The Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) recently sent letters to all 50 state governors asking them to “conduct a review of [the state’s] activities in the geospatial field.” It appears the letters stem from MAPPS’ fundamental desire to “prevent government competition and maximize the use of the private geospatial community.”
The key points highlighted in the letters include:
- Conduct a review of each state agency to determine whether geospatial activities are conducted with state employees that could and should be contracted to the private sector, with particular attention to the state’s Department of Transportation.
- Create a current, accurate GIS-based inventory of all state owned land so determinations can be made which land is surplus and can be disposed for tax-generating activities in private ownership.
- Establish a state GIS Coordination Council, with private sector participation and representation.
- End state prison industry performance of mapping and GIS services.
- Audit practices of state universities to assure they are not conducting mapping and geospatial services for hire with state or local agencies or other entities in unfair competition with the private sector.
- Conduct an assessment of state utilization of geospatial technologies to determine whether the most cost-effective and state-of-the-art services and solutions are being provided to your citizens.
The Wisconsin letter , sent to Gov. Scott Walker on January 26th, appears to be identical in content to letters sent to the 49 other governors around the county. What impact these letters will have on government geospatial operations, if any, remains to be seen.
According to their Web site, MAPPS is the only national association of firms in the surveying, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. MAPPS member firms are engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS and GIS data collection and conversion services.