Reston, Va. - A project for the Navajo Housing Authority, developing orthoimagery and digital elevation models (DEM) for 30,000 square miles transcending four states, has been selected as the Grand Award Winner for the 2012 MAPPS Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards.

AeroMetric, Sheboygan, Wis., was selected for "Creating an On-Target Geospatial Foundation for the Navajo Housing Authority" at a presentation ceremony Oct. 30. The project was selected because of AeroMetric's ability to overcome challenges that included a large, multi-state project area, logistical and technical complexity in both acquisition and model generation in a remote, rugged topography with extreme and abrupt changes in elevation.

"AeroMetric's project for developing a geospatial land base for the Navajo Housing Authority was truly an exemplary project in the judges' estimation," said Robert "Bob" Burtch PS, CP, Professor Emeritus, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich., chairman of the judges' panel. "Not only did this project deliver a tool to help the Navajo Nation improve the delivery of public services, it also provides a model for how other public sector entities can partner with the geospatial profession to cost-effectively deliver very large, complex projects.”

"MAPPS awarded winners in seven technical categories. AeroMetric's Navajo geospatial foundation project won in the Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation category. Photo Science's project, "LiDAR for the North East" won in Airborne and Satellite Acquisition. Merrick & Company's project "Enhancing Airfield Safety with LiDAR Technology" won in Remote Sensing, and Merrick & Company's project "Barrenlands, Bombs and Boundary Surveys" won in the Surveying/Field Data Collection category. The Sidwell Company won in the GIS/IT category for their "City of Storm Lake GIS/GPS Project. Kappa Mapping won in the Small Projects category for the project "Mapping Fishing Gear and Lines to Reduce Whale Entanglements" and RIEGL USA's project "Scanning the Seas" won for Technology Innovation."

“The projects, entered into the sixth year of the Excellence Awards Program, again demonstrate the ingenuity and professionalism that the private geospatial community provides to their clients and to enhance our quality of life," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "The awards highlight the ability for firms to work with clients to provide solutions that are within budget and have long-lasting societal benefits on a daily basis."

A panel of independent judges evaluated projects submitted by MAPPS members for the awards program. Joining Burtch on the panel was Robert "Bob" Banzhoff, editor for surveying of Professional Surveyor Magazine, Haggerstown, Md.; Christine Grahl, editor for POB Magazine and, Troy, Mich.; Leonard Gilroy, AICP, director of government reform at Reason Foundation, Los Angeles; and Donn Dears, president of, a nonprofit think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, in Geneva, Ill.

The awards presentation took place at the MAPPS/ASPRS Joint Specialty Conference at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa. Fla.