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

CRANDON - The Ojibwe people want to share their culture with the people of Wisconsin.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Wisconsin produces 90 to 95 percent of all the ginseng in the whole country. 

Ninety-five percent of that crop is grown in Marathon County, according to the Wisconsin DATCP.

+ Read More

Play Video

ELCHO - Devastating storms hit the Elcho community back in July. Many trees are still down across the region and some people worry the cleanup process isn't going fast enough.

Life may be returning to normal for some people. Others wonder if the forest debris will ever be hauled away.

"The area was out of electricity for six days," said 38-year seasonal resident Ben Merry. "All my friends and family members and so forth that are up there told me, um, they recommended me that I not come up."

The damage left by severe thunderstorms that hit on July 19 shocked residents like Ben Merry and his wife.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Scammers hope to get their hands on your money and they'll try to reach you any way possible.

People from all backgrounds can fall victim to scams.

Scammers go where they can reach people, which means they spend a lot of time on social media. This puts people at risk of leaking their private information.

Many scams used to only attack the elderly and take away their golden years, but that is changing.

One law enforcement official says everyone is being attacked.


+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Teen voices cut through the nearby traffic at Torpy Park in Minocqua Friday.

"I'm terrified of the fact to have children because I don't want to bring them into this earth just to destroy it."

"I think in the 2020 election [climate change] should be our most important issue when we go to vote."

After holding up signs along highway 51, high school senior Maile Llanos shared her concerns.

"I care because it is uncertain if I have a future to look forward to," said Llanos. "I care because the outcome of my future is in the hands of someone else. To all the politicians, I want you to know that the state of our environment is not a partisan issue. Know that climate change will affect you whether you are a Democrat or a Republican."

Llanos started an environmental initiative in Rhinelander called 'Paint It Green', asking local businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. At the rally, she encouraged people to reach out to legislators and tell them it's now or never.

"I can make a change but I need everyone else to actually make a difference as well," said Llanos.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People in the Northwoods often travel a long way to get specialized healthcare not offered locally.

With the turn of a shovel Friday, Rhinelander's Aspirus Clinic moved one step closer solving that issue. A ground breaking ceremony cleared the way for a 21,000 square foot expansion.

The current facility opened in 2008 and employs 73 people within a 28,000 square foot building.

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - We'll never know exactly why a plane broke up in the sky over Price County, killing six people.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the accident over Catawba in July of 2017.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: