Coordinating geospatial projects is no small task, but add 5,000 miles across an ocean, almost continuous cloud cover and difficult terrain and the logistical challenges increase exponentially. By overcoming these challenges, Photo Science Inc., a Quantum Spatial Company (Sheboygan, Wis.), was recognized for its professionalism and technological ingenuity as the Grand Award recipient of the seventh annual MAPPS Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards Competition.

The project "Coastal Resilience Data for American Samoa" was presented Feb. 13 during an awards ceremony at the MAPPS Winter Conference at the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA.

"Because of the remoteness of the project, Quantum was required to fabricate senor mounts to facilitate sensor swapping. The shoreline delineation techniques developed in this project has already been employed in another mapping project in Hawaii," said Robert "Bob" Burtch PS, CP, Professor Emeritus, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, chairman of the judges' panel.

MAPPS awarded winners for 2013 in seven technical categories.

• Quantum Spatial's coastal resilience project won in the Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation category.
• Atlantic (Huntsville, AL) won for its project "Barhurst Inlet, Nunavut Corridor Mapping Project" in the Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition category.
• Merrick & Company (Greenwood Village, CO) won in the Remote Sensing category for its project "Power Line Remote Sensing".
• In the GIS/IT category, Magnolia River (Huntsville, AL) won for a "Natural Gas Geospatial Services" project.
• Woolpert, Inc. (Dayton, OH) received the award in the Surveying/Field Data Collection category for "Rutgers University Mobile Mapping: Hurricane Sandy".
• Smart Data Strategies (Franklin, TN) won the Small Projects category for its entry "Cameron Parish Louisiana Parcel Mapping and Digital Data".
• Optech Incorporated (Vaughan, Ontario, Canada) received the award in the Technology Innovation category for "Optech 3D Environmental Hydro-Fusion Software for CZMIL Bathymetry System."

"Each year the projects entered into the Excellence Awards Program showcase the diversity and breadth geospatial technologies do to enhance quality of life and provide long lasting societal benefits," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "I want to congratulate all the firms that entered a project. These products and services highlight the enormous benefits the private sector geospatial community provides to their clients and the citizenry every day."

A panel of independent judges evaluated projects submitted by MAPPS members for the awards program. Joining Burtch on the panel was Neil Sandler, publisher of Professional Surveyor Magazine, Frederick, Md.; John Hetzler, editor for POB Magazine, Troy, Mich.; Leonard Gilroy, AICP, director of government reform at Reason Foundation, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Donn Dears, publisher of Power for USA, a social media organization publishing research and information on energy issues, Geneva, Ill.