Old Surveying Equipment

Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the science behind mapping and surveying has continuously evolved. In those days, high tech meant a brass compass placed on a staff, or maybe a fixed leg tripod combined with a wooden stick or steel chain. This equipment had its limitations regardless of how careful the surveyor was. To put this into perspective, Mr. Jefferson would have measured an angle to the nearest degree with a device that was controlled by the magnetic forces of the earth, and horizontal distance typically to the nearest foot with a 16.5' wood pole. To put in laymen's terms, "there is some slop in them measurements."

Today, a digital total station used by surveyors can measure an angle to the nearest 1 second of arc (60 seconds of arc in 1 minute and 60 minutes of arc in 1 degree), and distance to the nearest one thousandth of a foot. It's like comparing calculating an equation using either your fingers or an HP48GX graphing calculator. If you told Jefferson you had equipment that could measure to that accuracy without even stretching a chain between two points, he and the other elders would have probably tied you to a post while they lit it on fire.

Understanding your employee demographics is a key attribute in a human resources program. It is a big part of what makes your organization tick, and getting it right can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Ask yourself if you plan on being in business five years from now, or 10?

In this brief space we offer tips and truisms that can help you manage the development process in the near and mid-term. If you haven’t noticed, the Boomers are retiring and the rules-based conformity mentality is going with them. The game has changed by an order of magnitude. In other words, the days of “Theory X Boss is Right” management are history.

What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Have you seen the ‘what I do’ meme? What better way to explain Geographic Information Systems (GIS) than debunking all the perceptions?

What our friends think GIS is:
Often times, all our friends remember is that it has something to do with maps and maybe phones.

What our moms think GIS is:
Maybe it’s due to selective hearing, but many of our moms think we make GPS.

What the general public thinks GIS is:
Nearly 20 years ago it was a lot worse, but the general public thinks it has something to do with surveying. Not quite, but we have a division that can do that for you.

What our bosses think GIS is:
Although it would be cool, we don’t quite have matrix-like coding skills. We’re just glad they don’t want us to go into details and just let us keep doing awesome things.

Geospatial Professional Sarah Hague to Lead New Department

2Sarah 265x278WYTHEVILLE, Va. (Sep. 13, 2017) - PILLAR, Inc., premier roadway operations and maintenance advisors, announced today the launch of its Geospatial Solutions division. Sarah Hague, GISP, ENP has been named director of the new team, which utilizes GIS data to better maintain roadway assets, provide public information and increase efficiency of local government services.

"For the past 15 years, the team of professionals at PILLAR has been focused on ensuring the efficient and successful completion of infrastructure projects," said Mark Boenke, president. "With the launch of our Geospatial Solutions department, we are adding infinite opportunities for our clients to leverage GIS data to improve their operations."

PILLAR's Geospatial professionals will utilize GIS data as an integral tool in advising clients on the most efficient, cost effective solutions to roadway operations and asset management, as well as provide public information and increase efficiency of local government services and Next Generation 9-1-1.

Hague is a certified National Emergency Number Professional (NENA), Certified GIS Professional, an Esri Certified Professional and brings more than 17 years of GIS experience to Pillar. Her specialties include GIS and remote sensing and cartography.

Are You Staying Busy of Being Productive

As a business owner, I am frequently asked, “How is business?” I often used to reply “Busy” but had a colleague follow my answer up with the question “Is it productive?”

Wow, that was a new one. I stopped dead in my tracks with a blank but inquisitive stare on my face, prompting my colleague to explain the question. Being busy without making progress is like being stuck in the mud with your tires spinning every time you mash the accelerator. Sure, you’re giving the appearance of “working” to get out of the mud, but you haven’t moved or bettered your position. In essence, you’re not being productive.

How often do you catch yourself spinning your wheels in the mud? What can you do to zip out of the mud when you mash down the accelerator?

One of the first things you can do to increase productivity is prioritizing your to-do list, which is exactly what Pillar does when it comes to asset management. We make a list of your assets and determine which items to address based on the needs, resources, time, severity, permits, etc. This helps you maintain your assets as a whole while fully utilizing your budget, staff and resources.