“Welcome to my world..”
I have been the surveying consultant for a rural electric co-op for a number of years now. Over this time I have seen their engineering staff become equipped with some good 21st. century equipment and software. However, their GPS is only mapping grade. This became evident when a field engineer would stake a pole line in the field (and record its position for their ESRI records software) only to have the stakes destroyed. A return trip to replace the stakes with their mapping grade equipment always proved frustrating, as you can imagine.
They have always called me with highway projects that require a precise staking of station and offset. I don’t mind it, but it’s not my favorite type of work. Well recently the co-op management decided to lease some good survey grade Trimble equipment so the field engineers could stake these highway jobs themselves and I encouraged them to do so. Most of the engineers are young and fairly savvy with the concept of “location” in respect to R/W.
They have procured the equipment and a MicroStation file of the seven mile long highway job. Someone was even able to come up with project stations and offset for relocating the aerial plant. The outfit leasing them the GPS equipment has even offered to provide them with some training. It seemed as if they were all set. And I am trying to stay as unattached to their scheme as I can. There is no better way to learn how to swim than to get thrown in the water…
I get a phone call from them on Friday. “The guy training us says he needs a control file and a coordinate file for the proposed line….what’s a control file?”
I explained the concept of data point files and localizing on a project coordinate grid. The engineer wanted to know where he could get these files. I told him the control file info was on two 24×36 sheets in the dgn file provided by the highway department. As for the coord file for the proposed, I guessed someone would need to build ascii or text files of these points in an agreeable format. I suggested he get with their records people and their ESRI software…they could probably be of some help.
I guess they managed to cobble together all their info. The last call I received was questioning the “control file”…which consists of close to a hundred section corners, quarter corners and various land ties on the seven mile long highway project prints. The engineer had called the highway dept. concerning the whereabouts of these control points. Someone at the highway department told them, “You have to go out and find them”.
The engineer lamented to me that this is turning into “way too much work”. The management figured if they got a hold of some good GPS equipment then they could just dance out there and stick some lath in the ground where the GPS told them to. I told them you can do that…but the prep work is more than some folks realize.
I just emailed the engineer all the “Certified Corner Records” he will need to recover the section corners for control on the project. I signed the email “welcome to my world”.
I suspect the next call I get will be him wanting to borrow a pin-finder for a while…. 😉
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