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"Spatially Speaking" is the official MAPPS blog providing information on topics related to the association and profession and MAPPS involvement with the issues.

 

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Top tags: Congress  Geospatial  LIDAR  Privacy  UAV  FAA  3DEP  Mapping  MAPPS  surveying  Economy  FCC  FLAIR Act  USGS  Advocacy  Business  Exporting  FGDC  FTC  Jobs  MIO-UIMT  NOAA  parcels  private sector  qbs  Tax  USACE  2014 Winter Conference  Accomplishments  Aviation 

U.S. House subcommittee to examine private sector utilization

Posted By MAPPS, Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Action will take place in Congress this week on another issue MAPPS and NSPS members brought to Capitol Hill during the organizations’ joint conference on March 16.  A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives “will examine the impact on the private sector from the deceased use of public-private competition in sourcing government products and services.  The hearing will also examine best practices for encouraging a more robust utilization of commercially available products and services to increase government efficiency while decreasing costs.”  Among the invited witnesses is MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello, who also serves as President of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), of which MAPPS is a member.  MAPPS has advocated before Congress that “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.”  The association said, “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.” The hearing will include a review of the “Freedom from Government Competition Act”, H.R. 2044/S. 1116, introduced by Representative John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr.  (R-TN) and Senator John  Thune  (R-SD) to  codify  the  “Yellow  Pages”  test,  applied  by  Mayors  and  Governors,  both  Democrat  and  Republican,  that  says  if  you  can  find  private  sector  firms  in  the  Yellow  Pages  providing  products  or  services  that  the  government  is  also  providing,  then  the  service  should  be  subject  to  market  competition  to break  up  the  government  monopoly  and  prove  a  better  value  to  the  taxpayer.  This bill will not only make government more efficient, saving more than $27 billion annually, but improve the quality of services and focus the Federal workforce on high priority governmental functions.  The hearing is on Friday, July 8 at 9:00 AM EDT and can be viewed on-line via the website of the full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Tags:  Geospatial  private sector  public-private 

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Support for 3DEP Growing

Posted By John Palatiello, Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Support is growing for 3DEP, the USGS program to develop nationwide elevation coverage of the United States.

MAPPS led the effort to generate stakeholder support for 3DEP funding on Congress.  MAPPS Government Affairs Manager John “JB” Byrd coordinated letters of support from MAPPS and numerous other groups and I had the privilege of testifying before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. The effort bore fruit. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year 2015 bill and included the following in its explanatory committee report (page 38), “Core Science Systems.—The Committee recommends $106,151,000 for core science systems, $2,656,000 below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $3,249,000 below the budget request.  The Committee recommendation includes the requested increases for the Big Earth Data Initiative; Ecosystem Information; the 3–D Elevation Program; the Alaska mapping project; and the National Map Modernization effort.” The figures in the President’s request are $5 million for 3DEP, $236,000 for Alaska Mapping, $1.9 million for The National Map Modernization, and $60,428,000 for the National Geospatial Program. 

There was also a very exciting announcement from the White House this week. The Obama Administration announced a climate change data initiative that includes 3DEP. John Byrd and I met with a member of the White House staff, Bina Venkatarman, Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation, to discuss the role 3DEP and other geospatial data play in verifying, validating, monitoring and measuring the alleged effects of climate change. The White House initiative provides, “Developing advanced mapping data and tools. The Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey and other Federal agencies today launched a $13.1 million 3-D Elevation Program partnership designed to bring Federal agencies, academia, corporate entities, states, tribes, and communities together to develop advanced 3-dimensional mapping data of the United States. These data and related tools will be used in the areas of flood risk management, water resource planning, mitigation of coastal erosion and storm surge impacts, and identification of landslide hazards as an essential component of supporting action on climate resilience. 


 
3D Model provided by Woolpert, Inc. of the southern side of Fire Island, Long Island, NY. 



On July 18, 2014, the USGS issued a Broad Agency Announcement that provides detailed information on how to partner with the USGS and other Federal agencies to acquire high-quality 3D data. Information and contacts are now available at FedBizOps. Offerors may contribute funds toward a USGS lidar data acquisition activity or they may request 3DEP funds toward a lidar data acquisition activity where the requesting partner is the acquiring authority. Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, academic institutions and the private sector are eligible to submit pre-proposals.

USGS is holding a Congressional briefing on its 3DEP program Friday, July 25 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  

The 11:00 am briefing on the House of Representatives side of the Congress/Capitol is open to Congressional staff, MAPPS members, and other supportive groups from the general public.  It will be in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.

An afternoon briefing on the Senate side is CLOSED to the public and is limited to Senate staff.  It is at 2:00 pm in SD-366, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

All MAPPS members are welcome to attend the morning session.  Please encourage any Congressional staff with whom you are familiar or have relationships to attend their respective sessions (House staff in the morning, Senate staff in the afternoon).  In particular, follow-up with all staff with whom you met during the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference and encourage them to attend the briefing.

MAPPS is a sponsor of the event and will host lunch at the House event.

Tags:  3DEP  Climate Change  Congress  Conservation  Elevation  Elevation Data  Emergency Response  geospatial  LIDAR  Technology  USGS 

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Privacy Update and Request for Information

Posted By John Palatiello, Thursday, July 10, 2014

MAPPS has for some time been working on the issue of individual citizen privacy as it applies to geospatial data.

Specifically, the Federal Trade Commission, and legislation in Congress and some state legislatures, seek to regulate the collection, use, storage, and dissemination of "precise geolocation data", and in most instances, fails to define that term.

MAPPS has held sessions at its conferences, "lobbied' the issue before Congress, presented testimony before Congress, and educated the community through blogs and trade magazine articles.  

Recently, Senator John Thune (R-SD) questioned the FTC Chair on this issue.  Attached are his questions and FTC's responses.  This is significant because the extent of the government's regulatory interest is narrowed by a doctrine of  “context of the interaction” that had not previously been shared with MAPPS or others in the geospatial community (e.g. COGO or the FGDC)  exempts a large percentage (but not all) of what our members do.

The FTC challenged associations to develop a "best practices" guide for its members in its report, "Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change".
MAPPS, under the leadership of Susann Marlow (Smart Data Strategies, Franklin, TN), our Cadastre Task Force Chair and MAPPS President-Elect, we are attempting to draft such a "best practices" guide.

If your firm has a guide, policy or any other document regarding privacy and the data you collect, store, apply, or disseminate, I would be grateful if you would share it so we might consider it in the development of a MAPPS document for the good of the profession and the public we serve in the marketplace.

Please send your policy, guidance, standard, etc. to me and to Susan.

Thank you in advance for your contribution to your profession.

Tags:  Congress  Data  Federal Trade Commission  FGDC  FTC  Geospatial  John Thune  Privacy  Technology 

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MAPPS Minute: Nominations Committee and Summer Conference Early Registration Deadline

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MAPPS President Jeff Lower has appointed Pamela Nobles of 3DS (Tallahassee, FL) chair the MAPPS Nominations Committee. The committee will recommend candidates for 3 seats on the MAPPS Board of Directors. Volunteers to serve on the Nominations Committee are being sought. If you wish to help select the slate of candidates for the association’s board, please contact President Lower by Thursday, May 1.

The full Nominations Committee, along with a call for nominations, will be announced on May 5.

The election of Directors will take place at the annual business meeting of MAPPS during the Summer Conference, to be held on July 27-31, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

The discounted early bird registration rate for the conference expires this Saturday, May 3. 

Mike Tully and his Program Committee are developing another timely and informative line-up of sessions and speakers. We’ll feature a special UAV Day that will include some hands-on exposure to UAV technology.  It will provide everything you need to know to enter this game-changing facet of the geospatial business.Sessions will also focus on new and emerging technologies in LIDAR, a panel on effective marketing communications and key strategies from small and large business to effectively create teaming partnerships that are mutually beneficial. 

More sessions will be announced shortly, but make your plans to attend TODAY by taking advantage of the early bird registration and making your hotel reservation.




Tags:  Business  Contracting  Elections  Geospatial  LIDAR  MAPPS Strategic Plan  Nominations  Small Business  Summer Conference  Teaming  UAV 

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MAPPS Minute: Congressional Testimony and Upcoming LiDAR Webinar

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MAPPS testified in favor of 3DEP funding before the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives on April 10 indicating the strong support within MAPPS for national LIDAR data that will provide a very positive return on investment and serve of variety of elevation needs for government at all levels, as well as the private sector.

President Obama has included funding for 3DEP in his budget request to Congress, and MAPPS testimony urged Congress to fund that request, or increase the amount if possible.

USGS has updated its national LIDAR specification to reflect the 3DEP program and other revisions.  MAPPS will host a webinar with Karl Heidemann, USGS EROS Center, on the USGS Base LIDAR Specification this Thursday, April 24 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.  Register here

All members have been notified of the schedule for the 2014 MAPPS Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards competition.

Entries are due August 8 and winners will be announced at the Geospatial & Engineering International Conference on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in Alexandria, VA.

Tags:  3DEP  Appropriations  Congress  Excellence Awards  Funding  Geospatial  International Conference  LiDAR  USGS 

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MAPPS Minute - UAVs and Upcoming Events

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, March 7, 2014


Check out this week's MAPPS minute to learn about MAPPS activities related to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), recent news on the topic and upcoming MAPPS events.

court ruling announced March 6 may have a positive impact on the use small UAS/UAV. The FAA has appealed the decision. MAPPS is engaging stakeholders and partners and will provide education once more information becomes available on what this means for commercial use. MAPPS has recently engaged with the legislatures in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Maryland on legislative language regarding UAVs that would be harmful to the profession. 

MAPPS announced this week a Member-Guest breakfast to take place at the ASPRS Annual Conference in Louisville, KY. Members are encouraged to register and bring a prospective member to attend the breakfast. Our guest speaker will be Denise LaDue, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District, where she is Production Manager for the Inland Electronic Navigational Chart (IENC) initiative.  Ms. LaDue will discuss the Louisville District's surveying and mapping program and the IENC initiative. Register Here.

The early registration deadline is March 14 for the 2014 MAPPS Federal Programs Conference. Save on your registration today! A limited number of hotel rooms still remain in the MAPPS block. The Federal Programs Conference is a Members Only event.

Don't forget to educate yourself on the four issues MAPPS will take to Congress April 2 as part of the Federal Programs Conference. MAPPS will review Government and University Competition and Highway Bill (MAP-21) Reauthorization in the remaining two episodes of the "Legislative Issues" webinar series. 

Tags:  ASPRS  Drones  Federal Programs  Geospatial  UAVs  Unmanned Aircraft Systems  USACE 

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MAPPS Launches Legislative Issues Webinar Series

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, February 28, 2014



Want to learn more about the four issues MAPPS will be taking to Congress as part of the 2014 Federal Programs Conference? Register for one of our three remaining webinars! Each issue will be discussed Thursday afternoons at 3:00 PM (Eastern) through March 20. Register today!

The Federal Programs Conference is open to MAPPS members only. MAPPS members April is at the peak of the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, DC. Reserve your hotel room and register today!

Tags:  Congress  Digital Coast  Federal Programs  FLAIR Act  Geospatial  GIS  Highway Bill  Land Inventory  Reauthorization  Webinars 

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MAPPS Minute - FEMA Flood Mapping

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Friday, January 10, 2014

Lost in the holiday festivities was a report released by the National Academy of Public Administration, titled "FEMA Flood Mapping: Enhancing Coordination to Maximize Performance". MAPPS was instrumental in convincing Congress to include the funding mechanism provisions in the FEMA bill in 2012 and worked with the NAPA study team. Learn more from MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

Register to the attend the MAPPS 2014 Winter Conference today!

Tags:  2014 Winter Conference  Coordination  FEMA  Flood Mapping  Geospatial  LIDAR  NAPA 

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FAA Announces Six Unmanned Aircraft Test Site Locations

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Monday, December 30, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced the six sites for testing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The test site operators include the University of Alaska, the State of Nevada, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and Virginia Tech.

"In selecting the six test site operators, the FAA considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk. In totality, these six test applications achieve cross-country geographic and climatic diversity and help the FAA meet its UAS research needs,” said Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator, in a statement and on a conference call with media.

"The announcement of the six test sites is a welcomed gift to start the New Year as businesses in the geospatial community see unmanned aircraft systems as a revolutionary new platform to provide critical information and geographic data to the citizens of the United States,” said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "MAPPS congratulates the six operating locations and commends the FAA for this announcement.”

The FAA stated the intent of the test sites is for research and development of safety standards and these facilities and locations are to be open for commercial users.  The ability to access the six test sites by commercial entities must be brokered directly with each test site operator.

 "MAPPS members are encouraged to work with these test site operators to research and develop their UAS platforms, data acquisition systems, and applications, as well as to assure full commercial participation in order to prevent unfair university or government competition,” Palatiello said.

Some interesting items to note:

  • The University of Alaska includes test site locations in Hawaii and Oregon;
  • Virginia Tech’s selection includes a MOU with Rutgers University in New Jersey;
  • As mandated in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012, the first test site will be operational within 180 days. The test sites will be operation through the end of the current authorization that expires in 2017. This will overlap with the mandated introduction of UAS in the national airspace in 2015;
  • The FAA is not providing funding for the test site locations. Each of the test site operators are providing operational funding through their own means

 


Tags:  Aircraft  FAA  Geospatial  Policy  UAS  UAV  Unmanned Aircraft Systems 

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MAPPS Minute - Holiday Greetings

Posted By Nick Palatiello, Thursday, December 26, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013

A special message from the MAPPS Board of Directors and MAPPS 2013 year in review. Check out a list of a few of MAPPS accomplishments in 2013

We wish all of our members, friends and partners a Happy Holiday and New Year. We hope you will join us at one of our events in 2014.

Tags:  2013  2014  Accomplishments  geospatial  Happy Holidays 

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