MAPPS and NSPS Announce Program for 2016 National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference

February 29, 2016 -- A program of professional, educational and technical sessions has been announced by MAPPS and NSPS for their joint National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference to be held March 14-18 at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City, VA.

“These sessions will provide attendees and members perspectives on some of the major issues facing the profession,” said MAPPS executive director John Palatiello and NSPS executive director Curtis Sumner. “Our goal from the beginning was to provide conference sessions that are not otherwise available to surveyors and practitioners in other geospatial disciplines in their experience at state conferences. These presentations will give conference attendees new insights on the geospatial profession, projects, applications and technologies.”

The conference will provide more than 30 hours of education that may qualify for continuing education credit for licensure or certification.

The conference will feature a series of technical sessions presented by individuals, as well as by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM); an exhibit hall; a mock trial educational workshop and a workshop on the new ALTA/NSPS standards; the NSPS Student Competition, the organizations’ annual "Lobby Day" meetings with Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill, as well as NSPS committee meetings and MAPPS and NSPS Board meetings.

Monday March 14 sessions will include:

Surveying Relevancy in the 21st Century, by Jeff Lucas, will discuss how surveying can remain relevant into the 21st century rather than being destined to become the buggy-whip manufacturers of our time. The presentation discusses 10 major problems facing the surveying profession and explores 10 solutions to those problems.

A session on the CFedS (Certified Federal Surveyors) program, co-administered by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and NSPS, will be led by Robert Dahl and Don Buhler of BLM.

Protecting Your Surveying Practice by Justin Klein, President of Klein Agency, LLC and Barbara Sable of RLI Insurance will provide guidance to surveying and mapping firms on risk prevention, loss prevention and professional liability issues.

A team from the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce, will present sessions on NAD 83 legislation to be proposed for consideration by the state legislatures; GRAV-D and the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS); and OPUS, the Online Positioning User Service.

National Hydrography: A Look at the Now and Discussion About the Future by Zsolt Nagy, AECOM, Vicki Lukas and Steve Aichele, USGS will provide an overview of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and a recent requirements and benefits study, discussions surrounding the concept of ele-hydro, and an introduction to the Indiana statewide local-resolution NHD project as a precursor of ele-hydro.

Historical Understanding of the Red River Natural International – Interstate Riparian Boundary will be presented by Davey Edwards (Edwards Surveying, LLC).  This project helped protect the private property of the riparian owners in Texas along the Red River, resulting in the Red River Private Property Protection Act (H.R. 2130/S. 1153) being introduced in Congress by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

Michael Barkasi of Bentley Systems will discuss Bridging Surveying and Design Using Reality Models and Dr. Balaji Ramachandran of Nicholls State University will discuss his institution’s sUAS Program.

The NSPS Student Competition finals will feature presentations of the respective common theme based projects by student teams from several four-year degree and two-year degree surveying-related college/university programs.

A luncheon will feature a presentation on activities of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) by Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC Executive Director.  He will discuss the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Strategic Plan and the development of the FY 2017 NSDI Strategic Framework in preparation for the transition to the next Administration. This will include the proposed opportunity to coordinate with the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO), of which MAPPS and NSPS are members, in the development of the next set of criteria for the COGO Report Card on the Framework Data Themes.

On Tuesday, March, 15, the conference will feature a full day of briefings by leading Federal agencies on programs, budgets and procurement opportunities, including the FY16 approved budget and FY17 budget forecast, and the upcoming requirements for acquisition of geospatial services, data and products from the private sector by USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, NOAA and others.

Additionally, Tuesday will feature an all-day workshop providing an in-depth look at the new 2016 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title surveys, presented by Gary Kent (Schneider Corp).

On Wednesday, March 16, MAPPS and NSPS members will visit some 200 Congressmen and Senators at the U.S. Capitol, advancing a common agenda of legislative issues that serve the public and engage the surveying and mapping community. The day will begin at the Capitol Hill Club where the two organizations’ political action committees (PAC) will host a breakfast featuring Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and other special guests.

At the conference hotel, Wednesday will also feature a “mock trial” on the case of Wright v. Hawk, featuring a judge, two attorneys, two surveyors and a plaintiff and defendant. The trial takes about four hours and the audience will then break into separate juries to deliberate. Juries will report on their decisions and all parties will discuss the results. There is also a presentation on surveyors being an expert witness in actual court cases. Gary Kent will moderate the proceedings.

The MAPPS Board of Directors meets Monday, March 14.  NSPS committees meet on Thursday, March 17 and the NSPS Board of Directors meets on Friday, March 18.

For more information on the conference and to register, visit the event’s official website.


Based in Reston, VA., MAPPS is the only national association of firms in the surveying, spatial data and geographic information systems fields. 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. Associate members are engaged in the manufacturing and/or supplying of geospatial equipment, services, supplies, hardware or software to geospatial data services firms.

About NSPS

With more than 17,000 individual members primarily within the United States, the National Society of Professional Surveyors is the voice of the professional surveying community. Through its joint membership program with the respective state surveying societies, NSPS has a strong constituency base for communicating with lawmakers, agencies and regulators at both the national and state levels. NSPS also collaborates with a multitude of other organizations within the geospatial community to address issues of mutual importance. As the lead society for the evaluation of college-level programs seeking accreditation through ABET, NSPS is instrumental in assuring that prospective professional surveyors receive an education that is relevant to the role they will play in society. NSPS is the U.S. representative to the international organization for surveyors — FIG — placing representatives on the respective practice-area commissions. NSPS has a Certified Survey Technician (CST) program and a hydrographic surveying certification program, and offers competitions for both high school and college-level students.

For more information on this conference, please contact:

Amy Cannon
Email Contact


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