(Story originally posted 4/26/12; updated 5/1/12 to include additional details regarding the field hearing.)

The Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act (H.R. 4233) introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) in March 2012, would streamline federal bureaucracy dealing with geospatial activities. MAPPS, which advocates passage of the bill, is pleased to see that H.R. 4233 is helping to stimulate a discussion on how to best deploy geospatial data, services, products and technologies in the Federal government and with non-federal stakeholders.

To further that discussion, MAPPS will be testifying on the bill in an oversight and legislative field hearing being held by the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, on Thursday, May 3, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. MAPPS will also testify on H.R. 1620, the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act. “These legislative initiatives, if enacted, would allow the federal government to have a comprehensive understanding of what agencies are involved in geospatial activities and what land assets the federal government owns and operates,” said Nick Pallatiello, assistant executive director for external affairs. “The obstacles facing the federal government's utilization of geospatial are not technical; they are political and organizational.”

MAPPS has advocated for the reorganization of federal geospatial activities, including governance, strategic investment in data, structure, and defining the proper roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including government and the private sector. 

In 2009, Executive Director John Palatiello testified at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing stating "Bold, decisive action is needed to eliminate the extraordinary waste, duplication and inefficiency in the Federal government's geospatial activities, the lack of a strong partnerships in Federal agencies' relationship with State and Local government, and the insidious extent to which there continues to be unfair government competition with the private sector".

Joining John Palatiello as witnesses at the May 3 hearing will be Brian Raber, CMS, GLS, GISP, Vice President, Merrick & Company (Aurora, Colo.), a member of the MAPPS Board of Directors; Leonard Gilroy, Director of Government Reform at the Reason Foundation; Anu Mittal, Director, Natural and Environment Division, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Brian Myers, PLS,  Licensed Land Surveyor, on behalf of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS); and Dr. Steve Jennings, Associate Professor & Acting Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs.

Following the hearing, the Colorado chapter of MAPPS, CO-MAPPS, will hold a quarterly membership meeting with Rep. Lamborn as the guest speaker. The chapter members will discuss topics involving the private geospatial community in the State. CO-MAPPS has been working with Governor John Hickenlooper's (D) administration on an economic development initiative focused on leveraging the significant concentration of geospatial firms in the state.

In an interview at SPAR International 2012, Nick Palatiello talked about the Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act. He also addressed other initiatives currently being pursued by MAPPS, including the formation of new state chapters and hot topics on the agenda at the MAPPS Summer Conference. Watch the video above to learn more.

Additional details about the field hearing will be posted following the May 3 event.