an especially active time in the aerial mapping world, as several technological advances are taking place. We also tell how surveyors will benefit from them with increased opportunities.

Perhaps our most significant contribution comes in the form of one of two new columns we'd like to announce (drum roll and horns please): ourĀ Business Leader column. We interview key leaders in the surveying world to get their insight and provide information that can help surveyors in any economic times, but especially in today's recession. This month's inaugural version just happens to feature the president of an aerial mapping firm. The other new column we debut: In the Field, in which we profile smaller survey firms, to get a personal glimpse of what goes on in the everyday surveying realm.

Adding to the flavor, this convergence of golf, spring, and flying comes at a time when the weather is warm but leaves have yet to sprout on trees, making for productive leaf-off flying conditions with plenty of daylight and no snow for aerial mapping firms. I envision them scrambling to get in flights in forested areas before all the trees bloom, taking advantage of the window of opportunity. Like me and everybody else, they too go through the seasonal transition and welcome the warm season in their own way.

About the Author

  • Tom Gibson, PE
    Tom Gibson, PE
    Tom was editor of the magazine from June 2006 to May 2010. He is also the editor of Progressive Engineer:

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