MAPPS Executive Director Warns Against Efforts to ‘Dumb Down’ the Geospatial Community

Ottawa (June 13, 2007) – In the keynote address to the Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC) Leaders Forum in Ottawa last night, MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello warned that efforts, intended or unintended, to ‘dumb down’ the geospatial community must be opposed, and private firms in particular must pro-actively promote policies that elevate professionalism in the field.

In his address, Palatiello outlined ten trends in the U.S. geospatial market.  The trends discussed related to professionalism, defining the community, mergers/acquisitions/consolidation, the demand for real-time/location based data and services, expanding vertical markets, a tight labor market, globalization, rapid changes in technology and demands for capital investment, and the impact of web-based geoportals.

Palatiello said the actions of some groups to oppose qualifications based selection (QBS) of geospatial firms for government contracts, oppose accreditation of university GIS programs, oppose fair and equitable licensing of photogrammetrists and other geospatial practitioners, and defining geospatial as part of the information technology industry rather than the broad engineering profession will diminish the professional standing of the geospatial community and its practitioners.  “This ‘race to the bottom’ and ‘dumbing down’ will adversely affect  private geospatial firms in the United States in government procurement, federal and state tax treatment, liability insurance, occupational classification and employment law, education, and other areas’, Palatiello said.

About GIAC
The Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC) is the only national business association dedicated to serving the geomatics industry in Canada. Originally formed in 1961 under the name Canadian Association of Aerial Surveyors, GIAC now encompasses the entire range of geomatics disciplines. Our members include almost 100 of Canada’s leading geomatics service and technology firms, and approximately 80% of the active exporters in this sector.

MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the spatial data and geographic information system field in the United States. Formed in 1982 by a small group of U.S. photogrammetry companies as the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors to represent the interests of private photogrammetric and aerial surveying firms, MAPPS has since has expanded in size and scope to become the voice of private U.S geospatial firms, and numerous foreign companies.  Current MAPPS memberships spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Members, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. MAPPS is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.  For more information on MAPPS, please visit