June 11, 2010 -- MAPPS President Jeff Lovin CP, PS, urged West Virginia geospatial practitioners to become more politically active, calling on the community "to be active, rather than passive", in order for the United States "to realize the full potential of GIS".
In the keynote address, "On the Map: Building a Better America Through Increased Use of Geospatial Technology", presented at the West Virginia GIS Conference at Marshall University, Huntington, WV, Lovin said, "'Lobbying' is not a dirty or four-letter word, it is a Constitutional right, guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is 'educating' lawmakers."
Lovin, a Vice President of Woolpert, Inc., Dayton, OH, outlined the program and activities of MAPPS, including an agenda of Federal legislation providing for geospatial applications. He also presented a long list of national issues -- including Climate Change/Cap & Trade, Energy/Smart-Grid, Jobs/Employment & Economic Development/Recovery, Health Care, Emergency Management/Response, Environment /Sustainable Development & High Performing Communities, Homeland & National Security, Highways, Transportation & Infrastructure - that are all on the Congressional & Obama Administration agendas, require data from the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) to be successful, and all lack any geospatial provision in the relevant bills in Congress.
"And the data to effectively implement these bills does not currently exist in any comprehensive, accessible form," Lovin said. He noted that "MAPPS is working to raise awareness in Congress" and called on others in the geospatial community to join the MAPPS effort.
Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LIDAR, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, 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. MAPPS provides its 180+ member firms opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement.
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