MAPPS Praises Parcel Stakeholder Summit

Washington, DC, May 7, 2009 – Calling a parcel based national multipurpose cadastre "an early warning system that could prevent crisis such as the subprime mortgage debacle," MAPPS ( applauded today’s Mortgage Crisis Response Stakeholders Meeting held by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).

"We are encouraged that the FGDC continues to explore ways to use geographic data to solve the nation’s challenges and look forward to working with our colleagues in government to develop standards for parcel data that help the American people," said Marvin Miller, MAPPS President, (Aero-Metric, Maple Grove, MN). "This meeting, which MAPPS first advocated when the mortgage crisis was unfolding last fall, begins to address the concerns identified by MAPPS that parcel data was not in a accessible, interoperable format that could be used not only to track trends, but manage the U.S. Government’s portfolio of mortgages, which now exceeds 50 percent of all mortgages in the nation."

Since 1980, the National Academy of Sciences has recommended a national parcel based land information system, or "multipurpose cadastre."

"Currently, local governments maintain property data in various formats.  This is a barrier to access to interoperable data for national analysis," said Susan Marlow (Smart Data Strategies, Nashville, TN), chair of the MAPPS Cadastre Task Force. "This stakeholders meeting allows for collaboration on a national cadastre that can prevent future disruptions in the real estate market by effectively utilizing geographic data."   Marlow, a member of the 2007 National Academy panel that reaffirmed the 1980 recommendations, was a presenter at today’s stakeholder meeting, outlining various private sector firms’ activities in parcel data.

In the fall of 2008, during the peak of the mortgage crisis, John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director and a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget to address the role of parcel data in the crisis. The MAPPS proposal for a "summit" was endorsed by the NGAC and the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) prior to being adopted by the FGDC.

"Unfortunately it took a national crisis to show the value of parcel based geospatial data.  However, the opportunity for federal agencies to create standards for data to be shared across agencies is enormous," said Palatiello. "The stakeholders meeting is positive step the in the right direction to share ideas and identify resources and further actions to prevent future incidents. It has long been understood that the barriers to an effective national parcel system are not technological, but rather organizational and institutional. I am glad MAPPS has played a key role in addressing the problems as well as solutions."

Among the speakers at today’s summit was Anne Hale Miglarese, Booz Allen Hamilton (Herndon, VA), a member of the MAPPS Board of Directors and chair of the NGAC.

Letter to the Office of Management and Budget sent by Mr. John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director on October 3, 2008.

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 150+ 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