Month: September 2016

Employee Spotlight: Nicole Crawford

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Nicole Crawford, Airport Engineer and HGTV-Enthusiast
  1. What has drawn you to and kept you at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • I was working at a smaller firm before. I wanted to try a larger firm, and I also wanted to do more transportation. So what drew me here was the size, the type of projects, and the team. In a smaller firm, you do much different work. Why I stay here? Probably because I like the team. I wasn’t doing airport engineering before this, but I find airports very interesting.
  2. What’s the most invaluable thing you’ve learned here?
    • Oh gosh, I’ve learned a lot. Working in this position, I get to do both the design work and see the construction phase of the project. I think that’s the most important thing — that I get to see both sides of it.
  3. What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • Definitely the summer [laughs]. I like the summer. There’s lots of construction projects, which means it’s a little more hectic and there’s a chance to be on site.
  4. If you were a character in a book/movie/tv show, who would you be?
    • Off the top of my head? I guess I would have to say Jason Bourne, because how could you not want to be like him? How could you not want to have a mind like that? But on the other side of that, probably also the main character from Along Came Polly. She’s so laid back and so accepting.
  5. What’s one of your bucket list items?
    • I deliberately do not have a bucket list. Because then I feel like you’re doing something just to do it. I don’t want that to be my focus.
  6. Words you live by? Favorite quote?
    • I like a lot of them. I’d have to look them up, but I think any positive message out there, I like.
  7. If you were to skydive from an airplane, what would you think about on the way down?
    • I would be terrified. I would not be able to think about anything.
  8. Favorite food?
    • Anything that’s really super fresh — like a fresh tomato mozzarella salad.
  9. If you were to enter a talent contest and you could do anything, what would your talent be?
    • I would probably love to sing. I cannot at all, so that’d be awesome.
  10. When you’re not working, what could people most likely find you doing?
    • Well, for actual hobbies, we like hiking — my husband, dog, and I. What we’re actually doing though is working on the house and playing with the puppy. I love house projects. Or we’re doing what the puppy wants to do.

Capturing Data in a New Era

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This season Hoyle, Tanner employees are finding all sorts of ways to get out into the field. An essential aid to us in our field work is a GPS data collector. Employees from all departments have been utilizing the GPS data collector to collect centimeter grade accuracy GPS data in multiple states across New England. The variety of jobs the GPS is being used for includes tasks such as collecting utility pole locations in Massachusetts, flagging wetlands in New Hampshire, performing quality assurance checks of bridge superstructure construction in Vermont, utility asset management for multiple municipalities across New Hampshire and much, much more.

The strength of the GPS data collector is not only in its ability to collect highly accurate, horizontal and vertical data, but also in its extreme ease of use. Horizontal data can be collected in the World Geodetic System 1984 (standard latitude and longitude) or any of the state plane coordinate systems, and the vertical data is collected in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The GPS is powered by an android operating system, and requires no GIS or survey experience to learn how to use. The device also streams real time kinematic (RTK) corrected global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positions.  These real time corrections allow the user to see coordinates of shots as they are taken which also eliminates the need for special software to post-process the data back in the office.  The GPS data collector is capable of outputting both GIS shapefiles and ASCII text files, and it is also capable of inputting GIS shapefiles that can be viewed as a layer while collecting data in the field.

The GPS data collector is a powerful tool that has greatly improved the quality of field visits for the Hoyle, Tanner staff.  The ability to obtain highly-accurate GPS data with the click of a button while on project sites is changing the way we accomplish tasks, and we’re doing it in a more efficient manner.