According to the MAPPS bylaws
, the association has two primary membership categories
A "Regular Member Firm” is defined in the bylaws as "any firm having office(s) located in the United States of America and is engaged in the geospatial profession… "Engaged in the geospatial profession" means any private, for-profit organization where one of its purposes is the creation, collection, dissemination and application of geo-referenced graphical or digital data to depict natural or manmade physical features, phenomena, or boundaries of the earth, geospatial intelligence, and any information related thereto, including any such data that comprises a survey, map, chart, geographic information system, remotely sensed satellite or aerial image or data.”
An "Associate Member Firm” is defined in the bylaws as "any firm engaged in the manufacturing and/or supplying of geospatial equipment, services, supplies, hardware or software, that supports but is not engaged in the geospatial profession, any firm not engaged in but with an interest in the geospatial field, and any firm meeting the definition of "Engaged in the geospatial profession" whose office(s) is located outside of the United States of America”
These categories (there are others, but this discussion only affects these two) was established when MAPPS was formed in 1982. At that time, there were clear distinctions between firms that performed mapping services and those that sold hardware, software or supplies (e.g. aerial film).
Today, those distinctions have become blurred. A number of service firms also sell software, and a number of the hardware/software firms have services divisions.
At a recent strategic planning retreat, the MAPPS Board discussed these categories and their relevancy in today’s market.
There are three (3) differences between Regular and Associate firms in MAPPS -- there are different dues structures, only Regular firms have a vote in MAPPS, and only individuals from Regular members can serve on the MAPPS Board of Directors.
Should this change? If so, how should it change? Should the definitions above be merged? Should there be one dues schedule? Should Associates be permitted to vote and hold office?
The MAPPS Board would like the members’ feedback. Please use this space to offer comments. Based on the feedback, the Board will decide whether to schedule a special membership business meeting at the Winter Conference
in San Diego in February. If there is sufficient support, a bylaws change will be prepared, notice to the membership will be provided, a session will be held for discussion, and a vote on a bylaws amendment will be conducted.