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"Spatially Speaking" is the official MAPPS blog providing information on topics related to the association and profession and MAPPS involvement with the issues.

 

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MAPPS to Participate in GEO Huntsville Conference Nov. 8-9

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012
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MAPPS members in Alabama met in September to discuss the formation of a state chapter in the Yellowhammer State.  Jeff Lower, MAPPS President-Elect (Magnolia River Corporation), will speak at the conference to provide an overview on MAPPS activities at the national level and discuss the formation of a state chapter in Alabama. 


More information about the conference is provided below.

 

 


Conference 2012

FORMERLY THE ROCKET CITY GEOSPATIAL CONFERENCE
November 8-9, 2012 - Davidson Center for Space Exploration - Huntsville, Alabama

#Register Today!

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Register today for the GEO Huntsville Conference ... and join with others in the Southeast to explore the opportunities for small- and medium-sized business in geospatial intelligence, commercial earth observation systems, GIS, and much more. Registration is only $195 ($75 for students) for this two-day conference.

 

#GEOINT and Commercial Earth Observation Systems

The key themes for the conference center on the opportunities for geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) application development as well as those for commercial earth observation systems (i.e. small satellites, etc.) and remote sensing.

 

#Opportunities for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

The conference will offer special sessions to hear from the small business directors of the following agencies on how to better work with their agencies:

  • NASA

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

  • U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Lifecycle Management Command (AMCOM)

  • U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC)

  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers


#"Invest in Huntsville"

This special plenary panel will feature the C-level executives from major Huntsville-based corporations to discuss how they see the development of future technology investment opportunities that support the expansion of their organizations. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Marc Bendickson, CEO, Dynetics

  • Mr. Steve Hill, CEO, AEgis Technologies

  • Joe Ritch, Counsel, Sirote and Permutt; chairman, Tennessee Valley BRAC Committee

  • John Gulley, Sr. VP, SAIC and chairman, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee

  • Joe Fehrenbach, COO, Intergraph Government Solutions.

  • Ronnie Hoff, Founder, Magnolia River Corporation


#Don't Miss These Other Plenary Sessions

Themes for the conference encompass the following topics:

  • Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) and National Security

  • Commercial Earth Observation Systems

  • Energy and geospatial technology integration

  • "Ethical Hacking" demonstration and Cybersecurity Issues

  • Geospatial Law and Policy


#Special Invitation from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle

As Mayor of Huntsville and on behalf of the businesses, government agencies, and universities of our city, I would like to invite you to attend the GEO Huntsville Conference. For many years, we’ve worked extremely hard to collaborate to strengthen our workforce and leverage the technological expertise in our city. Now, we’ve taken the extra step of identifying three technology initiatives that we believe will catapult Huntsville to the forefront of geospatial technology and prepare our economy for future growth. For more information, please visit the conference website.


Keynote Speakers

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Vice Admiral (ret.) Robert Murrett

Formerly, Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Currently, Deputy Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University

 

Dr. Mike Griffin

CEO, Schafer Corporation

Formerly, Chief Adminstrator, NASA


Guest Speakers


Dr. Myra Gray

Deputy G-3/5, Strategy and Concepts, U.S. Army Materiel Command

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Barbara Fast

Vice President, CGI Federal; formerly, Director, Intelligence, Joint Task Force, Iraq

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John Gulley

Vice President, SAIC & Chairman, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee

Dr. John Horack

Vice President, Space Systems, Teledyne Brown Engineering

 

Sponsors






Organizational Sponsors


City of Huntsville


50_limericks_sm.jpgHuntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce


United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation


Venue

The conference will be held at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, 5 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Alabama. The venue is adjacent to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and sessions will be held in the auditorium. 



Contact Us

The conference is produced by Directions Magazine.

Those with questions about the program should call Joe Francica at 256-650-0205, 256-509-3661 or email info@geohuntsville.com

Those with questions about exhibiting or sponsoring the event should call Jane Elliott at 847-242-0412 or email info@geohuntsville.com.

Register today!

The registration fee is only $100 each day or $195 for both days of the event. Don't delay ... register now!

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Join the GEO Huntsville LinkedIn Group

Directions Media, 1001 Green Bay Road, Ste. 145, Winnetka, IL 60093
256-650-0205 or 847-242-0412

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The Brooks Act at 40: A Law that Works

Posted By John Palatiello, Saturday, October 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Brooks Act. On October 27, 1972, President Nixon signed into law the legislation providing for qualifications based selection (QBS) of architecture, engineering and related services, including surveying and mapping, or what we now call "geospatial” services.

Traditionally, government procurement procedures properly have emphasized awarding contracts to the lowest bidder, or using price as a dominant factor. For many goods which government purchases -- paper, office equipment, desks, even construction services -- this process serves the government and the taxpayer well. Specifications can be written, products can be inspected and tested, and safeguards can be built in to assure saving money.

Sometimes, however, agencies mistakenly assume professional surveying and mapping services fall into this category.

Unfortunately, the assumption ignores the increase in costs to administer the preparation of detailed scopes of work and bid specifications, evaluation of numerous bids, and to remedy serious consequences of unprofessional surveying and mapping. Quality, therefore, should always be the primary focus in the competition for surveying and mapping procurements. Only after high quality performance is ensured should the focus turn to the contract price.

Fifty states impose strict educational and registration or licensing requirements for surveying professionals, and many now include mapping, photogrammetry and GIS activities in such licensing laws. The high standards established by organizations like MAPPS for their members exemplify the professional nature of their work.

State licensing standards and government procurement regulations for professional services should be designed to protect the public health and safety during and after contract performance. Indeed, some state licensing boards prohibit licensed professionals under their jurisdiction from engaging in competitive bidding to secure work. 

If inaccurate, a map could cloud land titles or jeopardize subsequent construction designs, planning activities or program management that must rely on accurate mapping data. Just as a poorly designed dam can burst, subjecting the state to huge claims, so too can a poorly planned or executed map unleash a flood of problems, creating an impediment to the expeditious completion of a government project, causing substantial loss of time and money, and jeopardizing the public safety. Like a well made dam, a high quality map will stand the test of time and will ensure that the government can proceed with its design, construction or resource planning project based on complete and precise groundwork.

In addition to the direct cost of the contract, the government must be concerned about such consequent indirect costs as physical destruction of property or clouded claims that could result from poor quality workmanship. The E-911 system an ambulance uses to get to your house is not related to architecture, engineering or construction, yet an accurate map can mean the difference between life and death.

The government should negotiate contracts for these services independent of other professional design, construction or information technology services to ensure that specialized mapping skills and technologies are evaluated properly and not overlooked. In this manner, the government will benefit from direct control of both the quality of the services and the map's development.

The use of negotiated procedures directs the focus of procurement activity where it should be, on the quality of the mapping services specifically suited to a given contract. All competitors must submit their qualifications to the procuring agency; the agency assesses the relative expertise of the competing firms; and the one most qualified firm is selected for the particular procurement. Such procedures produce a more cost effective survey than can be achieved under price bidding or best value procedures.

Negotiated procedures afford built-in protection, since either the selection process eliminates unqualified firms, or the negotiations reveal a firm's comparative lack of expertise. In either case, the problem is discovered before the contract is awarded, not after the job is done. Under price bidding procedures, however, the low bidder wins, regardless of the marginal capabilities it may have demonstrated previously.

The extreme difficulty of defining adequately, in advance of negotiations, the quantity and quality of the mapping and photogrammetric services to be secured is likely to lead to misunderstandings as to the scope of the services to be rendered and the expectations of the government concerning the services and the desired project. The negotiating process allows the government to work as a team with qualified professionals to refine the government's contract requirements and develop more tailored, economical mapping. Thus, in the pre-contract stage, the agency benefits from the professional's years of experience and demonstrated competence.

The government saves substantial administrative costs of preparing detailed specifications that would be required under price bidding procedures to avoid widely varying interpretations by competing bidder. The government also saves significant personnel costs if it can employ a few specialists to review qualifications, negotiate contracts and specialists to review qualifications, negotiate contracts and monitor or inspect performance -- rather than maintain the large staff needed to process numerous bids received on each procurement and evaluate the qualifications of each of those bidders, as well as execute and monitor contract performance. 

Negotiated procedures ultimately result in more efficient, economical procurements for the competing professional firms as well as the government, because of the very nature of surveying and mapping. Since only the top ranked firms need to prepare boundary analyses and detailed estimates on the work, other competitors are free to pursue other contract opportunities without wasting money on a contract they will not win. 

The government benefits from the mapping professional’s fiduciary obligation to their client. Emphasis on the quality of the work establishes a relationship of cooperation and trust, whereas price competition pits honest professionals against competitors who are willing to cut corners or deliver substandard services to bid low. When the low bid is the primary selection criterion, the interests of unscrupulous or inexperienced contractors are advanced over the interests of the public. The low bid map often is inaccurate or incomplete because the government will pay far more, or contract with another to complete the project begun by the low bidder who went bankrupt trying to meet an unreasonably low contract price. Rather than an adversary relationship, which is promoted in competitive bidding procedures, the mapping professional should negotiate their work, and work as a team.

The government must be mindful of the indirect or hidden costs, such as legal fees, court expenses and insurance claims that it can incur when boundary, trespass and other property disputes are caused by outdated or erroneous maps. By negotiating contracts with private mapping professionals, the government can save in-house costs and increase mapping outputs significantly. Historically, more firms compete, and thus the government gets a better service at a fairer price, when QBS is used. Government inspection or quality control of a mapping project to monitor contract compliance is much more difficult than inspection of manufactured products or other professional services. The map's geographic scope is often immense, and the only effective way the government can check for accuracy is to retrace the entire map. Even a trained eye cannot find a map's critical flaws that could threaten the public's safety and its pocketbook in future years. Unlike materials, a map cannot be adequately sampled before and thoroughly tested after production. The client or owner is totally dependent upon the integrity of his mapping professional -- you might say he is at his mercy -- for even a bad mapping plan can look good. It often takes months or years before errors and problems are discovered.

Maps are tied to existing control points on the ground, the location and condition of which are uncertain until a survey is performed. Legal descriptions of boundaries may, or may not, indicate physical monuments. These physical monuments may or may not be still in existence on the ground. If they do exist, they may or may not be the original monuments, and they may or may not fit other physical evidence in the area. One cannot price the unknown.

Mapping is usually dependent on other exiting surveys and recorded documents. The evaluation of such surveys or documents is a matter of judgment which cannot be made until the professional has researched the project, both in the field and in the repository of deeds. He may find that as the result of his new work, the existing survey may have to be rerun to achieve the accuracy required by the client, even though the records of the existing survey indicated otherwise beforehand. He may find deeds or other documents that will affect the interpretation of the client's land description. These conditions may not be known, nor even suspected, until the survey is substantially started.

Mapping is weather dependent. Cloud cover, storms, excessively hot weather, floods, rain, wind and other inclement conditions can delay or prolong an aerial photography and mapping project for indefinite periods of time. Precise leveling is extremely sensitive to the vagaries of weather. Fog affects sighting lengths. Wind affects instrumentation and measurement. Cloud cover prevents collection of data on project areas. Delays cost money. The decision to stop or delay the operation should be based on a determination that the quality of the result will suffer, rather than on a profit-loss motive.

The accuracy of a map depends upon the manner and the conditions under which the work is performed and not just on the accuracy of closures. A map could close within specified tolerances, but the work could be unacceptable because of the methods used.

By requesting bids, a client assumes the responsibility for defining the scope of the services required and, thus, does not take any advantage of the knowledge and background of qualified professional engaged in providing such services. All too few administrators and even engineers are knowledgeable in mapping, and their inadequacy in this regard is apparent in their requests for bids. The knowledgeable person is aware of the indeterminate nature of mapping. The reputable professional, if he is to bid, must either attempt to anticipate the many possible problems, determine which problems he feels will occur, and bid accordingly, or bid so high that he can include every possible condition (in which case he undoubtedly will not be the successful bidder). If an honest attempt is made and unforeseen conditions occur, the mapper faces the decision to adhere to the specifications, thereby producing an inferior product (which he cannot ethically do) or perform the work to the best of his ability, thereby operating at a loss. Either way, the client/taxpayer is the ultimate loser.

Numerous cases can be cited to prove that the lowest bid does not necessarily result in the lowest overall cost. The old cry, "Bid as low as you dare, but make your money on the extras," is inevitable and the resulting relationship between the government client and his surveyor assumes an arms length status which is not only not conducive to the completion of professional assignments, but in fact, effectively eliminates any exercise of professional judgment on the part of the mapper.

A broad coalition of design-related organizations supports qualifications-based selection procedures for surveying and mapping services. The Federal competence and qualifications-based selection law was codified in 1972 to protect the interest of taxpayers. It is Federal law because over the life of a project, the engineering and related design services account for less than one-half of one percent of total costs. Yet, these important services play a major role in determining the other 99.5 percent of the project's "life cycle costs", such as construction, operation, and maintenance. The same is true of the associated mapping or geographic information systems (GIS) project.

This process has been so successful at the Federal level that it is recommended by the American Bar Association in its model procurement code for State and local government. The ABA model code specifically includes surveying and mapping. More than half the States have enacted their own competence and qualifications-based selection laws for architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping services. Others use it as a standard procedure. No state has a specific law requiring bidding of these services.

Then-Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX) had foresight and vision when he wrote the Brooks Act in 1972, decades before "best value” and "past performance” became part of the procurement lexicon. It is a law that works and one that should continue to promote professionalism, quality, excellence and value.

 

Tags:  AE  Brooks Act  Contracts  Procurement  QBS 

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MAPPS Member/Guest Breakfast October 31 to Focus on MAP-21 Act Implementation

Posted By John Palatiello, Friday, October 26, 2012

MAPPS will host a timely, informative, and important breakfast during the MAPPS-ASPRS Joint Specialty Conference in Tampa, Florida.  The breakfast is from 7:00 to 8:00 am on Wednesday, October 31 in Meeting Room 8, Third Floor of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel.

The 'Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act', or MAP-21, passed by Congress and signed into the law by the President in July, includes some of the most significant provisions of law ever benefiting the geospatial community and creating market opportunities for MAPPS member firms. 

These include:

The Restore Act, providing for restoration of the gulf coast, including mapping, in the aftermath of the Deepwater horizon incident;

A FEMA flood mapping reform title, with numerous provisions creating a demand for new data, including elevation data through LIDAR and other technologies;


The Highway bill portion includes:

Section 1103, clarifying that state DoTs expending Federal highway funds must use the qualifications based selection (QBS) process for all architecture, engineering, surveying or mapping contracts,  NOT just those related to construction projects;

Section 1111, creating a location-based national bridge and tunnel inventory;

Section 1112, enhancing the Highway Safety Improvement Program, including the geolocation of attribute data on a roadway;

Section 1517, strengthening law requiring State DoTs to use the private sector for surveying and mapping; and,

Section 53001. Use of Funds for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) activities.


At this breakfast, I will  brief members on these provisions and discuss a strategy for how MAPPS can influence their implementation.

Additionally, we are honored that Dr. Jerry Johnston, Geospatial Information Officer of the Department of the Interior and Vice-Chairman of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will discuss how the FEMA provisions on flood and elevation mapping will work in concert with the USGS's proposed 3DEP Program.

This is a member-guest breakfast. MAPPS members should register themselves  and the principal, owner, partner, or senior executive professional of a private firm NOT currently a MAPPS member firm as a guest for FREE to help recruit a new members to MAPPS and build our profession and organization. Please contact MAPPS to provide the name and contact information for your guest.

The cost of the breakfast is $50.00 and payment must be made on-site. If you are planning to attend,  please contact Sally Palatiello, 703-501-4367 now. If you have already registered, we have you covered.

The MAPPS-ASPRS Joint Conference is  October 29 - November 1, 2012  at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel, Tampa, FL  For information and registration, click here.

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Are You Paying Attention?

Posted By John Palatiello, Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012

If your firm is a contractor to a federal agency, or does work for state or local government agencies that receive federal funds, or if you are just a taxpayer, there are a number of deadlines, milestones and actions in the coming weeks and months that deserve your attention, for they will impact task orders, cash flow, the volume of work under those contracts, and your taxes.

Over the next six months, the following will occur, and many will directly impact your firm.

The new fiscal year starts today, October 1. Congress failed to enact regular appropriations bills, so a "continuing resolution” to fund government activities and functions through March 27, 2013 was passed. At that time, the new Congress will have to decide on spending levels for the remainder of the fiscal year.

On November 7, an election for President, all 435 seats in the U.S. House, 33 seats in the U.S. Senate, as well as numerous governors, state legislators and local offices will be on the ballot.

After the election, the current Congress will return to Washington for a "lame duck” session. But it will have fewer than 19 days to consider legislation.

Numerous tax provisions expire on January 1, 2013. Consideration of these tax provisions will be a top priority for the lame duck Congress. Many economists fear that failure of Congress to act on preventing automatic increases in taxes will result in a double-dip recession.

In addition to the expiring tax provisions, a number of new taxes included in the Affordable Care Act (health care law) go into effect beginning January 1, 2013.

When Congress and President Obama finally reached agreement on a debt limit increase in the summer of 2011, they put in place a process that will result in an automatic "sequestration” or budget cuts, of $1.2 trillion over ten years, scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013, unless Congressional action is taken prior to that date to avert the sequestration.

The prospect of these tax and spending changes has been deemed a "fiscal cliff”.

In January, 2013, a new Congress will be sworn into office, a President, regardless of who wins on November 7, will have an Inauguration, and a State of the Union address will be given to Congress.

Whether Mitt Romney is elected, bringing in a new administration or Barack Obama is re-elected, prompting a turnover in Cabinet members and other political appointees, the Senate will be faced with numerous confirmation hearings and votes.

Once January turns to February, the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget must be presented to Congress. And the debt limit, which was increased in a contentious showdown in the summer of 2011, is expected to be reached once again, requiring a vote in Congress estimated to be in February or March.

Are you paying attention? MAPPS staff will keep the membership informed of activities related to all these important actions. Stay engaged, read the MAPPS materials via the blog, website, Facebook, Twitter and MAPPS meetings and conferences.

 

In an economy where you are counting every dollar, it’s good to know you can count on MAPPS.

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Is This Surveying?

Posted By John Palatiello, Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recently the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA), manager of the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN), issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a statewide mapping project.

The procurement raised several important issues.

In 2005, the Virginia General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, a bill that clarified that "the determination of topography, contours and/or location of planimetric features using photogrammetric methods or similar remote sensing technology” was the practice of surveying. The law, and its implementing rules, provides for a "grandfather period” during which scores of practitioners became licensed as a "surveyor photogrammetrist”. The Code of Virginia provisions are § 54.1-400, § 54.1-111. The licensing board implementing rules are in 18 VAC 10-20-310.

As the process to include photogrammetry in the surveying licensing program moved through discussions among various stakeholders, which included MAPPS, a compromise was reached in which an exception from licensing was granted for mapping "not used for the design, modification, or construction of improvements to real property or for flood plain determination.”

However, any such "exempt” service required that each such map include a disclaimer stating that the data may not be used for the design, modification, or construction of improvements to real property or for flood plain determination.”

Virginia has a "mini-Brooks Act” which requires qualifications based selection (QBS) for "professional services”, which includes surveying. (Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4301)

If a service is a professional service, a licensed profession is required to seal and be in responsible charge of the work. For government contracts, QBS is also required. If a service is exempt, the aforementioned disclaimer is required.

VITA RFP 2012-13 included neither.

Among the requirements in the price-based RFP, respondents were asked to offer 3 inch resolution orthophotos at 1” = 50’ scale mapping (see Section 5.2.5 in Appendix E of the RFP). This is a scale generally associated with preliminary design engineering. In fact, the orthoimagery Product Sheet for the Virginia Base Map Program (VBMP) website lists ‘land development’ and ‘civil engineering’ under the heading ‘Typical Uses’ in reference to the 3 inch resolution upgrade.

The RFP also ‘requires’ respondents to offer 2 foot contours (see Section 5.7.6 in Appendix E of the RFP). This is a product generally associated with land development planning. In fact the contour Product Sheet on the VBMP website lists ‘land development’ under the heading ‘Typical Uses’ in reference to the 2’ contour upgrade.

All of the above would seem to indicate that the mapping to be conducted for VBMP may be interpreted to be useful for ‘the design, modification, or construction of improvements to real property’ and therefore not exempt from statutes or procurement procedures that are appropriate for such mapping.

On September 25, the Virginia board of licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA) of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation formally and unanimously determined the scope of work in the RFP is the practice of surveying.

The licensing board ruled VITA has NOT included the disclaimer required by § 54.1-402(C) of the Code of Virginia or the board’s regulations (18 VAC 10-20-310).

Given that the Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4301 requires qualification based selection for procurement of professionals services, (which, by § 54.1-400, § 54.1-111 includes photogrammetric mapping services) that are used for the design, modification, or construction of improvements to real property, the board determined that the VBMP RFP is not in compliance.

The APELSCIDLA Board will advise VITA/VGIN in writing that the scope of work in its procurement is indeed the practice of surveying in Virginia and requires that work be sealed by and under the responsible charge of a Virginia licensed surveyor or surveyor photogrammetrist, in which case the procurement is for professional services subject to the VA mini-Brooks Act, OR the procurement, and each map produced thereunder, must include a disclaimer that such data may "NOT be used for the design, modification, or construction of improvements to real property, or for flood plain determination."

While APELSCIDLA does not have jurisdiction over procurement, in either case the current procurement is not in conformance and from a practical standpoint must be re-competed, inasmuch as adding the disclaimer as a contract requirement after proposals were submitted will materially affect the procurement.

It is significant that an Assistant Attorney General was present at the September 25 meeting and concurred with APELSCIDLA's interpretation.

MAPPS, the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and Virginia Association of Surveyors (VAS) urged the APELSCIDLA board to investigate and clarify this matter. It is important that VITA be aware of its responsibilities under state law. MAPPS member firm principals particularly needed this board interpretation in order to assure their own compliance and conformance with Virginia law, particularly if one is licensed in Virginia as a surveyor or surveyor photogrammetrist. These same issues have affected MAPPS members with regard to the recent NGA and USDA procurements. There is an old adage that "ignorance of the law is no excuse”. MAPPS seeks to have the law clarified and explained so its members are fully informed and in compliance.

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Members to Host State Chapter in Alabama Interest Meeting September 26

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Monday, September 24, 2012

MAPPS members will host a state chapter interest meeting in Alabama on Wednesday, September 26 at 10:00 AM. The meeting is being hosted by Magnolia River, 4975 Bradford Drive, Huntsville, Alabama. 

The meeting is being held to discuss the value to starting a state chapter and potential partnerships with GEO Huntsville and other groups to support and strengthen our presence to further the photogrammetry, mapping, surveying and geospatial profession in the state and the value to the community at large.
 
MAPPS has had success in launching chapters in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Georgia and Maryland. This meeting will focus on how chapter programs have given the private geospatial community in general and MAPPS member firms in particular a stronger voice in their respective states, and how this model might be implemented in Alabama.

The meeting is open MAPPS members and non-members in the private geospatial sector having a facility, personnel, or an interest in Alabama, please register to attend the meeting.

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Vote for your favorite finalist in MAPPS "Name the Blog" Competition

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Sunday, September 23, 2012
Earlier this year, MAPPS successfully launched a new website. Many of you have been reading our blog which has replaced FLIGHTLINE. Since launching the new website, the blog has simply been referred to as "MAPPS Blog”.

Now we are giving our members the opportunity to name the blog! Vote among the three finalists from the names suggested by members of MAPPS in an earlier call for entries. 
 

Click here to submit your vote!

Name the Blog Contest Guidelines:

  • All members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist until October 5.
  • The name of the blog will be announced October 31 at the MAPPS Member-Guest Breakfast during the MAPPS/ASPRS Fall Specialty Conference.
  • The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to the world famous Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami, Florida located near the site of the 2013 MAPPS Winter Conference*

Don't forget to subscribe to the MAPPS blog to be alerted with the latest information from MAPPS!

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Want a snapshot of upcoming federal contracting opportunities?

Posted By John Palatiello, Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Join the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services(COFPAES) for its Federal Markets Conference on Thursday, October 11, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

MAPPS is a member organization of COFPAES. A $50 registration discount is provided to MAPPS members.

Designed for principals, owners, and partners of A/E firms, including firms providing surveying, mapping and geospatial services, this one-day event will give you the opportunity to engage with top officials from key Federal agencies as they discuss their programs budgets and present upcoming projects and procurement opportunities for architectural, engineering, surveying, and mapping services.

Past conferences have featured the General Services Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Federal Highway Administration, State Department Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Millennium Challenge Corporation. COFPAES is assembling a similar line-up this year, so register today!

Registration for COFPAES organization members (AIA, ASCE, MAPPS, NSPE, or NSPS) is $195. The cost for non-members is $245.

Click here to view the preliminary agenda and register.

COFPAES is not holding hotel space. Nearby hotels include: State Plaza, AKA White House, W Hotel, Willard and River Inn

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Virginia Secretary of Natural Resource to Speak at Washington Policy Forum

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Thursday, August 23, 2012
On Thursday, September 6 MAPPS will host Doug Domenech, the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, for a Washington Policy Forum lunch. The Secretary advises the Governor on natural resources issues and works to advance the Governor's top environmental priorities, including preservation of the Chesapeake Bay and offshore exploration. The Secretary oversees six agencies that protect and restore the Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources.

This is a members-only event and the fee for the lunch is $45. The meeting will take place at the offices of Michael Baker Jr, Inc. in Alexandria, VA. 


Advanced registration for this event is required. 

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MAPPS to Host State Chapter in Florida Interest Meeting

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012
MAPPS will hold an interest meeting of private sector firms with offices, personnel or business interests in Florida to discuss the formation of a state chapter.

MAPPS has successfully launched state chapters in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Georgia and Maryland. This has given the private geospatial community in general and MAPPS member firms in particular a stronger voice in their respective states.

The purpose of the September 12 meeting is to discuss the organization of a similar effort in Florida. The meeting will be held at the offices of RIEGL USA in Orlando.

This meeting is to hear what is important to MAPPS members and private sector firms in Florida! Private sector firms in Florida in the geospatial profession are invited to attend the meeting to learn more about MAPPS.
 
MAPPS announces that two guest speakers have been added to the program for the September 12 event.

Gene Schiller, Emeritus official of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), former Deputy Executive Director, and a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).

Dr. Steve Dicks, Information Technology Bureau Chief and former GIO of SWFWMD.

Mr. Schiller and Dr. Dicks will discuss the status of water management districts, state funding, and the impact on contracting programs for mapping and geospatial data services.


Please register and plan to attend the meeting on September 12.
 
Lunch will be provided by RIEGL USA.

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