Editor's Points: Strength in Numbers

The organization was called the Management Association of Private Photogrammetric Surveyors, or MAPPS. As technology has converged and firms have increasingly found themselves teaming with other organizations and serving expanding roles, MAPPS has evolved to reflect those changes. Today, the association represents more than 160 firms and is much broader than aerial photogrammetry. “MAPPS is a broad-based association of firms in a broad spectrum of geospatial disciplines,” explains John Palatiello, executive director. “Regular member firms are engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, mobile mapping, LIDAR, building information models (BIM), 3D mapping, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS associate members provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world, and our independent consultant members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or providing a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession.”

All of these firms have a common goal: To succeed in business. And MAPPS seeks to support that objective. Through conferences, meetings and other networking tools, MAPPS member firms find valuable advice and teaming partners. Firms are also given ample opportunities to learn about technology, equipment, markets, applications and business practices so they can expand and strengthen their internal operations. And when an issue arises in government that has the potential to negatively impact surveying and mapping firms, MAPPS is ready with a response. “MAPPS truly believes that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and has worked to make that happen,” Palatiello says.

In this issue of POB, we endeavored to create a special section that would highlight the role MAPPS plays in strengthening the business of surveying and mapping. However, we soon discovered that the impact of MAPPS couldn’t be contained in a section. Although several of the articles provided by MAPPS member firms are grouped together, you’ll see the MAPPS logo throughout this issue on articles covering a a wide range of surveying and mapping activities.

As Richard (Dick) McDonald, PLS, CP, notes in his column on page 28, “There is more that unites surveyors in private practice with firms engaged in photogrammetry, LIDAR, mobile mapping, BIM, remote sensing and GIS than divides us.”

By finding common ground, individuals and firms can broaden their opportunities and bolster their business.

Share your thoughts on this column at or To contact the editor, send an e-mail to

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