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Michael Frecks

Michael Frecks, LS, is president and CEO of Terrametrix LLC and has 30 years of survey experience in the civil site topographic field along with nine years in the LiDAR industry as both an innovator and as a consultant/advisor for 3D laser scanning software development. He has extensive data collection experience and expertise in the transportation and architectural disciplines. As a professional land surveyor since 1992, Michael’s approach to data documentation combining GPS, 3D laser scanners and INS, makes his approach more accurate, safer, faster and cost efficient. His vast knowledge of scanner specifications, identifying software and hardware capabilities and how they interact with each other, beta testing of equipment and software, and his demand of high accuracy standards have advanced the evolution of acquiring as-built data documentation through 3D laser scanners.

Articles by Michael

Thumbing a Nose at Mother Nature: Survey at the Desktop

Mother Nature really pulled a joke on us this year. Up to 7 feet of snow blanketed parts of western New York, then flooding; Detroit already has seen its seasonal snowfall; Buffalo 8 feet of snow in one day; 80 percent of California is in either extreme or exceptional drought; lava flowing like molasses in Hawaii and in the Midwest where the temperature can swing in extremes of 100 degrees we do not welcome the frigid temperatures we have seen before Thanksgiving.

As a land surveyor in the Midwest we learn to acclimate to extreme weather, however according to Survival Magazine it is easier to acclimate to heat than it is to cold. Query any job description for a land surveyor and they all state “must be able to work in extreme weather conditions.” 

3 months and 2 weeks ago

What is the Shelf Life of Data?

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The kids go back to school and the bounty of foods from our nation's farms come in from the fields. It also means report card performance and attention to freshness. When it comes to mining data of a dynamic world what is the shelf life?

7 months and one week ago

Terrestrial Mobile LiDAR Gold Medal Business Practices

Nothing relaxes me more than kicking back after work watching sports competition. So the 17 days of the XXII Olympic Winter Games was almost as good as a vacation. Now that the flame has been extinguished in Sochi I wonder what subliminal message about my business of 3D data documentation these 88 nations and 2,871 athletes provided me.

one year and 2 weeks ago

Are You Working From the Wrong End of Data?

Trying to obtain survey-grade accuracy from GIS data is working from the wrong end of data. When it comes to GIS grade versus survey grade, why not collect the highest quality, most accurate, most complete information?

one year and 6 months ago

An Essential Technology for the ‘Fix It First’ Policy

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama advocated a “fix-it-first” policy that prioritizes spending on repairing and maintaining existing infrastructure. That sounds promising, but how do we identify the areas that need to be repaired?

2 years and 3 weeks ago

How Safety is Driving Mobile LiDAR Forward

The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) at Penn State is shedding new light on the role of terrestrial mobile LiDAR scanning in transportation safety.

2 years and 3 months ago

Monumental Pangaea: GIS and Surveyors

Early in my survey career, the popular definition of GIS among surveyors was “get it surveyed.” The accuracy of GIS simply wasn’t deemed high enough to be of interest. Boy did we miss the boat.

about 2 years and 8 months ago

Bridging the Communication Gap in Transportation Projects

When surveyors and engineers are working together on a transportation project, conflicts sometimes result due to differences in personalities and backgrounds. To avoid problems, project goals must be clearly communicated from the beginning.

2 years and 9 months ago

The Persistence of Memory in Technology

One of the questions clients often fearfully ask me is, “How much memory will this project require?” Surreal as the persistence of memory may have been to writers and artists like Salvador Dali from the 1920s, the movement has now reemerged in the technology age of data storage.

about 2 years and 10 months ago

How Wide Is a Point?

I have been reading a lot of banter about accuracy and precision, which brings me to this “point.” Errors in measurements can lead to a wide range of issues in the survey profession. The sum of the potential error equals something I like to call our "error budget.” How big is your budget?

2 years and 10 months ago