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|SneakPEAK October 2017|
These are the 5 hot button issues for October 2017:
The primary goal of the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is to systematically collect enhanced elevation data in the form of high-quality light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data over the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories, with data acquired over an 8-year period. The 3DEP initiative is being developed to respond to growing needs for high-quality elevation data and for a wide range of applications requiring LIDAR of the Nation's natural and constructed features. The program is being developed by the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Flood Insurance (NFIP) Reform
The statutory authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will expire at the end of 2017. NFIP remains $24 billion in debt to U.S. taxpayers and hasn't repaid any principal on its loans since 2010. In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Act and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in 2014 to begin NFIP reform. Further legislation is needed in the next reauthorization to improve the surveying and mapping data needed to provide more accuracy and solvency in the program and fairer premiums for homeowners.
As Congress works to repeal and replace the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)", also known as 'Obamacare', the House and Senate should include a provision to assure that geographic information system (GIS) technology links health and location data for the purpose of efficiently delivering healthcare services. MAPPS, the national association of private sector mapping and geospatial firms, believes such geospatial data sets provided by geospatial professionals would include:
Private Sector Utilization
A positive public-private partnership model is needed so that there are clearly defined roles and responsibilities to provide synergy between the public and private sectors in the Federal level, and particularly with regard to geospatial activities. In this difficult economy, government agencies should be utilizing private sector geospatial firms to the maximum extent practical, not duplicating or directly competing against them. There is a need and role for government in surveying, mapping and geospatial activities. Agency personnel should be focused on inherently governmental activities such as enforcement of standards and specifications, development of requirements, coordination, and administering contracts. Commercial activities, including data acquisition, processing, applications, and value added services should be left to the qualified, competent and capable private sector in surveying and mapping.
Perhaps no new technology in history will revolutionize the aerial surveying and mapping community like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Recognizing both the disruption and opportunity the ability to acquire aerial imagery and other data from a pilotless devise and system brings, MAPPS has been at the forefront of advocacy, access, and achievement with regard to commercial operation of UAV in the United States. The first session on UAV at a MAPPS conference was in January of 2008 when John “Johnny” Walker, chairman of the Federal Aviation Administration-chartered Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) special panel on UAV-UAS briefed MAPPS Membership during the Winter Conference in Rancho Mirage, California. That was nearly seven years ago – long before any other geospatial organization began paying attention to UAV. Since that time, FAA officials have regularly attended MAPPS conferences to keep members apprised of policy and regulatory developments. MAPPS was a strong proponent of provisions in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that established authorizations and directives to the FAA on safe commercial UAV integration in U.S. airspace.