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2019 Federal Programs Conference - Capitol Hill Day

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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 Testify Before House Subcommittee on Hydrographic Services Improvement Act

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dick McDonald, CP, PLS, (T3 Global Strategies, Bridgeville, PA) President of MAPPS, the national association for private sector geospatial firms, will testify tomorrow, Thursday, June 13 before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs

Mr. McDonald will testify on H.R. 1399, a bill to reauthorize the Hydrographic Services Improvement (HSIA) Act of 1998, sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-AK). HSIA authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to acquire hydrographic data, provide hydrographic services, conduct coastal change analyses necessary to ensure safe navigation along the coastal areas of the United States, and improve the management of coastal change in the Arctic. The legislation also directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to compare the cost of NOAA conducting hydrographic surveys compared to contracting with the private sector. 

In relation to H.R. 1399, Mr. McDonald will discuss the Digital Coast Act, H.R. 1382.  

The hearing will take place at 10:00 AM (EDT) in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill and will be webcast live on the Committee's website. 

Tags:  Congress  Digital Coast  HSIA  Hydrographic  NOAA 

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Top Ten Reasons to Attend the MAPPS Winter Meeting - #7, New and Emerging Markets

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

 

#7 
 
 
Are you interested in new and emerging markets in --

Asset Management?

The Florida Market for Geospatial Data Products and Professional Services?

Location/Mobile Mapping?

USGS or NOAA?

Register today!

At the MAPPS Winter Meeting, January 27 - 31, 2013 at the Trump International Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, we will present a morning of sessions on these markets. Whether your firm is new to these market segments, or an experienced participant, the MAPPS meeting will provide up-to-date information on where these market are now, and where they are going in the future.

Check all the conference information.

To ensure you receive the special MAPPS conference rate be sure to make your reservations at the Trump International Resort before January 4. The hotel is easily accessible from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Miami International Airport (MIA).

Time is running out to receive the Regular Registration Rate! Deadline December 29!
Special Non-Member Offer
 
Attend the MAPPS meeting as a non-member*, if your firm joins by the end of the conference on January 31 the difference between the non-member and member rate will be credited to your firms membership! Register for the conference before December 29 and you could receive a $770 credit! Register for the conference here.

*Membership in MAPPS is by firm not by individual unless an individual is an independent consultant. For more information about MAPPS membership, click here.
 
Top 10 Reasons:

 

Tags:  Asset Management  Emerging Markets  Florida  NOAA  USGS 

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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 

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MAPPS Host 20th Annual Federal Programs Conference

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011
Numerous policy and market opportunity pronouncements were unveiled at the 20th annual MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, held March 15-16 in Washington, DC. More than 90 MAPPS member firm principals, owners, partners and senior pro- fessionals converged in the nation's capital for briefings and meetings with more than 20 Federal agency officials, as well as more than 150 vis- its to the offices of Represen- tatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress.

At the Federal agency briefings on March 15, MAPPS members were treated to first-look information that could lead to upcoming business opportunities for private geo- spatial firms. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA’s) Dennis Morgan announced that its request for proposals for Geospatial Intelligence (GeoINT) Data Readiness (GDR) contacts, the successor to the current Global Geospatial Intelligence (GGI) contracts, will be issued later this year. Additionally, FEMA‟s Paul Rooney noted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its request for qualifications from firms for contracts for Remote Sensing to Support Incident Management and Homeland Security days be- fore the MAPPS session.

While MAPPS was in Washington, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its proposal to revise "size standards” or definitions of small businesses in a variety of Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services categories. The classification for surveying and mapping, as well as architecture and engineering, is proposed to rise from $4.5 to $19 million in gross annual receipts, measured on a three year average.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provided an update on its role in producing a national broadband map, compiled from individual state mapping efforts, and plans for a next-gen 911 system. Michael Byrne, the Geo- spatial Information Officer (GIO) of the FCC, assured MAPPS members that the FCC is well aware of the GPS interference posed by the LightSquared application, that the FCC understands the concerns expressed by MAPPS and others in our community, and that the LightSquared application will either be rejected or amended to assure no interference with GPS. While noting he could not comment on an ongoing investigation, Byrne said FCC’s inquiry of certain Google activities will not result in regulation of the broader geospatial community. He reported the caution provided by MAPPS was helpful in educating the FCC on the activities of the private geospatial profession. The privacy issue was also addressed by Karen Siderelis, GIO of the Department of the Interior and chairman of the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC)’s executive committee. She reported on a meeting between FGDC and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff in which the FTC said it was "flooded” with comments on proposed regulations prohibiting the collection, storage or use of "precise geolocation data" without a citizens' prior approval. Siderelis said the FTC admitted it inappropriately used the term, resulting in an "unintended consequence” that would be corrected in the final rule. FTC is also considering a work- shop with the geospatial community to identify ways to implement privacy protections against phishing and cyber stalking, without disturbing the legitimate activities of geospatial firms.

Both Siderelis and BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor Don Buhler predicted a demand in boundary data on Indian lands resulting from settlement of the Cobell case. Buhler reported the Interior Department’s Inspector General found "the Bureau of Land Management's Cadastral Survey program was missing the opportunity to identify and perform surveys on high risk lands where significant potential revenues could be collected by the Department or Indian tribes. Proper survey and management of high risk lands with antiquated surveys has the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from lands with valuable resources.”

Bureau shared information on research and development opportunities for the 2020 Census to exploit technology on a secure (web) exchange process for ad- dress and spatial data, ways to ingest spatial and address data from partners, products and services that may facilitate the exchange of spatial and address data from Census to partners, and the use of imagery and change detection methods. She also said that the current Census policy that Title 13 restrictions prohibited sharing of master address file (MAF) and building structure point data is being reviewed.

David Kennedy, Assistant Administrator of NOAA for the National Ocean Service, provided details on a more than $80 million program for base mapping and charting activities, hydrographic surveys, integrated ocean and coastal mapping, and shoreline mapping. He also said an investigation was being launched in response to a MAPPS com- plaint about a recent bid for professional LiDAR data collection services in California that violated the Brooks Act and was awarded to a university.

On Wednesday, March 16, MAPPS members traveled to Capitol Hill to visit their Congressional delegations. As a result of the MAPPS efforts, ten cosponsors were secured for FEMA flood risk map reform legislation, seven lawmakers committed to cosponsoring the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, providing a current, accurate, GIS-based inventory of Federal land ownership, nineteen Representatives and Senators pledged to cosponsor the Freedom from Government Competition Act and five members of the House agreed to introduce a bill to reform governance and coordination of Federal geospatial activities, known as the Map It Once, Use It Many Times (MIO-UIMT) Act.

Tags:  BLM  Congress  FCC  FEMA  FLAIR Act  GeoINT  MIO-UIMT  NGA  NOAA  SBA 

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