Momentum is growing for the fast-approaching National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference.

2015 National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial ConferenceLeading professional associations MAPPS and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) have joined together to host Collaboration: The Map of the Future, running April 13-16 at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City, Va. The National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference will feature several mini-conferences, including the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference.

Under the umbrella of the “conference within a conference” format now comes the addition of United States Geological Survey (USGS), which will hold a stakeholders meeting for the exciting 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The meeting will update involved parties on the 3DEP partnership designed to produce nationwide LiDAR coverage (IFSAR in Alaska) to address the requirements of 34 federal agencies, 50 states, and local, tribal and private organizations. The meeting will also serve as a forum for executive dialogue and collaboration on strategies to implement and sustain 3DEP for the benefit of its federal stakeholders and the broader community. The meeting is by invitation only, sent to more than a dozen non-federal organizations.

“The message of this conference is collaboration,” says John Palatiello, MAPPS executive director, “and no other agency personifies that more in the field of mapping and surveying than USGS through its 3DEP program. We have been working with USGS to educate and inform policymakers of the importance of the 3DEP initiative, and we’re thrilled to be part of this very important stakeholder meeting.”

Since the 3DEP program’s inception in 2012, the USGS and its partners have been laying the foundation for implementing national data coverage in eight years. A fully-funded program will provide a 5:1 return on investment and more than $690 million annually in new benefits to government entities, the private sector and citizens, says Palatiello. The 3DEP effort presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between all levels of government, to leverage the services and expertise of private-sector mapping firms that acquire the data, and to create jobs now and in the future, he adds.

For more information on the National Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Conference and to register, visit the event’s official website. Other agencies appearing at the Virginia event next month as part of the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference include the Department of Homeland Security Licensed Data Forum, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey Programs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


The Management Association for Private Photogrammetic Surveyors based in Reston, Va., MAPPS is the only national association of firms in the surveying, spatial data and geographic information systems fields. MAPPS member firms are engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. Associate members are engaged in the manufacturing and/or supplying of geospatial equipment, services, supplies, hardware or software to geospatial services firms, many of which are MAPPS member firms.

About NSPS

With more than 15,000 individual members primarily within the United States, the National Society of Professional Surveyors is the voice of the professional surveying community. Through its joint membership program with the respective state surveying societies, NSPS has a strong constituency base for communicating with lawmakers, agencies and regulators at both the national and state levels. NSPS also collaborates with a multitude of other organizations within the geospatial community to address issues of mutual importance. As the lead society for the evaluation of college-level programs seeking accreditation through ABET, NSPS is instrumental in assuring that prospective professional surveyors receive an education that is relevant to the role they will play in society. NSPS is the U.S. representative to the international organization for surveyors — FIG — placing representatives on the respective practice-area commissions. NSPS has a Certified Survey Technician (CST) program and a hydrographic surveying certification program, and offers competitions for both high school and college-level students.