MAPPS Members Lobby U.S. Congress to Support Geospatial Agenda

RESTON, VA, 27 March 2007 – Legislation benefiting the entire geospatial profession was the agenda pushed by MAPPS members representing nearly 100 firms who made personal visits to offices of more than 150 U.S. Senators and Representatives during the annual MAPPS Federal Programs Conference held March 19-21 in Washington, D.C.

“Every year MAPPS members exercise our unique American right to voice our concerns in person with our elected officials,” said MAPPS President Kurt Allen. “Members of Congress and their staffs recognize MAPPS as the authoritative voice on all issues relating to geospatial, and these lobbying visits ultimately have a positive impact on the entire community.”

The 2007 MAPPS lobbying agenda focused on six pieces of pending or proposed legislation:

Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act (FLAIR) – MAPPS members sought co-sponsorship of a bill enabling the U.S. Government to create a single multi-purpose cadastre of all federal lands. This act will improve management, conservation, protection and utilization of government real property. Today, the Federal government operates hundreds of outdated, inaccurate and non-interoperable single purpose land inventories.

Flood & Emergency Mapping Reform – MAPPS urged Congress to improve FEMA flood mapping initiatives by emphasizing new collection of improved elevation data and enhancing flood insurance rate maps to include 500-year flood zones.

Farm Bill Reauthorization – MAPPS supported a coordinated geospatial data program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage the increased use of high-quality geospatial information in farming and agricultural programs for production, conservation, environmental protection, rural development and food security.

Hydrographic Services Improvement Act (HSIA) – MAPPS supported provisions in the 2007 HSIA Reauthorization to develop a comprehensive integrated ocean and coastal mapping program.

Airports and Aviation Reauthorization Bill – MAPPS members sought inclusion of new language in this bill to standardize the FAA approval process for aircraft modifications, to make exceptions for aerial mapping flights within current prohibited airspace around Washington, DC and Disney theme parks, and to oppose exclusive use of unmanned aerial vehicles by federal agencies.

Imagery, Mapping and Geospatial Enhancement (IMAGE) Act – MAPPS sought Congressional sponsors to introduce proposed legislation to enhance the duties of the Office of Space Commercialization (OSC) in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to facilitate the Federal government’s use of commercial remote sensing and geospatial services, data and products.

“MAPPS members successfully engaged Congressional representatives and their staffs and provided them with a better understanding of geospatial technology and its economic benefits,” said Allen.

The MAPPS Federal Programs Conference also featured speakers from eight Federal agencies or offices who offered insights into the status and budgets of programs containing geospatial elements. Presentations by officials from NOAA, BLM, the Army Corps of Engineers, DoT, DOI, FEMA, USGS, and USAID gave attending MAPPS members valuable details pertaining to tens of millions of dollars in upcoming procurements for geospatial products and services.

MAPPS also hosted a technology demonstration and reception in the historic and ornate LBJ room in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 21. More than two dozen members of Congress, House and Senate staff and Federal agency personnel attended the event featuring digital data displays by GeoEye, EarthData, I-cubed, Aero-Metric and Photo Science.

About MAPPS

MAPPS was formed in 1982 by a small group of U.S. photogrammetry companies as the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors to represent the interests of private photogrammetric and aerial surveying firms. Since then, MAPPS has expanded in size and scope to become the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the spatial data and geographic information system field in the United States.

Current MAPPS membership spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms 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. MAPPS also includes Associate Members, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world.

For more information, contact John Palatiello at 703-787-6996 or Email Contact.



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