Harrisburg, PA, July 6, 2009 - PA-MAPPS, the first state chapter of MAPPS ( www.mapps.org), the national association of private geospatial firms, became the first organization to formally endorse the Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania, which calls for the establishment of a Pennsylvania Statewide Geospatial Coordination Council. Upon the PA-MAPPS memberships unanimous vote to endorse the strategy, newly elected President Mike Shillenn (Photo Science, West Chester, PA) proposed the creation of a state version of the Council of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) to organize stakeholders in support of the plan.
The PA-MAPPS members unanimously voted on June 11 to endorse the strategic plan, which was managed by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) through funding by a Cooperative Assistance Program (CAP) grant provided by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and in kind service to stake holders.The plan was completed in May.
Upon taking office as Pennsylvania state chapter President at the associations annual membership meeting, Shillenn said he wants PA-MAPPS to be a voice, advocate and catalyst for geospatial activities in the Commonwealth. He told the members, At the national level, last year, an organization was created known as COGO - the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations.Here in Pennsylvania, I want to explore the formation of an informal POGO - The Pennsylvania Organization of Geospatial Organizations - an umbrella, a coalition of the willing, to make a Pennsylvania Statewide Geospatial Strategic Plan a reality, to see it fully implemented.
On June 26, 2009, PA-MAPPS hosted an exploratory meeting with senior leadership from two other leading Pennsylvania geospatial organizations; the County Geographic Informa¬tion Systems Professionals Association of Pennsylvania, an affiliate of the County Commissioners Associa¬tion of Pennsylvania ( www.countygispros.org) and the Pennsylvania Mapping and Geographic Information Consortium (PaMAGIC) ( www.pamagic.org). Shillenn represented PA-MAPPS at that meeting and reported all three organizations affirmed that council formation is a critical step to insuring the long term stability and success of geospatial technology in the Commonwealth. Laura Simonetti of the County GIS Professionals added, the meeting was a good first attempt at working together on issues affecting the broader geospatial community in Pennsylvania. At the meeting, Glenn McNichol of PaMAGIC announced that PaMAGIC has also endorsed the Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania and has indentified an educational role for itself in the recruitment of additional endorsers to the strategic plan.
Each organization has indicated that it will further discuss the opportunity to work together to leverage the combined strengths and resources of the respective organizations in support of council formation.
About PA-MAPPS and MAPPS
PA-MAPPS, the first state chapter of MAPPS, is open to private firms in the geospatial community including those in photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, surveying, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PA-MAPPS has two membership categories; Member Firms: geospatial service firms with offices and employees based in Pennsylvania and Associate Members: companies that do business in but not having a physical office or businesses in the Commonwealth, or those that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the Keystone State.Firms in PA MAPPS are also members of MAPPS.
MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the spatial data and geographic information system field in the United States. Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the voice of private U.S geospatial firms. Its membership also includes and numerous internationally-based companies. For information, visit www.mapps.org.