A panel of five independent judges will evaluate projects submitted in the MAPPS 2010 Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards competition.

The panel will be chaired by Robert Burtch, professor in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he teaches courses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan and a Certified Photogrammetrist through the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

Dr. Pamela Lawhead is on the faculty of the Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. She is also a founder and director of the Institute for Advanced Education in Geospatial Sciences, a university program that provides on-line education to develop a highly skilled workforce, well educated and equipped to lead the development of geospatial  technologies in the next century.

Mr. Donn D. Dears is a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Chicago.  A graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

Christine "Kristi" Grahl is editor of P.O.B. magazine, Troy, MI,  and administrator of its electronic bulletin board, www.RPLS.com.  P.O.B., published by BNP Media,  is the oldest monthly national magazine serving the surveying and mapping profession, reaching more than 38,000 readers.  Kristi is an APEX Award-winning writer and editor, has been P.O.B. editor since 2008 and has spent the past 15 years working closely with publications serving audiences including engineers and entrepreneurs.

Leonard Gilroy is the director of government reform at Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit think tank advancing free markets. Gilroy, a certified urban planner (AICP), researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, California, and several other states in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

The MAPPS awards competition recognizes the professionalism, value, integrity and achievement that member firms have demonstrated in their projects and technology developments over the previous year.

"I am pleased this outstanding panel of knowledgeable, independent and impartial judges will evaluate the great projects submitted by the MAPPS membership. These projects and technologies enhance our quality of life and exemplify the contributions private geospatial firms make to society every day. I look forward to the judges' decisions and the bestowing of awards in November," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

The award recipients will be announced and recognized on Wednesday, November 17 as part of the MAPPS Fall Policy Conference and in cooperation with the ASPRS/CaGIS Fall Specialty Conference in Orlando, FL.

The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program has six categories: airborne and satellite data acquisition; photogrammetry/elevation data generation; remote sensing; GIS/IT; small projects; and technology innovation. A Grand Award winner will be selected from the six category winners to represent the MAPPS Project of the Year. This is the fourth annual awards competition.

For more information on MAPPS, please visit www.MAPPS.org.