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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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National Surveyors Week - MAPPS Minute

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, March 21, 2014

MAPPS joins in celebrating National Surveyors Week in this week's MAPPS Minute. Among the topics covered is the use of remote sensing and satellite technologies to find the lost Malaysia Airlines flight, MAPPS interaction with FAA Administrator Huerta at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV), the White House working with Esri (a MAPPS member firm) on climate change, and recent articles in National Public Radio and The Washington Post on the extent of unneeded buildings and land owned by the Federal government. 

Tags:  Climate Change  FAA  Federal Government  FLAIR  Land Inventory  National Surveyors Week  NPR  Parcels  President Obama  Remote Sensing  Tax Dollars  UAVs  Washington Post  Waste  White House 

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MAPPS Madness - Upcoming Events, UAVs and FEMA Legislation

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, March 14, 2014

Don't miss your chance to secure your hotel room for the 2014 Federal Programs Conference and register at the early rate! Deadline is TODAY!

Congress passed controversial legislation yesterday that may impact FEMA RiskMap and USGS 3DEP. 

MAPPS will host a Member-Guest Breakfast at ASPRS' Conference March 26. Inviting a guest is not a prerequisite to attend. 

More information in this week's "MAPPS Minute".

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John Palatiello Addresses Concerns for FEMA Flood Mapping Program Legislation in GeoDataPoint Article

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Recent action in Congress to delay reforms enacted in the Biggert-Waters Act, part of the MAP-21 Act of 2012, may have a significant impact on FEMA's flood mapping program. 

John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director, outlined the impact legislation in Congress could have on this and other geospatial programs in an entry for GeoDataPoint.

Here is a snippet:

"While repealing this section of current law continues the Risk Map process, some observers believe the House bill prevents any changes in rates or insurance premiums. "

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MAPPS Minute - UAVs and Upcoming Events

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, March 7, 2014

Check out this week's MAPPS minute to learn about MAPPS activities related to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), recent news on the topic and upcoming MAPPS events.

court ruling announced March 6 may have a positive impact on the use small UAS/UAV. The FAA has appealed the decision. MAPPS is engaging stakeholders and partners and will provide education once more information becomes available on what this means for commercial use. MAPPS has recently engaged with the legislatures in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Maryland on legislative language regarding UAVs that would be harmful to the profession. 

MAPPS announced this week a Member-Guest breakfast to take place at the ASPRS Annual Conference in Louisville, KY. Members are encouraged to register and bring a prospective member to attend the breakfast. Our guest speaker will be Denise LaDue, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District, where she is Production Manager for the Inland Electronic Navigational Chart (IENC) initiative.  Ms. LaDue will discuss the Louisville District's surveying and mapping program and the IENC initiative. Register Here.

The early registration deadline is March 14 for the 2014 MAPPS Federal Programs Conference. Save on your registration today! A limited number of hotel rooms still remain in the MAPPS block. The Federal Programs Conference is a Members Only event.

Don't forget to educate yourself on the four issues MAPPS will take to Congress April 2 as part of the Federal Programs Conference. MAPPS will review Government and University Competition and Highway Bill (MAP-21) Reauthorization in the remaining two episodes of the "Legislative Issues" webinar series. 

Tags:  ASPRS  Drones  Federal Programs  Geospatial  UAVs  Unmanned Aircraft Systems  USACE 

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MAPPS Launches Legislative Issues Webinar Series

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, February 28, 2014

Want to learn more about the four issues MAPPS will be taking to Congress as part of the 2014 Federal Programs Conference? Register for one of our three remaining webinars! Each issue will be discussed Thursday afternoons at 3:00 PM (Eastern) through March 20. Register today!

The Federal Programs Conference is open to MAPPS members only. MAPPS members April is at the peak of the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, DC. Reserve your hotel room and register today!

Tags:  Congress  Digital Coast  Federal Programs  FLAIR Act  Geospatial  GIS  Highway Bill  Land Inventory  Reauthorization  Webinars 

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MAPPS Creates Forums to Facilitate Engagement

Posted By John Palatiello, Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014

It is my pleasure to inform you of an exciting new activity in MAPPS.

In November, the MAPPS Board of Directors met for two days to engage in a 360 degree review of the association.  Given the economy, government budgets and shutdowns, generational changes, emerging markets and technologies, and the rise of social media, the Board met with a representative group of members, former members, prospective members, and government partners to get feedback on what the association is doing right, and where MAPPS can improve.

As a result, one new program is already being launched.

The Board has reorganized MAPPS committees, task forces, and working groups.  

We are launching a new series of MAPPS "Forums" to replace several previous committees and task forces. Forums are communities within MAPPS that address issues affecting firms, their products and services, and markets.  Each member firm of MAPPS is encouraged to join at least one forum.  The forums will not only meet at MAPPS conferences, but host conference calls, organize webinars, and engage in communications using the features of the MAPPS web site. 

The forums will provide members an even greater sense of "belonging” and add value to being a member firm in MAPPS.  Forums are a way for you to share and gain information and knowledge, network, solve problems, and work with your peers to improve your business and contribute to the well being of the geospatial profession at and apart from attendance at MAPPS meetings and conferences.
Our initial forums will be on:
Aerial Acquisition
Commercial Remote Sensing & Licensed Data
Emerging Markets & Technologies
Government & University Competition
Ocean & Coastal Mapping
Small Business

Each forum meet at the Winter Conference in San Diego.
A description of each is on the MAPPS web site, along with a way for you to enroll.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get even more benefit from your membership in MAPPS, as well as a great way to give back to your profession.

Finally, if there is something in which you have an interest that is NOT part of one of these forums, the MAPPS Board would welcome your ideas for additional forums.  Please email me with your thoughts and suggestions.

Once again, in an economy where you’re counting every dollar, it’s good to know you can count on MAPPS.

Tags:  Aviation  Cadastre  Commercial Remote Sensing  Forums  GEOINT  Government Competition  Licensed Data  Small Business  Surveying  UAV  University Competition 

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MAPPS Seeks Member Input on Strategic Plan and Advocacy at Winter Conference

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Monday, January 20, 2014

MAPPS to provide forum for members to provide input on strategic plan and government affairs topics at the 2014 Winter Conference.

 Find out what will be discussed and how to provide input. MAPPS will be reaching the entire membership on these topics and the Winter Conference is meant to be the first public forum.

Tags:  advocacy  legislative affairs  MAP-21  Non-Profit  Privacy  Strategic Plan  Transportation  UAV  University Competition  Unmanned 

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MAPPS Minute - FEMA Flood Mapping

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, January 10, 2014

Lost in the holiday festivities was a report released by the National Academy of Public Administration, titled "FEMA Flood Mapping: Enhancing Coordination to Maximize Performance". MAPPS was instrumental in convincing Congress to include the funding mechanism provisions in the FEMA bill in 2012 and worked with the NAPA study team. Learn more from MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

Register to the attend the MAPPS 2014 Winter Conference today!

Tags:  2014 Winter Conference  Coordination  FEMA  Flood Mapping  Geospatial  LIDAR  NAPA 

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MAPPS To Speak on Federal Issues at ILMF

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MAPPS is once again a supporting organization for the International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) to be held February 17-19, 2014 in Denver, CO. 

I will provide a briefing as part of the opening sessions on February 17 on "Regulatory and Budgetary Impacts – What is Happening at the Federal Level”. The briefing will provide an update on the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulation of LiDAR system installations and how MAPPS has worked on with the FAA to ease the burden on LiDAR operators. The presentation will also provide an overview of the current budgetary climate in Washington, DC, the status of the USGS’s 3-Dimentional Elevation Program (3DEP), and an overview of what can be expected in 2014 with the passage of a federal budget.

MAPPS members receive a 10% discount on their registration for the conference. Click here to register. The registration code for MAPPS members is 108315.

If you registered without receiving the discount, please contact me directly through email.

A message from ILMF:

Innovative Conference

The highly acclaimed international conference offers an opportunity to learn about the latest advances in technology and hear about changes and developments first hand from experts in the profession. Find out more about data capture systems, data fusion/classification and processing techniques and the increasing integration of key technologies. Listen to case studies highlighting actual experiences and lessons learned. 

International Exhibition

Running alongside the conference is an exhibition of dozens of system and component manufacturers, operators and service companies who will be showcasing new LiDAR products and a wide range of new technologies and services. Exhibitors include airborne, terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR, and complementary sensor manufacturers, survey service companies, data processing, GIS and management specialists and the latest mobile mapping vehicles. 


ILMF attracts LiDAR professionals from around the world, providing an exceptional opportunity to network and learn from peers.

Mobile Mapping Vehicles

Mobile mapping vehicles will be on hand for all visitors wishing to view and experience the latest technological developments in mobile mapping.

ASPRS Hot Topics

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) will host a "hot topics” session to provide an update on activities of the society associated with LIDAR and point cloud processing. Among these activities are: The new concept of LAS domain profiles

The newly created bathymetric profile for littoral mapping
Accuracy metrics being jointly developed by the ASPRS and the USGS for LIDAR calibration and project geometric correction
Best practices specifications for mobile laser scanning

Early Booking Rate

Get the best registration rates when you book early. 

For more information, email

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MAPPS Mourns Death of ASPRS Colleague Kim Tilley

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, January 3, 2014
MAPPS Statement from John M. Palatiello, Executive Director:

"The MAPPS staff is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague, Kim Tilley, Associate Executive Director of ASPRS. Kim died suddenly on December 27. We worked with her for many years on the triennial MAPPS-ASPRS Specialty Conferences and always considered her a dedicated and loyal proponent of ASPRS and the geospatial profession.

We extend our sympathies and prayers to Kim's family and fiends, and our partners at ASPRS."

Information about Kim's passing and memorial service is posted on the 
ASPRS website.

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