MAPPS Approves By-Laws Change, Adds Independent Consultant Membership Category

March 29, 2010 -- By-laws amendments opening regular membership in MAPPS to foreign owned firms with offices in the United States and independent consultants who service the geospatial market were unanimously approved by the membership during a special meeting at the MAPPS Winter Conference. The amendments redefine the requirements for membership in MAPPS, encompassing firms that have offices in the United States but are foreign owned and sole proprietor independent consultants without payroll or other employees who provide services in or to the geospatial community.

"These amendments reflect the ever changing landscape of the geospatial community. MAPPS was created to represent the private geospatial community and with the market becoming more global and including more mobile application and single person entities, we modified our bylaws to embrace these firms" said Jeff Lovin, MAPPS President (Woolpert, Inc., Dayton, OH). "The profession has changed and so has MAPPS. Just as MAPPS evolved from its origin as a photogrammetry-related association to one that now includes a broad cross section of geospatial disciplines, these by-laws changes reflect the latest transformation in the market and enable foreign-based firms operating in the U.S. and independent consultants, including applications developers, who have common business, professional and policy goals as current members, to come inside the MAPPS umbrella."

The by-law changes are effective immediately. These amendments redefine the types of firms that are represented in MAPPS and change the titles for the membership categories. MAPPS now has four types of members -- regular member, associate member, independent consultant, and emeritus member. These membership categories are defined as:

Regular Member Firm

- Any firm having office(s) located in the United States of America and is engaged in the geospatial profession may become a Regular Member "Engaged in the geospatial profession" means any private, for-profit organization where one of its purposes is the creation, collection, dissemination and application of geo-referenced graphical or digital data to depict natural or manmade physical features, phenomena, or boundaries of the earth, geospatial intelligence, and any information related thereto, including any such data that comprises a survey, map, chart, geographic information system, remotely sensed satellite or aerial image or data."

Associate Member Firm

- Any firm engaged in the manufacturing and/or supplying of geospatial equipment, services, supplies, hardware or software, that supports but is not engaged in the geospatial profession, any firm not engaged in but with an interest in the geospatial field, and any firm meeting the definition of "Engaged in the geospatial profession" whose office(s) is located outside of the United States of America.

Independent Consultant Member

- Any individual who would not otherwise qualify for membership as a Regular, Associate or Emeritus Member, is not affiliated with any firm that would qualify for membership as Regular or Associate Member, has no employees, is engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, and provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession.

"These by-law changes have been evaluated over the last year by a task force chaired by Dave Hart (Continental Mapping Consultants, Sun Prairie, WI) in an effort to reflect major changes in ownership structures of geospatial firms, foreign and domestic," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "These changes update the bylaws that were last revised in 2007 and reflect the rapid changes in the geospatial business and the traditional form of ownership."

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