MAPPS to Testify Before Congress on Future of Federal Aids to Navigation

Washington, DC –MAPPS, the association of private sector geospatial firms, will testify before Congress Tuesday, February 4, 2014 on federal navigation programs.

Scott Perkins, GISP (Quantum Spatial) will address geospatial activities that support maritime transportation at a hearing, "Finding Your Way: The Future of Federal Aids to Navigation", by the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Subcommittee will focus on the programs for assisting vessel navigation and the movement of goods, and the federal agencies that play integral roles in operating and maintaining the U.S. navigation system.

Perkins, the Vice Chairman of the federal government’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) and longtime chair of the MAPPS-NOAA liaison committee, will discuss the role surveying, mapping and geospatial data plays to support a variety of maritime functions, such as port and harbor maintenance and dredging that facilitates the 98 percent of our international trade.

His recommendations will include:

  • weekly publication of the Coast Guard’s Light List data as a web service, to allow updates to be capable with web applications or on a desktop to increase ease of use of the data;
  • prompt passage of H.R. 1399 to reauthorize the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act ;
  • pass H.R. 1382, the Digital Coast Act, to assist a coordinated and comprehensive national mapping effort for coastal, state and territorial waters of the United States and better integrate navigational and non-navigational geospatial activities in NOAA;
  • improve coordination of geospatial activities among various agencies and numerous programs and applications, as noted in several GAO reports, to develop a cross-cutting and joint funding strategy to leverage and coordinate budgets and expenditures for geospatial data related to charting, navigation, and aid to navigation (ATON); and
  • a public-private partnership to better utilize the capacity and capability in the private sector to provide government agencies the geospatial services that support ATON, while refocusing government agencies on inherently governmental activities.

The Subcommittee hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building and will be available via webcast.


Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. The MAPPS membership spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LIDAR, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. Independent Consultant Members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession.

MAPPS provides its member firms opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement.

For more information on MAPPS, please visit