t’s not often someone gets to help a dog set a world record—especially for riding a scooter. But on July 12, 2013, three surveyors
in Marietta, Georgia, did just that. Trent Turk, LS, David Hester, LS, and John Newman, LSIT—all from GeoSurvey, Ltd.—volun-
teered their time and talents to lay out and certify the length of a 30-m (98.42-ft) track and help measure the time for the
record-setting ride of Norman the Scooter Dog.
Norman, a 3-year-old French Sheepdog owned by Karen Cobb of the Marietta area,
covered the distance—by self-propelling a scooter—in 20.75 seconds, a ride that
will go down in the history books—or at least the Guinness Book of World Records
(GBWR). Norman was so confident of success that he placed both hind paws on the
scooter near the end and coasted over the finish line.
GBWR representatives observed the event, sanctioning the record with its official
title of “Fastest 30m on scooter by a dog.” As with all surveying projects, extensive
documentation (in this case, dogumentation) was required. Final GBWR certification
of the record is expected soon.
Trent, David and John used a Trimble S6 robotic total station and a Trimble TSC3
controller to lay out the track on the basketball courts of a local sports complex. The
finish line was curved so that even if Norman deviated from the track centerline by up
to 30 degrees, the distance traveled would still be 30m precisely. (He did not have a
paws-free GPS navigator for help, but stayed on course anyway.)
The local-hero dog was cheered on by about 100 local citizens and lots of media.
News anchors on major network Atlanta TV stations were heard shouting “Go Nor-
man, Go!” while watching the real-time broadcast unfold. In addition to setting the
new record, the event and publicity raised $2,000 for “Road Trip Home,” a group that
rescues animals from high-kill shelters and relocates them to no-kill shelters. All in
all, it was a dog-gone good day.
Norman is a dog of many talents. In addition to his mastery of the 4-wheel scooter,
he rides bicycles, skateboards and surfboards. A veteran TV celebrity, his numerous
appearances include as a news anchor, co-host of a TV show, and guest gigs on
“Good Morning America,” the Dave Letterman show, and numerous other local and
national TV programs.
So just how did GeoSurvey get involved with this illustrious event? “Karen googled
us,” Turk replied. You never know who will find you via the web! See GeoSurvey’s
website (www.geosurvey.com) for more info and a video of this record-breaking
event, Norman’s resume, and GeoSurvey’s own, shall we say, “more traditional” land-
Surveyors Do the Dog-gondest Things