A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 70

Day 70

GIS Group Meeting

Today started out amazing then in the afternoon went to total frustration. I had to leave very early this morning to meet a co-worker for a GIS meeting of IMAUG – Illinois Municipal Arc Users Group. If you are into GIS, this is a great group to get involved with. Today's meeting was in Vernon Hills so pretty far away from Geneva where we work. But it was well worth going to. I was scheduled to speak first thing about QR Codes. Not sure it was a subject many were interested in, but hopefully I was able to offer some insight into their use in our industry. Below this post is the presentation I gave.

The other presentations were much more amazing! Will Rockwell from the village of Vernon Hills explained to us how to use Google Fusion tables and maps to make incredible GIS maps. Wow – they turned out great looking with very little work. Here is a link to more information from Google about using this tool: http://www.google.com/fusiontables/Home/

We also heard from a few other speakers who talked about applications for checking properties with liens, ESRI certifications, and a county web map service.

Parking Lot Project

After lunch and after we returned, I went with a couple other engineers to meet with a few people to discuss the design of the alley that will connect our proposed parking lot with one of the main streets through our downtown. This was a good meeting, and we look forward to getting a landscape design from the person we met with.

Water Main Project

My primary frustration hit when one of the engineers gave me a copy of the easement plats we had arranged to have prepared for our water main project. We had purposely hired a local firm to provide the surveying services because they have always produced such good work for us in the past. Imagine my surprise when the engineer gave me the plat and said, "we have a problem – they left off part of the property." Sure enough they had missed the fact that the property owner had acquired additional property over which our easement should have run. And as the engineer pointed out, the surveyor had actually shifted our easement over from where we had shown it to be because of missing this additional parcel. Well, when I looked at who prepared the plat, it was not the firm we had hired but another that we had specifically chosen not to use exactly because of problems like this. So I called the firm we had hired to ask why they hired another firm to do the work we hired them to do. All they said was sometimes they do that. No apology – no "I guess we should have asked if we could sub out the work." Nothing. I am not even quite sure how to respond at this time because I have never even heard of a firm doing such a thing. We are supposed to meet on Monday to discuss where to go from here.

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