The 21st annual summer meeting of MAPPS, a national association of private geospatial firms, kicks off on Sunday, July 27 at the Fairmont Princess Hotel in Southampton, Bermuda.

More than 200 persons, including the senior principals, owners and partners of more than 70 firms, will participate.

The meeting is from Sunday, July 26 through Thursday, July 31.

The Keynote Speaker is State Senator Bob Welch of Wisconsin, a licensed professional land surveyor. He is also a candidate for the United States Senate. Senator Welch, a Republican, is the President Pro Tem of the Wisconsin Senate, and chairman of the Budget Committee. He will discuss issues affecting the geospatial community and his U.S. Senate campaign next year. It is followed by a Welcome Reception sponsored by DigitalGlobe.

Kevin Mayall, Chief Planner and GIS Director for the Bermuda Government's Department of Planning, will discuss how GIS is being used on the Island. Another session, on "Using Existing Federal Contract Vehicles", is designed to help MAPPS member firms leverage their existing prime and sub contractor status. USGS, USACE, and NOAA have geospatial contracts in place that include almost every MAPPS member firm. Learn how you and your agency client can work together to "market" these vehicles. Learn how prospective user agencies can be made aware of your contract, how your firm can help bring clients in to use your services via these vehicles, and how the agencies and its prime and sub contractors (and MAPPS) can work to assure maximum use of these contracts. Speakers are Dick Kleckner (USGS), Anne Miglarese (NOAA) and Kurt Allen of Greenhorne & O'Mara on behalf of the USACE.

Jim Flint, P.E. of Laser Geomatics, a division of Bohannan Huston, Inc., will present on the use of ground-based LIDAR to remotely and accurately map existing topography and features. Conference participants will learn how this technology and process is used for data collection on features otherwise considered dangerous or difficult, and how it is integrated for a variety of engineering and spatial data applications.

The Geographic Industry Forum, GIF, is a new association of firms in the U.K., modeled after MAPPS, that has been organized to fight unfair government competition in the U.K. Audrey Mandela of Multimap in London will introduce GIF¿8364;™s mission and challenges. John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director, provides an update on MAPPS activities in Washington, DC and the status of major legislation in Congress and issues before the Administration affecting private mapping and geospatial firms.

In 1989, MAPPS developed a model contract between client and photogrammetrist. Widely used for several years, a MAPPS committee recently completed a review of the document and is proposing a new edition. A session will present what's in the contract, how to use it and how it will become available as a benefit of membership in MAPPS. Tim Lowe of Lowe Engineers, a member of the MAPPS Board and the Contract Committee, will be the presenter.

The 2003 MAPPS Salary and Non-Cash Benefits Survey is the most comprehensive in the geospatial profession. No other comparable survey exists, so this is not only a great benefit of membership in MAPPS, but an excellent way to benchmark a firm against the rest of the profession. In this session, the survey results will be broken down by geographic region and firm size, so firms can compare its data with similar firms and closest competitors, and comparative data to our 2000 survey will also be provided, so trends in the profession can be identified. Marvin Miller of Markhurd, a MAPPS Board member and project director of the survey, presents the results.

Late last year, the Harvard Business Review ran a fascinating article on disaster plans for businesses. It recounted the experiences of executives of three companies directly impacted by September 11. The article discussed how these executives reacted, what they had to do in the hours, days and weeks following 9-11 and how they had to deal with keeping their companies going, working with employees (and surviving family members), clients, the press, the public, investors, etc. It also discussed what, if any, disaster plans they had in place and put in motion on September 11. This is something most geospatial firm principals do not think about -- but should. The session features MAPPS members who have faced a crisis in their firms -- a partner committing suicide and a flood wiping out your facility. There were painful lessons learned about "when disaster strikes". This session will focus on what it is like to experience such a crises, what type of plan these firms had in place prior to these events, how they reacted, the lessons learned, and what contingency plans are now have in place in their firms. Presenters will be Rick Hoffmann of Surdex Corp. and Silas Suazo of Bohannan-Huston, Inc. in the session on "Disaster Plans for Geospatial Businesses".

MAPPS will also conduct its annual business meeting, including election of new members of the Board of Directors, and a reception, sponsored by Perot Systems Government Services, followed by a banquet.