MAPPS, the national association of geospatial firms, announced a distinguished panel of judges will evaluate projects and technology innovations for its third annual Excellence Awards competition.

Reston, VA - MAPPS (, the national association of geospatial firms, announced a distinguished panel of judges will evaluate projects and technology innovations for its third annual Excellence Awards competition.

Robert Burtch, PS, CP, Professor of Surveying Engineering at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, will serve as chairman of the panel of judges. Burtch, who teaches courses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy, has been a judge since 2007 and was chairman in 2008.

Also returning to the panel for the third year is Dr. Pamela Lawhead, Associate Professor at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi. For a second year Dennis Morgan, CP, retired U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis, MO, and Dr. Adrian Moore, an economist at the Reason Foundation, Los Angeles, CA also return to the panel. Also serving as a 2009 judge will be Christine L. Grahl, the editor of POB magazine, Troy, Michigan.

Lawhead teaches in the Department of Computer and Information Science in the School of Engineering and is Director of the Institute for Advanced Education in Geospatial Sciences (IAEGS), which provides Web-deliverable geospatial courseware. Morgan, CP, headed the contracting of photogrammetric mapping and related geospatial services for the Corps and other Federal agencies. He served as a civilian at the Corps for more than 25 years and helped grow the Center of Expertise for Photogrammetric Mapping, St. Louis, MO, into a leading provider of professional geospatial services via contractor support to the Corps and other Federal, state and local government agencies. Dr. Moore is vice president of research at the Reason Foundation, a non-profit, free-market think tank. Dr. Moore, an economist, is a leading authority on privatization and government use of private contractors for commercially available services. He was the keynote speaker at the MAPPS 20th anniversary summer conference in Monterey, California in 2002. An APEX Award-winning editor, Grahl has 14 years of experience on trade and business to business magazines. She oversees all of the editorial elements for POB magazine and, including moderating the popular community of geospatial professionals. She is also the contributing editor of POB's sister publication, Site Prep.

"We are honored to have this outstanding panel of professionals provide their knowledgeable, impartial and objective technical peer review of leading projects and products completed by MAPPS member firms over the last year," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "Our awards recognize the extraordinary work performed by MAPPS member firms demonstrating the progressive use of geospatial technology to fulfill the requests of their government, non-profit and commercial market clients, as well as the technology innovations that contribute to the hardware, software, products and services that enable geospatial data."

The MAPPS Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards is a competition recognizing the professionalism, value, integrity, and achievement that member firms have demonstrated over the previous year.

Awards will be presented in six categories: airborne and satellite data acquisition; photogrammetry/elevation data generation; remote sensing; GIS/IT; small projects; and technology innovation. A Grand Award will also be presented from the six award winners to represent the MAPPS Project of the Year. The Awards will be presented on Wednesday, November 18 at the MAPPS/ASPRS Joint Specialty Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The 2008 Project of the Year was awarded to Fugro EarthData (Frederick, MD) for their "Mapping a vital marine resource in Texas" project. The 2007 MAPPS Project of the Year was awarded to Merrick & Company (Aurora, CO) for their project "Environmental LiDAR Applications in Colombia, South America."

Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span 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 United States and other firms from around the world. MAPPS provides its 150+ member firms opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement.

For more information on MAPPS, please visit