About MAPPS

MAPPS is the preeminent national association of firms involved in many aspects and benefits of the geospatial field in the United States. Member firms are thought leaders in mapping, surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, GPS and GIS data collection and conversion services, technology development and geospatial products. Our associate members produce innovative technologies, software solutions and ancillary services to firms world-wide and government agencies. MAPPS is dedicated to all the business aspects, networking, technical and professional education, geospatial policy and legislation that private practitioners and the mapping community will always need.

History

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 its collaborating with peers on procurement issues, geospatial policy or legislation impacting member firms and the professional community, MAPPS "reaches across the aisles" in Washington D.C. to get things accomplished. 

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 ASPRS, NSGIC, COGO, 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.  The formal MAPPS Communication Plan enlightens members at least four time each month with a variety of relevant content. A typical month includes a Message from the President, Legislative Affairs Report, MAPPS Event news, and other informative topics related to the geospatial community. MAPPS social media outreach has phenomenal success with the number fo members opening email, followers, and reposting MAPPS news. 

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.

     

Conferences

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

MAPPS sponsors a number of visionary conference and meetings on business practices, markets, legislation, and technology affecting private geospatial firms. Because of their relevant content and invaluable networking opportunities, MAPPS events have a definite Return on Investment. Members attending the annual Summer and Winter Conferences typically:

  • Obtain insight about budgeted federal program
  • Share experiences and lessons learned
  • Partake in business networking activities
  • Collaborate, partner and develop teaming strategies
  • Create trusted and long-term relationships
  • Be educated on innovation and technology trends

All of the above business benefits take place in a casual conference setting which allows plenty of networking time to cultivate business relationships. Charity activities are often part of the Winter Conference. Families typically participate in the Summer Conference.

The MAPPS Federal Programs Conference is the premier event within the geospatial community for bringing together the Federal Government and the private sector for discussions on current and future programs, legislation/policy, collaboration opportunities, budgets, contract vehicles and upcoming procurements. Federal agency briefings, small group agency liaison meetings and keynote presentations highlight the first day of this conference. On the second day, MAPPS members go to Capitol Hill visiting their state Congressional delegations. In those advocacy meetings, MAPPS members discuss legislation affecting the geospatial community, and the importance of a number of Federal agency programs. Our members "Walk the Halls of Congress" having face-to-face meetings with their elected representatives and staff promoting legislation favorable to the geospatial profession. This is how we link agencies programs and budgets to the MAPPS Legislative Affairs and continuous advocacy efforts.

         

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

Conclusion

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!