ASPRS Board of Directors Approves Guidelines for the Procurement of Professional Services

The Board of Directors of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) has approved the “Guidelines for Procurement of Professional Aerial Imagery, Photogrammetry, Lidar and Related Remote Sensor-based Geospatial Mapping Services.” A copy of the Guidelines is available online at

Developed over the past three years, the document provides a definition of “Professional Services” along with detailed procurement guidelines and recommendations.  Now that the document has been approved by the ASPRS Board, it supersedes the outdated ASPRS document entitled “Guidelines for Procurement of Photogrammetric Services from Private Professional Sources” originally adopted in 1986 and published in 1987 (see Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (PE&RS), Vol. 53, pp 207-212).

“The completion of these Guidelines is an important milestone,” said ASPRS Executive Director James Plasker.  “While these are guidelines, and by no means mandatory, we believe they constitute a best practices approach for the procurement of professional geospatial services.”

The Guidelines were prepared by the ASPRS Procurement Guidelines Committee, an ad hoc committee appointed by the ASPRS leadership.  The Committee, chaired by Doug Smith, ASPRS Professional Practice Division Director, includes representation from the ASPRS Professional Practices Division, ASPRS members from state and federal government, the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).  The development process spanned more than three years, and included numerous public presentations, comment periods, and draft publications. 

The intent of these Guidelines is to provide public agencies, researchers, private entities and other organizations with a resource they can use as a guide to help determine the best approach and methodology for procuring photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geospatial mapping services.  Currently, there is an effort to produce an adjunct document that provides guidelines for the procurement of “geospatial products.”  Once drafted and vetted in a similar manner, that document will also be subject to Board approval.

“Our efforts were intended to be as open and public as possible.  While we realize that not every comment was accepted or incorporated into the document,” said Doug Smith, “many were, and we believe the resulting Guidelines should serve the community well for many years.”

Information on the process, including documentation of the comments and Committee responses, is also available on the ASPRS website.

Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals.  ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.  For additional information about ASPRS, visit our web site at