Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Modern land surveying a passion for Vilas County GIS TechnicianSubmitted: 04/28/2015
Modern land surveying a passion for Vilas County GIS Technician
Story By Ben Meyer

WINCHESTER - Centuries ago, men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln walked through the woods with compasses and chain links. They helped plot the American wilderness as America's early land surveyors.

On a spring day in Vilas County, land surveyor Tony Jones' mission is similar in many ways.

"Today's quest is to locate the markers that define the state line between northern Wisconsin and the southern part of the U.P.," he says.

Early surveyors originally put wooden markers here in the 1840s. They were replaced by stone markers in the 1920s.

"Those are still out there," Jones says of the stone markers.

Jones serves as the GIS Technician for Vilas County. A big part of his job is creating links between the physical world and the digital world.

"We know that marker is there," he says. "We know how now we can take this survey and map this survey and represent it on our online maps."

Jones lines up his equipment on top of a stone marker he found in the woods. It will calibrate with quarter-inch accuracy to satellites above.

"Everything's contained right here. [It has] sub-centimeter accuracy," he says of his equipment, which looks something like a tall tripod.

"What I have today, aside from the GPS receiver, is my metal detector, and then of course my machete, in case we need to you know, bears and things," he says.

For Tony, work doesn't feel much like work.

"It's art. It's history. It's being outdoors. It's the search and recovery. In some cases, it's archaeology," he says.

He loves the feeling of connecting the past and present in a profession that's as old as this country.

"It's because of what was done out here that we were able to actually now still be standing here in the United States of America," Jones says. "It's a great feeling."

Jones loves his job dearly. He loves it so much that life would be pretty similar were he to win the lottery.

"Everybody always jokes, 'If I won the lottery, here is what I would do,'" Jones says. "If I did win the lottery, [this is] exactly what I'd do. I'd buy a bunch of expensive equipment, and I'd just look for these corners that we're looking for today."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WISCONSIN - Every year we get our fair share of winter weather. From Blizzard Warnings to Winter Weather Advisories, the National Weather Service uses various tools to alert the public. Now, they have a new warning intended to keep you safer.

A new alert called a Snow Squall Warning will now be issued by National Weather Service offices in the Midwest, including our region.

"It's different than say a winter storm where the storm might last anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 hours," said Green Bay National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Skowronski. "This is something that might move through a location in 20 to 30 minutes."

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - People in the Wausau area will never forgot March 22, 2017.

Four people died in a shooting that still has a major impact on the community. 

On Wednesday, the victim's loved ones unveiled a new memorial in Kennedy Park dedicated to their lives.

It stands as a reminder of the tragic events that happened and as a symbol for the strength of the community.

"This is what Wausau does when times are tough," said Wausau Metro Strong member Cassandra Ambrosius. "We get together and rally behind each other and really make a difference."

Ambrosius organized the Run to Remember fundraiser, which made the memorial possible.

She was pleased to see such a large turnout.

"It's amazing to see so many people from so many walks of life here today to come together to see this become a reality," said Ambrosius. "I think it's a nice place people can come; we'll have some benches eventually. They can sit and reflect, or read, or just be and think about those four people and the impact they had."

Wausau Metro Strong formed after the 2017 shooting.

Former chief of police Jeffery Hardel started the group after outreach from community members looking to get involved.

"We didn't know what we could accomplish, but we knew that we wanted to make a difference. That's how Wausau Metro Strong started and we've been meeting monthly ever since," said Hardel.

Hardel says it took a lot of moving parts to make this memorial a reality.

From raising the money to finding a location, and leaning on the community for support.

"I feel very good right now knowing all our efforts came to fruition and we have a memorial that will honor those four victims forever," said Hardel.

+ Read More

Play Video

ELCHO - Pizza, with a side of locally grown farm fresh fruits and vegetables, was on the menu Wednesday at the Elcho School District.

"We have a hydroponic farm that offers tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers," said Elcho Food Service Director Charlie Ferrigno.

+ Read More

MADISON - A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened.

A Dane County jury Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The state of Wisconsin is one of the few states that doesn't have a law similar to the CARE Act.

The CARE act defines steps hospitals must take to make sure caregivers have the knowledge they need when a patient is released.

Helen Marks Dicks, an advocacy director at the AARP believes Wisconsin lawmakers may take up the CARE act soon.

"40 states already have the care act," said Dicks. "We just got it introduced it was circulated for co-sponsorship recently in the Assembly and senate and we hoping to get introduced this year."

+ Read More

Play Video

SAYNER - After centuries, the bald eagle continues to represent the United States through the bird's strength and beauty.

But one eagle in the Northwoods needed a little help getting back to flying high.

"He came in the week after Fourth of July and he had burns reaching from his neck all the way down to one of his wings, which we suspect either from a lightning strike, or he was hit by a firework," said wildlife rehabilitator Amanda Schirmer.

Uncle Sam, as the Northwoods Wildlife Center (NWC) named the eagle, was discovered with burns and a broken bone near Plum Lake in Sayner, Wisc. But the organization had one problem before they could help: it was nowhere to be found.

"He kept disappearing on us, so we can't do anything for wildlife that we can't find," said Frances Torres, an intern with the NWC.

Luckily for the group, another intern at the Northwoods Wildlife Center went to an extreme length to find the eagle and bring it back to the facility.

"She went out and she caught him," said Torres. "She had to trudge through the lake to catch him, but she caught him and brought him in. And the rest is leading up to now."

Workers treated Uncle Sam with medications and used a splint for its broken bone. But the eagle still went through a long recovery.

"There was like a three-and-a-half to four-week period when he wasn't flying in the eagle flight. And we were getting quite nervous that he wasn't going to fly," said Schirmer.

But Uncle Sam earned its name for a reason. The eagle wouldn't accept being grounded without a fight.

"And then, all of sudden, within a week span, he decided that he was ready and 'I'm gonna start flying.' And he was flying up to his high perches very well," said Schirmer.

Finally, the tireless bird could fly like an eagle.

"To just watch it start standing on its own, eating on its own, to Uncle Sam flying on his own " there's nothing I can compare it to," Torres said. "It's so great to be able to see him take off like he did today."

Uncle Sam was released Wednesday afternoon at the Plum Lake Golf Club, which is where the eagle was originally found.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Carpenters, masons and other skilled laborers from Lac du Flambeau will soon restore a government owned, Great Depression era lodge in Taylor Co.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: