MAPPS Applauds Parcel Provision in Financial Services Reform Bill

Parcel ID Number Collection Provides an ‘Early Warning System’

Washington, DC, July 21, 2010 – MAPPS (, a national association of mapping and geospatial firms, applauded the inclusion of a parcel geocoding provision providing for an ‘early warning system’ in the Financial Regulatory Reform legislation that President Obama signed today.
Section 1094 of the Conference Report calls for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to collect the "parcel number that corresponds … [to] … real property pledged or proposed to be pledged as collateral" to help track the number and dollar amount of mortgage loans and completed applications grouped according to measurements such as parcel level data.

The comprehensive legislation makes amendments to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), including a provision for the newly-created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection within the Federal Reserve to collect the "parcel number to permit geocoding" on mortgage transactions.

MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello said, "The provision employing geospatial technology at the parcel level under HMDA provides much more detailed information for an ‘early warning system’ to identify future anomalies in the mortgage market. It contains information about the value, improvements, taxes, and something that none of the current government mortgage datasets, including HMDA, maintain – the physical location of the property," Palatiello said.

MAPPS Cadastre Task Force Chair Susan Marlow (Smart Data Strategies, Franklin, TN) testified before Congress on the benefits of parcel level data in September 2009 saying, "Many analysis and decisions are being made using the wrong level of geography. The Census tract data that is currently being used under Section 2803 of HMDA was created by forming blocks and tracts that were logical for counting people." She went on to say, "While FedEx can track the location of millions of packages per day moving around the world, the Federal government does not track the location of land, and it is stationary."

"If you have the right tools and the right data in place, you can build predictive models using very basic statistical analysis that accurately forecasts and locates foreclosure and delinquency hotspots, thus providing an early warning system," said MAPPS President Jeff Lovin (Woolpert, Dayton, OH).

Palatiello concluded, "MAPPS supported the inclusion of the geospatial language in the Conference Report because an ‘early warning system’ based on geo-located property data at the parcel level will help prevent future disruptions to the market, financial collapses, and government bailouts."

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. The MAPPS membership spans 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. Independent Consultant Members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession. 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