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

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Congress  Geospatial  LIDAR  Privacy  UAV  FAA  3DEP  Mapping  MAPPS  surveying  Economy  FCC  FLAIR Act  USGS  Advocacy  Business  Exporting  FGDC  FTC  Jobs  MIO-UIMT  NOAA  parcels  private sector  qbs  Tax  USACE  2014 Winter Conference  Accomplishments  Aviation 

MAPPS Minute October 4, 2013

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, October 4, 2013

 

 

We cover a lot in this week's MAPPS "minute"! As announced in the video, MAPPS will host a webinar on Thursday, October 10 with our guests being representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reviewing the draft Geospatial Concept of Operation (CONOPS). Learn more about our involvement with a joint letter to Congress opposing a government shutdown, meetings with USACE, BLM, USGS, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and more!

Tags:  CFPB  Congress  DHS  Exporting  Geospatial  USACE 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

MAPPS to Host Special Washington Policy Lunch to Address UAVs, August 14

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 9, 2013

 

 

MAPPS will host a special roundtable discussion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) issues featuring key Congressional staff on Wednesday, August 14.

In just the last week, two certificates of authorization (COAs) were awarded for commercial use and panelists at the MAPPS 2013 Summer Conference were optimistic that a small class of UAVs could receive special approval by the end of 2013. MAPPS is working to continue to keep members and the community up to date with legislative and regulatory information to advance the use of the technology in the commercial market.

This luncheon will take place at Noon at Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center, 901 K Street, NW, Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20001 and coincides with the annual conference and exhibition of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) to be held at the Washington, DC Convention Center. MAPPS has developed a relationship with AUVSI to educate lawmakers at the Federal and state level on the benefits of UAV implementation.

This luncheon will provide attendees an opportunity to hear and learn about policies, legislation and other governmental actions affecting commercial certificates of authorization for UAVs, which can become a popular platform for acquisition of imagery and other geospatial source data. Engage in a discussion of timely topics on the timing, policies and issues affecting UAVs.

MAPPS has confirmed a bipartisian panel of Capitol Hill staff as speakers:

Blas Nunez-Neto, Senior Professional Staff Member (Majority) at Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC). Mr. Nunez-Neto will discuss HSGAC Oversight of UAV-UAS Operations along the Border (CBP/DHS). He was formerly an analyst in Domestic Security, Criminal Justice, and Immigration for the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Joan V. O'Hara, Deputy Chief Counsel (Majority) for the House Committee on Homeland Security. Ms. O'Hara will cover Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)/DHS operation of UAVs along the borders, how DHS is interacting with FAA for certificates of authorization (COAs), and prospects for legislative language covering UAVs in the DHS Reauthorization and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Mitchell "Mitch” Kominsky, Counsel (Majority), House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mr. Kominsky will cover oversight plans by Chairman Darrell Issa (CA) for UAV technology and applications.

Tim Tarpley, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director, Rep. Ted Poe (TX). Mr. Tarpley will discuss Rep. Poe's sponsorship of H.R. 637, the "Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013".

Additional speakers may be added.

This event is open to MAPPS members, government partners, and guests. MAPPS members are encouraged to invite principals of private sector geospatial firms to attend the lunch.

Registration for the AUVSI conference is not required to attend the lunch.

The Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center is located one-half block west of the Washington, DC convention center.

Click here, to register for the lunch.

Tags:  Customs and Border Patrol  DHS  FAA  Privacy  UAV 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Potpourri

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Thursday, June 9, 2011
Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011

MAPPS has been deeply involved in a number of important issues of late, so this blog post will be a potpourri on several topics of interest to the private geospatial community.

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) met in Washington, DC on June 8.  Surprisingly and disappointingly, it was the first meeting of the group responsible for coordination of federal geospatial activities since President Obama took office 2½ years ago. The agenda was long on reports and short on votes, decisions, and actions.  In fact, no votes were taken or policy decisions made.  A lot of frustration was expressed and promises were made for action before the next meeting, the date of which was not established.  I was pleased to be recognized by Acting Chair, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle, to express concern for three threats to the geospatial community – government service and private practice alike.  Those were the threat the LightSquared application to the FCC poses for interference with GPS signals and all GPS users, the FCC "privacy” rules that propose to limit the collection, storage and use of "precise geolocation data” without defining that term, and the criminalization of directing laser pointers at aircraft or their flight path, with LiDAR manufacturers’ interpreting the definition of the term "laser pointer” to include LiDAR.  Fortunately, Ms. Castle took note of all three and agreed to follow up on each.

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced a Senate version of the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, to provide a current, accurate inventory of all land owned by the federal government, and to have an inventory of existing inventories conducted to identify those that are out of date, obsolete, redundant, non-interoperable or can otherwise be eliminated in favor of the new, current, accurate GIS-based cadaster.  S. 1153 is a companion to H.R. 1620, which was introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Ron Kind (R-WI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT).  ACSM and NSGIC are among the groups that have joined MAPPS in support of the bill in the past.  The bill was also recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.  The NRC/NAS report recommendations have in turn been endorsed by the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) and the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO).

The issue of government duplicating and competing with the private sector in the performance of commercially-available activities is getting a lot of attention these days.

The tragic tornado that hit Joplin, MO has also stirred up a storm of controversy.  NOAA dispatches an aircraft from Tampa, FL to capture aerial imagery.  Problem is, such digital aerial imagery had already been acquired, days earlier, by two private firms in Missouri, Surdex and MJ Harden.  The NOAA aerial photography unit has been documented by the Commerce Department Inspector General as being inferior to the private sector in cost and quality and privatization of the government capability has been recommended.  Moreover, a federal law, known as the Economy Act, implemented in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, requires an agency proposing to provide a service to another agency to prepare a determination and findings (D&F) that "the supplies or services cannot be obtained as conveniently or economically by contracting directly with a private source.”  It is not known if NOAA prepared the D&F or if it did, how did it justify being more convenient or economical than aerial imagery already acquired.

The U.S. of Representatives has tackled two aspects of government performing commercial activities.  An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill for 2012 by Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) puts Congress on record as being opposed to insourcing - an Obama Administration program to convert work currently performed by private sector contractor firms to performance by Federal government employees.  In her speech in the House debate, Rep. Hayworth mentioned mapping as an example of a commercial activity that has been insourced in some agencies.  The Hayworth amendment was approved on a voice vote. 

A provision in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 was stripped of a provision that would have prevented DHS from contracting out activities currently carried out by government employees, even if commercially available.  The amendment to remove the anti-free enterprise language, offered by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), was approved by a 218-204 vote.

More news about MAPPS activities will be available next week in our bi-montly newsletter FLIGHTLINE, a link will be posted on the blog. Additionally, MAPPS is gearing up for a full program at the 2011 Summer Conference June 26-30 in Bolton Landing (Lake George), NY.

Tags:  A-76  Congress  Defense  DHS  FCC  FGDC  FLAIR Act  LiDAR  LightSquared  NOAA 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)