MAPPS Announces Keynote Speaker and Updated Agenda for Winter Conference

Reston, VA, January 3, 2008- MAPPS has announced that Jack Dangermond, President and Founder, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), will be the keynote speaker at the association’s 2008 Winter Conference in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), CA. The conference is January 31 through February 4, at the Westin Mission Hills Resort, with Dangermond’s keynote presentation on the afternoon of Thursday, January 31 at 4:30 pm (PST).

The conference will include sessions on trends in remote sensing and image processing, future and disruptive technologies, team and partnership building, and future challenges within the profession.

Dangermond will address the recent trends affecting the use and development of GIS technology. Within the last decade, the Internet has unlocked new consumer markets for geospatial data and Dangermond will discuss the new uses of web-based delivery and development of future applications and technologies that will advance the market and the profession.

The conference will feature several sessions providing insights into new and emerging markets, processes and business issues in the geospatial community. Sessions will focus on business opportunities with insight from the Principals and Presidents of the community’s leading firms, including the following topics:
• Remote Sensing Trends
• Partnering/Teaming Session
• Raising Capital/Capital Source to Support Firm’s Growth
• Future Challenges in Geospatial Profession
• Elevation Data Trends, LIDAR Integration and Application
• Legislation Affecting the Geospatial Community

Miki Schmidt, Coastal Geospatial Services Branch Chief for NOAA will discuss the current state of the Coastal and Ocean Geospatial Programs and the private sector’s role in the agency’s projects.

John Walker of JS Walker Group / Aviation Solutions, Inc. and chairman of RTCA, Inc. will provide the wrap-up presentation on "UAVs and Their Impact on the Geospatial Market". RTCA  is a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops consensus-based recommendations regarding communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system issues. RTCA functions as a Federal Advisory Committee. Its recommendations are used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the basis for policy, program, and regulatory decisions and by the private sector as the basis for development, investment and other business decisions. Organized in 1935 as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, RTCA today includes roughly 335 government, private sector and academic organizations from the United States and around the world.

"The focus of the conference program is to project geospatial trends and strengthen business relationships. We are excited to have the leading professionals in the community presenting on a variety of topics," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "The sessions will help to forecast where the profession is heading, with perspectives from the decision-makers of the community’s leading firms, discussing how they believe these trends will be addressed."

Palatiello added, "MAPPS meetings are known as an outstanding venue that attracts the top decision makers – principals, owners, partners and senior executive professionals – from the leading firms in the geospatial community of practice. The 2008 Winter Conference program is another offering of the best information, education and networking in the community."

The MAPPS Winter Conference is January 31-Februrary 4, 2008 at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), CA. For more information about the conference, including a full agenda and registration information, click here.

Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Active Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, 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, which just concluded celebrating the 25th anniversary of the association, provides its members opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement. For more information on MAPPS, please visit