Vice President Ken Allred attends Rendezvous 2005

Spokane, Washington, USA, September 29 - October 2,  2005

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Ken Allred, FIG Vice President, recently made a presentation on The Art of Surveying at Rendezvous 2005 in Spokane Washington. Rendezvous 2005 was organized by the Surveyors Historical Society to commemorate “Surveying the Northwest with David Thompson.” The three day conference had presentations on the surveying of the Canada United States boundary including a special presentation on the determination of the “Northwest Corner” of the Lake of the Woods. Other presentations included presentations on the survey instruments used by Thompson in his exploratory surveys of western Canada and the northwestern part of the United States and a comparison of David Thompson expeditions and accomplishments versus those of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

Features of the conference included the opening of an exhibit of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, which featured the exploratory surveys of David Thompson who has been labeled “the greatest land geographer of all time”, in recognition of his survey and mapping of 1.2 million square miles of largely uncharted Indian lands. This exhibit will run until September, 2006. Also included were displays and demonstrations of the sextant and other instruments and items from early exploration and the fur trade in the early 19th century. A hands on demonstration of the use of a solar compass was the subject of a half day seminar.

Jack Nisbet, author of Sources of the River – Tracking David Thompson across North America was also a featured speaker. Jack is a passionate researcher of David Thompson and released his second book Mapmaker’s Eye – David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau during the rendezvous.

Ken Allred’s presentation on The Art of Surveying featured a series of slides of historical and modern day survey art ranging from Babylonian boundary stones and the Rope Stretchers to the Canadian Centennial monuments and monuments of David Thompson and Peter Fidler. Several painting of survey scenes and historical snapshots relating to surveys and surveyors were also included. His narrative portrayed the role of the surveyor as an explorer, creator and preserver of events that have great importance to society.

The Surveyors Historical Society is a society based in Indiana, dedicated to the public purposes of preserving historical surveying instruments, artifacts, records and memorabilia. SHS is also dedicated to educating the general public about the history of surveying. The Society has developed programs to honor historical surveying points, and the surveyors who have made significant contributions to the profession through the implementation of a public marker program. SHS cooperates at all opportunities with persons and organizations that share the public benefit purpose of education concerning the history of all branches of the science of surveying. SHS holds an annual rendezvous to commemorate some historical aspect of the surveying profession.

Ken Allred
Vice President of FIG

21 November 2005


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