Participation in education sessions in the MAPPS Emerging Leaders program will qualify for the continuing education requirements for earning and maintaining GISP certification as a result of an agreement between MAPPS and the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI).

The Emerging Leaders program is featured in the current issue of POB magazine's GeoDataPoint.

"MAPPS found that many geospatial firms, particularly small to mid-sized businesses, don't have formal, in-house leadership development programs. Those that are offered by outside providers usually don't address the particular needs of a professional services geospatial firm,” says said Susan Marlow, president of MAPPS. “This need is focused on business and management skills, rather than the technical geospatial skills development available through other organizations, institutions and programs. We are grateful for GISCI's recognition of this important aspect of life learning and professional development."

An internationally-recognized, complete certification program, a GISP certification offers a lifetime credential in regular renewal intervals that require a combination of work experience, education, and contributions to the GIS profession. The GIS Certification Institute was established to promote professional practice standards and competencies, certify those persons who have the competencies required, and ensure the ethical performance of certified GIS professionals.

There are currently over 8,000 individuals with a GISP designation located throughout the world.

The MAPPS Emerging Leaders program is designed to help the association's member firms train and develop those currently in middle management positions in a firm who are the next generation of emerging leaders — principals, owners and partners in MAPPS member firms.   It includes specific education sessions to help leaders develop the skills needed to lead their firm and the profession.

"For 35 years, MAPPS has been a recognized leader in the geospatial and geographic information community for its promotion of firms in private enterprise through advocacy, networking, public policy, information and education.  Its Emerging Leaders activity is a major contribution toward filling a critical void in business-related professional development and GISCI is pleased to recognize this education in our certification program," says Bill Hodge, Executive Director of GISCI.  

Emerging Leaders sessions have been offered on: project management, business law, communications strategy and skills, leadership, ethics, and risk management. At the MAPPS 2017 Summer Conference, July 23-27, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Emerging Leaders sessions will be presented on sales management and business analytics. A full curricula for the emerging leaders program is under development by a MAPPS task force.


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.