Advancement in Geospatial Technology, Market Forecasts Highlight MAPPS 2009 Winter Program

Reston, VA (December 10, 2008) – A program that will focus on the changing economic climate, proactive business strategies, new and changing technologies and networking sessions highlight the agenda for the MAPPS Winter Conference, to be held January 20-24, 2009 at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef in St. Thomas, USVI, MAPPS announced today.

The conference will start with a keynote address by Michael Jones, Chief Technology Advocate of Google. Jones, also a founder of Keyhole, Inc., will discuss Google Earth’s vision for the future, its role in the geospatial community and business opportunities for other geospatial firms. This is a continuation of chief executives’ perspectives presented at the 2008 MAPPS winter conference in Palm Springs, CA by Jack Dangermond, President, ESRI and the 2008 summer meeting in Sun Valley, ID by Alexander Wiechert, Managing Director, Microsoft Vexcel Imaging.

"The program committee, chaired by Scott Perkins, GISP, (Wilson & Company, Overland Park, KS) was able to project the changes we are currently facing in the economic environment and put together sessions that will greatly benefit the MAPPS membership," said MAPPS President Marvin Miller, PPS, PLS, CP (Aero-Metric, Inc., Maple Grove, MN). "This program continues to provide the decision makers of MAPPS member firms with powerful information to make educated decisions for their firms, especially during the current economy."

Following the keynote address, sessions will include a look at new and hybrid sensors, which can allow firms to save time and money with new sensors’ ability to collect multiple data on missions. MAPPS will discuss licensing of geospatial professionals in a debate between two teams advocating opposing positions on the proposition "State Licensing is Necessary and Desirable for Photogrammetrists and Other Geospatial Practitioners." The debate will help MAPPS develop a consensus in the membership and the community to determine if a laissez-faire (no licensing) approach is best for the profession and the general public, if there should be licensing, whether it should be done at the state level, or if a national license is a viable alternative. It will air the issue, educate members of the community, and explore a workable solution in a classic Oxford-style debate format.

A session to discuss the need for a national parcel system in the United States will also be featured. In October 2008, MAPPS called for the US Government to convene a summit of stakeholders to look at a parcel system as a means of managing the current mortgage crisis and providing an early warning system for future disruptions in land ownership. The session will look at the current parcel mapping market, implementation of the National Academy of Sciences report on "National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future," and how the current crisis might stimulate an opportunity for geospatial firms. Academy panel chairman Dr. David Cowan, (Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC)  MAPPS Cadastre Task Force Chairman Susan Marlow (Smart Data Strategies, Franklin, TN), BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor Don Buhler, and David Nale, (eMap Int, Reddick, FL, consultant to First American Spatial Solutions), will present on the panel.
Another session will share experiences, identify best practices, compare different business models, identify issues, and explore desirable actions on licensing of spatial data. Additionally, it will help firms in the fee for service business model better understand the licensing model, as well as discuss issues from the 2004 National Academy report, "Licensing Geographic Data and Services."  The panel of professionals include Kevin Pomfret, JD (CantorArkema, P.C., Richmond, VA), Garth Lawerence (Intermap Technologies, Englewood, CO), Brant Howard (CompassData, Inc., Centennial, CO) and Tim Crago (Northwest Group, Denver, CO).

Also on the agenda are updates on Federal programs including Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) by Vicki Lukas of USGS, NOAA’s Coastal Geospatial Services Contract by Nicholas "Miki" Schmidt of NOAA, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) Global Geospatial Intelligence (GGI) program, by Jeff  Goebel. Messrs. Schmidt and Goebel will discuss lessons learned in their agencies’ contracting programs, which utilize the qualifications based selection (QBS) process, and forecast the future of these programs.

MAPPS President-Elect Silas Suazo, CET (Bohannan Huston, Alberquerqe, NM), chair of the MAPPS Legislative Affairs Committee, will present information on legislation in Congress in 2009 affecting the geospatial community, and Kass Green (Kass Green & Associates, Berkeley, CA), will facilitate a SWOT analysis of the geospatial profession.

In 1999, APRS and NASA began a 10-year remote sensing market forecast. Dr. Shawana Johnson (Global Marketing Insights, Independence, OH) and Alexander Wiechert (Microsoft Vexcel Imaging, Graz, Austria) will evaluate the accuracy of the report, where it proved accurate on and off the mark, and the status of the remote sensing market today.

"We have already had a tremendous response from the membership that will be joining us for the Winter Conference because of the informative and timely program," said John M. Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "From the early registration, MAPPS members are excited to return to the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and understand the importance of the education and networking opportunities associated with the MAPPS winter conference."

To view the entire program agenda with detailed information about the sessions, visit the conference website at MAPPS conferences are open to non-MAPPS member firms.

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 Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LIDAR, 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 provides its 155+ member firms 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