Management, Policy, Ethics & Technology Featured at MAPPS Summer Meeting

Sessions on management, public policy, professional ethics and digital imagery technology are among the offerings at the MAPPS annual Summer Meeting, to be held July 17-21, 2004 at the Big Sky Resort in Montana.

“From Lewis and Clark to LIDAR and CAD” is the theme of the conference.  MAPPS meetings are known as a venue for education for principals, owners, partners and senior executives in leading geospatial firms, as well as for information sharing, networking, and building teams and strategic partnerships among individual firms.

Management sessions include a workshop, “How To Manage Your Business So You Can Take The Time To Go To A MAPPS Meeting”, instructed by Professor Nancy Dodd of Montana State University.  From owners of small businesses to managers of large firm divisions, most geospatial professionals say management issues, not technical factors, are the dominant challenges to success and profitability. Additionally, most geospatial professionals are technically trained in surveying, engineering, geography and other academic fields, thus implementing the “Peter Principle” when they rise to senior management positions in their firms.  This special session features a 20-year veteran college management professor and consultant who will help develop leadership skills, human resources and personnel management, problem solving, communications, and delegating authority and responsibility.

A session on “Regional, Vertical, Channel & Everything in Between:  The Method to The Madness of Sales & Marketing” features Shawana Johnson of Global Marketing Insights, as Moderator and panelists who will discuss approaches to geospatial services sales and marketing from the viewpoint of firms of different sizes and structures, including Dave Hart of Continental Aerial; Dave Nale of DigitalGlobe, Gene Colabatistto of Space Imaging, Jeff Lovin of Woolpert; and Mary Hiatt of EarthData.  MAPPS members from large, medium, and small size firms will discuss their marketing and sales models, followed by audience Q&A.  Panelists will discuss approaches, methods, and structures for marketing and sales and share lessons-learned to help MAPPS members avoid pitfalls as their businesses evolve.

With states increasing including photogrammetry and other related geospatial services in licensing laws, professional ethics is becoming more of an area of required knowledge and practice in the community.  Mark Meade, PE, PLS, CP, of Photo Science, Inc. explains how being a professional carries responsibilities for business practice behavior that are different than those in “industry”.  Mr. Mead will discuss what are those responsibilities and ethical obligations, as well as how licensed professionals comply.

On February 4, President Bush issued Executive Order 13327, on Federal Real Property Asset Management, which requires the establishment of an inventory of Federal land holdings, as well as directs the Interior and Agriculture Departments to prepare legislation for a public lands inventory. The directive could be the foundation for the establishment of a Federal Land Cadastre, and opportunities for a great many land information firms.  MAPPS has appointed a MAPPS Federal Land Cadastre Task Force to develop a MAPPS strategy and proposals, and to work with BLM and the Forest Service, as well as the White House, on implementation of Executive Order 13327.  Jim Hughes, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Susan Marlow of Smart Data Strategies, chair of the MAPPS task force, will focus on implementation of the Executive Order and the opportunities it may provide to geospatial firms.

At the MAPPS Winter Meeting in Phoenix, AZ in January, a session on “Is Film Dead?” was held.  In that session, film providers, digital aerial camera manufacturers and aerial photo service providers and users discussed the state of the transition from film to digital airborne image collection.  At the Montana meeting, a follow-on session will explore an issue raised in Phoenix — Digital Camera Workflow Improvement.  In this session, Phil Kern of Z/I; Drew Fischer of Applanix; and Roger Pacey of Leica will explore advancements in digital imagery work flow improvement to provide insight on how this process is improving and how firms can increase productivity, enhance efficiency, reduce data delivery time, and lower costs when capturing digital aerial imagery.

Legislation, public policy and politics are on the forefront of the MAPPS agenda, and the conference will direct attention to the role of geospatial professionals in this area.  American voters will be electing a President, 33 members of the U.S. Senate, and all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as dozens of governors and thousands of state legislators.  What does this mean for MAPPS members?  How will this affect policy, particularly those of interest to the geospatial community? In a session “In Case You Haven’t Noticed, It’s An Election Year”, MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello explains what’s happening and how you can participate.

A unique insight on the political process, as it relates to GIS-related issues, will be provided by three experiences professionals who have seen the geospatial business — as well as politics and legislation — from the inside.  Jim Geringer, the former Governor of Wyoming and now an ESRI executive, MAPPS President Ken Fleming, an elected member of the City of Louisville/Jefferson County, KY Metro Council, and Michael Janus of Tennix, Inc., a member of the Mississippi State Legislature, explain how the geospatial business and politics intersect, discuss how to sell geospatial issues to elected officials, give the perspective of elected officials on how they get interested in particular issues brought to them from constituents and what motivates them to act on those issues and deciding which to "run with" from the dozens, if not hundreds that are put before them by constituents, lobbyists, and other interested parties.

The MAPPS conference is family and kid-friendly.  Social events include a whitewater rafting trip, horseback riding, a tour of Yellowstone National Park and a western Bar-B-Q.  Corporate sponsors for the conference include Eastman Kodak, LizardTech, and DigitalGlobe.

The conference is open to both MAPPS members and non-members, with significant rate reductions for members.  For information on MAPPS membership and the conference, visit the MAPPS web site at