PILLAR demonstrated its commitment to environmental issues by sponsoring a storm water program for the Leadership Roanoke Valley.

Mark Boenke, President of PILLAR, agreed to sponsor the event that educated Roanoke citizens about the operations and maintenance of storm water runoff.

The event was based around the following objectives:

We understand generally what roadway operations and maintenance is: everything it takes to care for and operate the roadway while keeping it safe for the traveling public in the short- and long-term. We use the terms “operations” and “maintenance” together as if they are inseparable. For most projects, they are. They occur simultaneously.

But what exactly are operations? Can they be separated from the maintenance?

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.