Has Congress ever wondered about the technology behind your GPS app? How have Federal agencies partnered with the private sector to map ocean bottoms so deep it would crush a human body or mountain ranges so remote you need a yak to get there? How are local police and fire departments able to find people in need with as little direction as a cell phone call? From online maps to flight plans, Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) touch lives daily.
Wednesday was GIS Day. Held in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week, universities, government agencies, non-profits, private sector GIS firms, and related advocates are banding together to bring awareness and education to all the ways GIS is used to improve our daily lives.
GIS is an important and growing part of the geospatial community, which the Department of Labor has identified as one of the high growth sectors of the U.S. economy. MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, is the leading advocate for GIS firms before Congress and Federal agencies, and seeks to foster the growing understanding and cooperation between the various governmental entities entrusted with implementing geospatial activities.
MAPPS has been a longtime advocate for growing the commercial marketplace for private sector geospatial data, services and products. "At the Federal level, GIS markets would increase thanks to legislation and regulatory fixes MAPPS champions such as the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, Digital Coast Act, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implementation of the parcel level ID as authorized in Dodd-Frank, and other GIS-related opportunities in the Farm Bill Authorization, FAA Authorization, Defense Authorization, Healthcare GIS, Homeland Security Authorization, MAP-21 (Highway Bill) Reauthorization, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Underground utilities and pipelines, and Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), among other initiatives," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.
Palatiello concluded, "On this annual occasion saluting GIS, MAPPS stands ready to continue its advocacy with Federal agencies and Congress to make sure the current value and future expansion for GIS firms is maximized."