MAPPS to Demonstrate Geospatial Technologies for Congress

5th Annual Technology Exhibition Will Show Lawmakers Geospatial Role in Legislation

Washington, DC, March 8, 2010 – Members of Congress and Congressional staff will have an opportunity to witness an exhibition of geospatial technologies at a showcase to be hosted by MAPPS on the campus of the U.S. Capitol.  The 5th Annual MAPPS Geospatial Technology Exhibition will be held Wednesday, March 10 in the first floor foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building. Federal and state agency representatives and stakeholder groups will also attend. The exhibition, from 9:00am to 4:00pm, coincides with the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, the premier event in the geospatial community that brings together the Federal government and the private sector for discussions on programs, budgets and procurement opportunities. More than 100 members of MAPPS will be at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, meeting with members of Congress to discuss legislation affecting the geospatial profession.

Four MAPPS member firms will exhibit technology demonstrations. These firms include: Merrick & Company, winner of the 2009 MAPPS Geospatial Excellence Awards competition; Riegl USA; Trimble; and Woolpert, Inc.

"These four firms represent the capabilities available throughout our membership.  They will show decision makers at the highest level of our government that a capable and qualified private geospatial community exists, along with technology, data and services that can fuel economic growth, improve the efficiency of government programs, and improve the quality of life for the American people and in nations around the world," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director.

U.S. Representative James Moran (D-8th District-VA), who represents MAPPS’ headquarters in Reston, VA, is the sponsor of the event.

Four legislative issues and associated public policy applications will be demonstrated during the exhibition. The legislative initiatives to be highlighted during MAPPS members’ meetings with members of Congress and at the technology exhibition include:
• The "Making America Prosperous (MAP)" Act, a proposed bill to authorize  the "Imagery for the Nation" concept, authorizing a national geospatial image mapping program to provide baseline geographic data for economic development and a variety of other applications;
• A "Digital Coast" Act, fully authorizes the Digital Coast program within NOAA to help America’s fragile oceans, coasts and shorelines by implementing mapping, charting, and other geospatial data, as recommended in several recent commissions, as well as a National Academy of Sciences report;
• The "FLAIR" Act, or Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act, H.R. 1520, will create a current, accurate cadastre, or land inventory, of Federal land ownership, as well as consolidate the more than 100 duplicate, inaccurate, obsolete, and non-interoperable land inventories currently maintained by several Federal agencies;
• And the Freedom from Government Competition Act,  H.R. 2682 and S. 1167, to codify the "Yellow Pages" test, a simple test that has been applied by Mayors and Governors, both Democrat and Republican, that says if there are private companies to be found in the Yellow Pages providing products or services in the commercial market that the government is also providing, then the service should be subject to market competition to break up the government monopoly and prove a better value to the taxpayer.

MAPPS Government Affairs Manager John "JB" Byrd said, "The fact that this is the fifth year that MAPPS has demonstrated geospatial technology before Congress serves as a testimonial to the high level of importance MAPPS member firms place on traveling to Washington to actively promote the profession and the legislative priorities impacting the geospatial community and the citizens of our Nation."

To view the invitation to the exhibition and RSVP, use this link:

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 180+ 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