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MAPPS Announces 2011 Geospatial Excellence Awards Judges

September 28, 2011

A panel of five independent judges will evaluate projects submitted in the MAPPS 2011 Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards competition, the association announced today.

The judges panel will once again be chaired by Robert Burtch, professor in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he teaches courses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan and a Certified Photogrammetrist, ASPRS. Joining Mr. Burtch are:

Christine "Kristi" Grahl, editor of P.O.B. magazine, Troy, MI, and community manager of RPLS.com, the online community for geospatial professionals. P.O.B., published by BNP Media, is the oldest monthly national magazine serving the surveying and mapping profession, reaching more than 38,000 readers. Kristi is an APEX Award-winning writer and editor, has been P.O.B. editor since 2008 and has spent the past 16 years working closely with publications serving audiences including engineers and entrepreneurs.

Thomas "Tom" M. Palmerlee, Associate Director, Technical Activities Division, Transportation Research Board (TRB). TRB is a component of The National Academies, a private, nonprofit institution. Tom manages activities in information technology and transportation data, including the Geographic Information Science and Applications Committee and the Geospatial Data Acquisition Technologies in Design and Construction Committee. Prior to joining TRB, Mr. Palmerlee was executive director for the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and for the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). In the 1980's he served as a legislative assistant and legislative director for U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming.

Mr. Donn D. Dears, a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Chicago. A graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform at Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit think tank advancing free markets. Gilroy, a certified urban planner (AICP), researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, California, and several other states in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

The MAPPS awards competition recognizes the professionalism, value, integrity and achievement that member firms have demonstrated in their projects and technology developments over the previous year.

"I am pleased these judges will evaluate the great projects submitted by MAPPS member firms. We are honored to have these independent, knowledgeable individuals particiate in our competition. The projects submitted exemplify the contributions private geospatial firms make to society every day to enhance our quality of life. I look forward to the judges' decisions and the bestowing of awards in November," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

The award recipients will be announced and recognized on Tuesday, November 15 as part of the MAPPS Fall Policy Conference and in cooperation with the ASPRS/Pecora Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Herndon/Dulles, Va.

The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program has seven categories for projects and technologies delivered in calendar 2010: airborne and satellite data acquisition; photogrammetry/elevation data generation; remote sensing; GIS/IT; small projects; surveying/field data collection and technology innovation. A Grand Award winner will be selected from the seven category winners to represent the MAPPS Project of the Year. This is the fifth annual awards competition. The surveying/field data collection category is a new addition in the 2011 awards, "reflecting the diversity of MAPPS firms engaged in this service area and the rapid advancements in technology and applications being provided to clients," Palatiello said.