MAPPS Launches 3DEP Funding Awareness Initiative

April 15, 2014 (Washington, DC) - In an effort to raise awareness of the need for accurate, state of the art elevation mapping data for the nation, MAPPS, the association of private sector geospatial firms, today launched a multi-faceted campaign in support of the U.S. Geological Survey's 3-dimentional elevation program (3DEP).

At a 3DEP Stakeholders Forum held in conjunction with the National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference being held April 13 - 16, 2015 at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City (Arlington), VA, MAPPS announced that its member firms have embarked on Capitol Hill to educate Congress on the need to fund 3DEP.

More than 100 surveying and mapping professionals from MAPPS and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) are meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in support of 3DEP funding through USGS, the agriculture department's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The geospatial practitioners are requesting $70 million for fiscal year 2016 for the three agencies.

MAPPS also announced the rollout of, a website that explains 3DEP and its national LiDAR data, advertisements in the Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, and publication of a 3DEP "coffee table" book.

Figure 1 - LiDAR imagery of Niagra Falls.

Developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the 3DEP program aims to map the United States using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)to provide high-quality, detailed, accurate, topographic, 3D imagery. 3DEP maps can be used for a plethora of applications: flood mapping; infrastructure; water resources; natural resources conservation; wildlife management; aviation; homeland security; emergency response; agriculture; geologic assessment; forestry; and many more. 3DEP is also a boon for the economy -- promoting economic growth; facilitating responsible environmental protections and resource development and management; and assisting with infrastructure improvements.

"There is a critical need for national elevation data," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "The applications are far-reaching and the cost in minimal compared to the benefits. And there is a capable, knowledgeable, qualified private sector to fill that need. USGS has designed an outstanding program and we look forward to its successful implementation."

About MAPPS 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. The MAPPS membership spans 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. Independent Consultant Members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession.

Beth Hawley
MAPPS Communications Manager

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