BAE Systems (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) was selected as the Grand Award winner of the inaugural PA-MAPPS Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards competition for their project "PAMAP: The Keystone to Intelligence Decisions". The accomplishment was recognized at a ceremony during the PaGIS Conference on May 25 in Grantville, Pa.

The PAMAP program was established in 2001 to create a consistent foundation of geospatial mapping data to benefit state, regional and local government agencies and the citizens of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University contracted with BAE Systems to capture, process and deliver color orthophotography at one-foot ground sample distance as well as LiDAR capable of generating two-foot contours in a cost effective manor that maintained data quality. According to Penn State's client letter, BAE Systems work will have enormous implications for Pennsylvania in the future. This includes public safety issues where the data are being used for flood mitigation and emergency preparedness; reduced tax payer fees from reduction in duplication mapping efforts and environmental applications to assess land use and riparian health.

"BAE systems was selected as the grand award winner due to the scale of the project, the benefit that PAMAP provides for all Pennsylvanians, the amount of applications the data can be used for, and for the cost effectiveness," said Nicole Ernst, Harrisburg Area Community College, one of the judges who evaluated the submitted projects.

The finalist in the awards competition was geographIT (Lancaster, Pa.) for their project "LiDAR Methodology for Verifying Broadband Internet Services Furnished over Wireless Networks in Pennsylvania." geographIT was hired by Michael Baker Jr. to augment the Commonwealth's inventory of broadband services by mapping Fixed Wireless Broadband Services, identifying areas that would be impossible to cover with the current transmission tower infrastructure because of obstructions due to topography or large man-made structures. geographIT was able to automate the methodology to process LiDAR data to complete the analysis. The project was selected as the finalist by the judges for the innovation, ingenuity, and value to the geospatial profession.

"The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards are meant to recognize and showcase the outstanding work that the private firms in the geospatial community and the PA-MAPPS membership do everyday to serve our clients and improve the quality of life for our citizenry," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "Since the formation of the first state chapter in MAPPS in 2007, PA-MAPPS has, with our partners in the public sector and universities, worked to showcase how investment in geospatial data can support and benefit the citizens of Pennsylvania. These projects are just a few examples of the excellent work of the geospatial community."

Projects were judged on complexity, original or innovative application/development of technologies or techniques, future value to the geospatial profession and the public and client/owner satisfaction. The entries were judged by three independent professionals: Nicole Ernst, Geospatial Technology Assistant Professor, Harrisburg Area Community College; Dr. Jay Parrish, Professor of Practice for Geospaital Intelligence, Pennsylvania State University's Dutton e-Education Institute; and Dr. Angela Cuthbert, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Millersville University.

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