Momentum is growing for the National Surveying and Mapping Conference as USGS joins a burgeoning, information-packed program.

MAPPS and National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) have joined together to host Collaboration: The Map of the Future, April 13-16, at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City (Arlington), VA. The conference features several mini-conferences, including the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference. Under that umbrella comes the latest addition to the program: USGS Stakeholders Meeting.

The stakeholders meeting will update involved parties on the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), a 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.

Since its inception in 2012, the USGS and its partners have been laying the foundation for implementing national data coverage in 8 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. 3DEP 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.

"The message of this conference is collaboration and no other agency personifies that more in the field of mapping and surveying than USGS through its 3DEP program," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "We have been working with USGS to educate and inform policy makers of the importance of the 3DEP initiative, and we're thrilled to be part of this very important stakeholder meeting."

Other agencies appearing at the Federal Programs Conference include Department of Homeland Security Licensed Data Forum, NOAA's National Geodetic Survey Programs, and Fish and Wildlife.