Greater Utilization of Geospatial Technology is Theme of Gubernatorial Roundtable Hosted by PA-MAPPS

Harrisburg, PA, April 16, 2010 – Utilization of the geospatial profession, including private sector companies and management, was among the topics discussed at a round table session with Pennsylvania Gubernatorial candidate Jack Wagner (D), the current Auditor General, and Dauphin County Commissioner Nick DiFrancesco, campaign representative for candidate Tom Corbett (R), the current Attorney General.  The session was hosted by PA-MAPPS, the Pennsylvania chapter of MAPPS (, the national association of private geospatial firms. 

The focus of the discussion was the role of geospatial technology in support of future needs of the Commonwealth and in the next administration. Included was the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not have either a geospatial coordination council or a current, accurate statewide mapping activity.

"This technology, for disaster relief, emergencies of all kinds, economic development and most importantly planning, is critical, it is critical to our vision, our future, here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, throughout the country and throughout the world," said Wagner. "It is vitally important that we move this profession forward in a coordinated effort as it relates to government."

Mr. Wagner discussed his plan for greater utilization of Pennsylvania’s natural resources in an environmentally sensitive way, as well as updating and upgrading the Commonwealth’s infrastructure, including airports, railroads, highways and broadband. He noted that geospatial data is critical to those initiatives.

Mr. DiFrancesco addressed Attorney General Corbett’s campaign platform on workforce development, the current state of Pennsylvania’s infrastructure and addressing budget challenges. He outlined a government reform agenda, including eliminating government activities that duplicate and compete with private business.

"We appreciate the time that each of the campaigns spent with our group, their understanding of geospatial technology, and the way this data and technology can be utilized to help the Commonwealth and its citizens," said Michael Shillenn, CP (Photo Science, Inc., West Chester, PA), PA-MAPPS President.

The roundtable discussion included representatives from nine private geospatial firms from across the Commonwealth. The event was filmed by the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) and is archived on their website:

Earlier sessions were held with the campaign of Joe Hoeffel (D) and U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), prior to his departure from the Governor’s race.
PA-MAPPS, the first state chapter of MAPPS, is open to private firms in the geospatial community including those in photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, surveying, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PA-MAPPS has two membership categories; Member Firms: geospatial service firms with offices and employees based in Pennsylvania and Associate Members: companies that do business in but not having a physical office or businesses in the Commonwealth, or those that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the Keystone State.Firms in PA-MAPPS are also members of MAPPS.

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