Hello again to all my friends of mapping! Itís hard to believe it has already been almost a year since we published The Legend but here we are. Iíd like to extend a welcome to all our new members and a welcome back to past members. Although some of our ďexperiencedĒ mappers are retiring and have bid us farewell, our membership of over 400 continues to grow and introduce new talents, new ideas, and new friends. It has always been a challenge for the Executive Board to remain focused on the fact that our educational programs must satisfy the fundamental background requirements of new members, in addition to direction and answers for those difficult situations that are faced by our more seasoned members.
Letís face it, very few of us are just Property Mappers any more. We have all been required to support a wider variety of departments in county government and continue to be called on to satisfy the demands of state, local, and national agencies. Suddenly we find ourselves wearing many hats and we must become knowledgeable in the fields of E-911 addressing, planning and zoning, the census, DOT, and zip code maintenance. Funny, but I donít remember any mention of that in my job interview! And all this must be accomplished while satisfying the barrage of inquiries from surveyors, realtors, lawyers, appraisers, and the public in general. And just let your website go down! How in the world did all those folks survive before the internet and GIS?
So can you imagine trying to survive these challenges along with keeping up to speed with the changes in hardware, software, and photographic specifications without the support of this organization? Oh yeah, you are still supposed to be doing some actual mapping in the mean time! Over the years this association has made a great effort to create a strong network with agencies like the Institute of Government, Land Records, NCCGIA, DOT, NCGS, and others to provide willing and knowledgeable contacts that are supportive in almost any mapping situation. Through the efforts of Rich Elkins we have a first rate website and list server that can put you in contact with fellow members that have resolved the issues you may be facing. The publications committee continues to provide a quarterly newsletter, The North Arrow, and with the help of computer technology the design and content are constantly improving. Through the efforts of the Executive Board and its committees we are continually assessing how we can better serve the needs of our membership.
Sometimes I look back and wish for those good old days when all you had to do was digitize a few parcels, take a few phone calls, make a few blueprints, and call it a day. Those days are gone and itís hard to imagine trying to meet the challenges we face without the support of this organization. I guess itís why Iím so proud to be involved with the Executive Board of the NCPMA. I truly believe we are providing a great service to our membership and the advancement of this field.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions, or improvements. I certainly welcome the input and I enjoy hearing from you all. And you just may have the answer to something I needÖ Oops, gotta go, I think thatís my phone ringingÖ
Vic (President 007)