Illinois Senate Amends Surveyors' Licensing Bill

A bill that would have included photogrammetry, geographic information systems and land information systems within the practice of land surveying in the State of Illinois has been amended through the efforts of MAPPS.

Senate Bill 698 passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday, April 3 with the MAPPS language added in Amendment 3. The amendment exempts photogrammetric services and removes references to geographic information systems and land information systems within the practice of land surveying.

"SB 698, as originally introduced, would have required that only land surveyors perform numerous photogrammetry, GIS and LIS services in Illinois, without any provision for grandfathering current practitioners. It literally would have legislated dozens of firms out of business in Illinois," according to MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "The bill did not follow the NCEES model law, nor the recommendations of the task force created by MAPPS, ASPRS, ACSM, NSPS, ASCE, particularly with regard to a grandfather provision."

MAPPS retained Mr. Andrew M. Raucci, a lobbyist who works in Springfield, the Illinois capitol, to seek amendments to SB 698.

The bill now goes to the Illinois House, where there is not expected to be opposition to the MAPPS amendments. After SB 698 was introduced, MAPPS retained Mr. Raucci, who negotiated changes in the bill with the legislation's sponsor and with the Illinois Professional Surveyors Association, the entity behind the bill.

MAPPS is a national trade association of more than 170 private geospatial firms. Its member firms are engaged in photogrammetry, GIS, LIS, LIDAR, aerial imagery and satellite remote sensing, charting and related geospatial services, products, hardware and software. MAPPS provides government relations and advocacy services to its member firms at the Federal and state levels, is a forum for teaming and partnering among large and small businesses, and is engaged in education and information programs on the business aspects of mapping and geospatial firm operation and management. For information about MAPPS, and membership in the association, visit