MAPPS Statement of Principles

(adopted March 16, 2009, revised June 25, 2009 & January 24, 2011)

Based on longstanding policy, membership surveys, the association’s strategic plan, and other inputs, the MAPPS Board of Directors hereby declares and reaffirms the following statement of policy principles to advance the private geospatial community and best serve the general public and our members’ clients. It is MAPPS policy that --

  • government at all levels should utilize the private sector for geospatial services, data and technology to the maximum extent possible, and government should reduce and minimize unfair government sponsored and supported competition in the geospatial market.
  • the qualifications based selection process, such as that found in 40 USC 1101 et.seq. and the American Bar Association Model Procurement Code for State and Local Government provides a full and open competitive procedure that affords government agencies the most effective, efficient and economic method for contracting for professional geospatial services.
    • As used herein, "‘Professional geospatial services’ means services performed by professionals such as surveyors, photogrammetrists, hydrographers, geodesists, or cartographers in the creation, collection, measurement, location and preparation of geo-referenced data to depict natural or manmade physical features, phenomena, or boundaries of the earth, geospatial intelligence, and any information related to such data, including any such data that comprises a survey, map, chart, geographic information system, remotely sensed mobile, airborne or satellite image or data.
      • Other services needed to support a Geographic Information System, such as professional consulting services that support the business process development, enterprise information management, application programming and development may be appropriate for other procurement methods.
  • that any state licensing program for individual practitioners in photogrammetry and other geospatial disciplines must include a "savings or "grandfather provision that permits qualified, experienced professionals to continue to practice without disruption in service. Moreover, MAPPS believes photogrammetry and other geospatial disciplines are part of interstate commerce and therefore, the feasibility of a single, national license should be examined by the Federal government.
  • geospatial data products, developed to the provider firm’s own standards and specifications should be distinguished from professional services; that government policies should recognize the usefulness of private, copyrighted, licensed geospatial data in today’s market; and that the intellectual property rights of businesses should be protected.
  • global, national, state, and local problems and programs can benefit from the application of geospatial data and will seek legislation and public policies that increase the utilization of geospatial services, data and technology in government programs, through contracting with the private sector.
  • the definition, classification, categorization, and characterization of the geospatial services community has significant and profound implications in labor, tax, liability, procurement, licensing, education and other areas. It is the policy of MAPPS that geospatial services be considered a professional practice, not an industry; part of the broad field of engineering, not information technology or any other category; made up of professional firms, not vendors; trained through education and experience, not apprenticeships; serving clients, not customers; to whom offers , proposals or qualifications, not bids; and provide services and deliverables, not products (except as defined in the MAPPS Products vs. Services Matrix). All MAPPS policies and official communications shall utilize and reflect such terminology.

Adopted by the MAPPS Board of Directors
March 16, 2009
Revised June 25, 2009
Revised January 24, 2011

In 2013, the MAPPS Board of Directors adopted a Privacy Resolution expressing the sense of MAPPS that imagery and geospatial data is essential to commercial and governmental activities, the collection, storage and use of which can and should continue to be permitted and encouraged for the benefit of the citizens of the United States.