Pennsylvania GIS Hill Day Yields 55 Co-Sponsors for Statewide Geospatial Council Legislation

Harrisburg, PA, May 10, 2010 – Private firms and supporters of a statewide geospatial council in Pennsylvania met with their State Representatives on Tuesday, May 4 to generate co-sponsors for HB 2300. The event, sponsored by PA-MAPPS, gained 55 bi-partisan cosponsors for the bill sponsored by Rep. Russ Fairchild (R-85th).

"Pennsylvania needs to do what other states have done and that is bring the best technical minds together by forming a public/private working partnership. HB 2300 will allow this to happen and I am very pleased with the bipartisan support this proposal is generating," Rep. Fairchild said.

Pennsylvania is one of only three states that do not have a geospatial coordination council. Such a council would benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth by providing an advisory panel from the public, private, non-profit and academic communities that provide critical geospatial data, services, products, technologies and applications to the Commonwealth. Geospatial data is the base for planning purposes for land inventories, emergency preparedness, transportation, environmental management, economic development, and many other critical infrastructure applications.

"This legislation will greatly benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth by eliminating duplication, saving time and money, and allowing for greater utilization of technology that is critical to moving Pennsylvania forward," said Mike Shillenn, (Photo Science, West Chester, PA) PA-MAPPS President. "We are thankful of the leadership of Rep. Fairchild and to the geospatial professionals and organizations that have worked to secure co-sponsors for HB 2300.  I am also grateful to the 55 bipartisan members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who have cosponsored the bill.  We look forward to its formal introduction and prompt passage by the legislature."

A study conducted in 2009 for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) called for a Statewide Coordination Council. The study was supported by ten geospatial organizations throughout the Commonwealth, including PA-MAPPS.

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 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 170+ 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