MAPPS, an association of geospatial firms, has selecte Randy Willis to receive the MAPPS Public Service Award. Willis is air traffic organization manager in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) emerging technologies team for strategic operations-unmanned aircraft. The award was presented during the MAPPS Summer Conference in Traverse City, Mich.

"Since 2008, Randy Willis has been the FAA unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) office liaison to MAPPS.  In that role, he has had an open mind and an open door,” says MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "Randy has been influential in working with MAPPS to have our community recognized in many FAA policies, including the FAA's first ‘Roadmap’ on UAS in 2013, he led the effort to raise the ceiling under 333 feet to 400 feet.”

The MAPPS Public Service Award is recognizes individuals in government who have made extraordinary contributions to the public and the geospatial profession in their government service roles. Established by the MAPPS board of directors, the award is presented to individuals who, over a period of time have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of MAPPS and the geospatial profession.

Previous recipients of the MAPPS Pubic Service Award include M.K. Miles, deputy chief of engineering and construction, civil works directorate, in the headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Washington, D.C. (now retired); Nicholas (Miki) Schmidt,  chief of the science and geospatial division for NOAA's Office for Coastal Management NOAA, Charleston, S.C.; and Major Clark, assistant chief counsel for procurement policy for the office of advocacy, Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C.


Formed in 1982, MAPPS is a national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the U.S. 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 U.S. and other firms from around the world.