Jim Kirkland, vice president and general counsel of Trimble and a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, will be the keynote speaker at the MAPPS annual Winter Conference being held January 22-26, 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

Kirkland will discuss the LightSquared issue, its impact on GPS users including consumers and the geospatial community, the current status, prospects for the future, lessons learned and how the lobbying and public relations experience can serve the profession on future issues.

"We are honored to have Mr. Kirkland as our keynote speaker," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "MAPPS has worked with Trimble and the Coalition to Save Our GPS to protect GPS users from the negative impacts of LightSquared's proposal. Jim Kirkland has been instrumental in developing and implementing strategies on this important issue and we look forward to hearing his insights on the entire process."

An informative business and technical education program will also be presented at the conference. Topics on the conference program include: The Business Opportunity in Cloud Computing; Is FAA Shutting Down LiDAR?; NGA's GeoInt Data Services Contract; A National Enhanced Elevation Program; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs); A National Geodetic Survey (NGS) National Gravity Program; The NERC Market for Geospatial Data; Spatial Information in Support of Renewable Energy; State Government Outsourcing & Privatization of Geospatial Activities; Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Procurement; State GIS Councils: Agents of Change or Defenders of the Status Quo?; Vegetative Mapping; Creating a Government Relations Program in Your Firm; and State Licensing of Photogrammetrists: What's the Status, What's Working and What's Not?

MAPPS is offering a special membership promotion for firms that are not current members. The association invites principals of firms to attend the Winter Conference at the non-member rate, but if the firm joins MAPPS prior to the end of the conference on January 26, 2012, the firm will be credited with the difference between the member and non-member rate, which is a savings of 56 percent. The reimbursement will be credited toward the firm's 2012 membership dues in MAPPS.

For program, registration and other information, visit the MAPPS website atwww.mapps.org.