MAPPS is the only national association of firms in the surveying, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. MAPPS member firms are engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS and GIS data collection and conversion services. Our associate members include firms that provide products and services to our member firms, as well as other firms world-wide.


MAPPS was formed by a handful of progressive firms in 1982 as a successor to the Legislative Council for Photogrammetry to provide a forum for firms in private practice photogrammetry. The organization has grown to more than 150 members based on a reputation of aggressive advocacy of the private photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, and GIS community. As the organization has grown, its goals have expanded.

MAPPS' primary objective is to develop strength and unity on matters affecting the interests of its member firms. It is intended to promote a quality, profitable profession, interaction among firms, advance education, both professional and public. The organization monitors and works to affect legislation that impacts the profession. It is the purpose of MAPPS to promote the business interests of the profession. Whether it is fighting unfair competition by government, universities or non-profit entities, or promoting qualifications based selection, MAPPS enhances the ability of its member firms to participate in our great free enterprise system: the business of MAPPS is the business of maps.

MAPPS is exclusively a private sector organization focused on the needs of the membership by providing a forum for the mutual benefit of its members. It invites the participation of government employees, academicians, and technical papers only that directly support the objectives of MAPPS members. As a business association, MAPPS is dedicated to developing the growth and improving the bottom line profitability of its member firms. MAPPS provides valuable interaction with, but does not duplicate or compete with the technical programs of ACSM, ASPRS, URISA, GITA and other professional organizations.

Marketing and Publications

MAPPS actively promotes the capabilities of its member firms. The MAPPS website contains profiles of each member-firm that includes a description of their services, software and capabilities. This section on the website alone receives hundreds of inquiries each month from organizations worldwide.

MAPPS also has a blog, Twitter and Facebook page to keep members and the community up to date on legislation, regulations, markets and activities of the association. Exclusive to MAPPS members is Capitol Coverage, a twice monthly e-newsletter that includes Federal and State legislation, Federal procurement opportunities, Federal regulations and general news impacting the private geospatial market.


Member firm owners are secure in the knowledge that they have support in day-to-day management challenges and have a network that they can depend on for professional advice and support. MAPPS provides a "networking" opportunity among its members second to none in organizations of a similar nature. Based on a system of acquaintances, friendships and professional relationships developed through MAPPS, members frequently help one another with technical, contracting, marketing, and business questions, often providing additional capacity on large contracts.

Using the Member Profile and Capabilities, MAPPS members often consult their colleagues for evaluations prior to investing the tens of thousands of dollars on expensive plotters, cameras, or other equipment. Millions of dollars in fees are generated each year by teams of MAPPS members. When seeking firms to meet a project's need for such specialties as satellite imagery, GPS, aerial photography, ground control, or photo lab services, MAPPS members often form teams based on relationships developed through MAPPS. A recent poll showed more than 80% of MAPPS member firms have obtained work from other members as a result of these relationships.

MAPPS promotes this camaraderie through the Member Profile and Capabilities provided on this website, opportunities to meet at MAPPS conferences, and special conference sessions on forming teams of firms to accomplish large or challenging projects. Even the smallest firms are helped in maximizing their potential.



MAPPS sponsors a number of informative conferences and meetings on business practices, markets, legislation, and technology affecting private mapping firms.

Speakers have included a number of Congressman such as Jack Brooks (author of the "Brooks Act"), senior officials in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, NASA and Bureau of Reclamation. MAPPS has hosted former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, a candidate for President of the United States in the 1996 election campaign and former Interior Secretary James Watt, as well as management, organizational, and motivational speakers.

MAPPS hosts a summer conference and a winter membership meeting. These 4-day events provide the principals of surveying, mapping, remote sensing and GIS firms a special, unique opportunity to meet, learn, and discuss the latest issues impacting their business in a relaxed resort setting.

MAPPS is the only national mapping organization to hold an annual Washington, DC conference, featuring specific information on legislation, policies and programs that impact Federal contracting opportunities and make the voice of private practice surveying and mapping heard in Federal agencies and the Halls of Congress.


Professional Society Alliances

Most MAPPS member firms and their employees are sustaining and individual members of professional societies such as ASPRS, and look to those organizations for educational rather than business information. MAPPS has determined that collaborating with professional societies can be an effective way of increasing the benefits received by our mutual members.

MAPPS and ASPRS have been equal co-sponsors of two softcopy photogrammetry conferences, featuring workshops, exhibits and invited presentations on developments in softcopy technologies and applications. In 1999, MAPPS sponsored an Aerial Photography Conference, featuring presentations on film-based and digital airborne image acquisition. MAPPS has sponsored several Federal contracting courses for its members in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Read about 2018 MAPPS accomplishments


MAPPS is an organization dedicated to the business aspects of surveying, mapping, remote sensing and GIS. MAPPS provides what private practitioners in the mapping community have said the profession has always needed. Have your firm become a member today!

The Business of MAPPS is the Business of Maps. Together, we can build a better profession!