NKAPC contracted with consulting firm Woolpert recently to update the Northern Kentucky Control Network in Campbell and Kenton Counties. The effort will replace those monuments that have been damaged and will densify the network with new monuments.
Monuments are used to mark exact locations on the face of the earth using degrees of longitude and latitude. These precise locations create the basis for accurate GIS maps, GPS systems, and property surveys.
“Our monument network has been in place now for five years,” said Trisha Brush, GISP, deputy director for GIS administration. “Unfortunately, some of our monuments have been destroyed by road construction or other public actions and it’s time for them to be replaced.”
According to Brush, a monument is a 12 to 14 inch (diameter) solid concrete cylinder that is poured in place to a depth of four to eight feet. The top of the monument, which is flush with the ground, includes a bronze cap which displays the monument’s identification number and informs the public to contact NKAPC for more information. A global positioning system is then used by Woolpert to produce accurate longitude-latitude coordinates for each monument.
The monuments are located in pairs, so replacing and adding new ones can be costly. Woolpert has already added a new pair in Independence and depending on resources would like to be able to add more as needed.
“There is a pair of monuments every two miles in a grid work fashion but there are still some places, such as in Independence, where we saw a void,” said Brush.
Each year NKAPC does reconnaissance to make sure all monuments are in tact. When each is located, “witness stakes” (orange fiberglass flags) are placed nearby to alert the public of where they are so as to prevent damage from mowing and other activities.
Woolpert will get the GPS coordinates in the spring and then submit them to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), which will “blue book” them for use by the public. NGS’s Blue Book is the official record of the nation’s coordinate system of monuments that meet federal standards for accuracy.
“We want to maintain a good relationship with the surveying community,” said Brush. “They’ve helped us maintain the network over the years and now we’re adding value to it.”