MAPPS Announces Judges for Eighth Annual Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards

September 15, 2014, Reston, Virginia – MAPPS (, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, today announced the five judges who will evaluate entries in the eighth annual "Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards Competition". The independent judges have been selected to evaluate projects submitted for the awards competition that highlight the exceptional services, products, software and hardware produced by the companies that make up the MAPPS membership.

New to the panel in 2014 are Bruce MacLeod, editor of Point of Beginning (POB) Magazine and Doug Domenech, former Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Bruce MacLeod is the editor of POB magazine and website. A career journalist, MacLeod worked 25 years at a suburban Detroit daily newspaper before accepting the POB editor position in March.

Domenech is the former Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that role he oversaw six state environmental, natural, and historic resource agencies. Previously he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Interior in Washington, DC. He is a forestry and wildlife management graduate from Virginia Tech.

For the fifth year, the panel of judges is chaired by Robert Burtch, professor-emeritus of the Surveying and Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he taught courses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor and a Certified Photogrammetrists, ASPRS.

Judges returning to the panel include:

Donn D. Dears, a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Florida. A graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

Neil Sandler, owner of Flatdog Media, parent company of xyHt (formerly Professional Surveyor Magazine) and owner of Spokes Magazine a bicycling magazine. His more than 40 years of work in journalism includes work as deputy press secretary for a U.S. Senator, managing editor of a steel industry publication, and director of communications for a major national professional association.

The MAPPS awards competition recognizes the professionalism, value, integrity and achievement that member firms have demonstrated in their projects and technology developments over the previous year.

"We are honored to have these independent, knowledgeable individuals participate in our competition. The projects submitted exemplify the contributions private geospatial firms make to society every day to enhance our quality of life. The judges’ backgrounds bring insight into the technical and societal merits of the projects," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program has eight categories for projects and technologies delivered from January 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014: airborne and satellite data acquisition; photogrammetry/elevation data generation; remote sensing; GIS/IT; small projects; surveying/field data collection; technology innovation and licensed data products. A Grand Award winner will be selected from the eight category winners to represent the MAPPS Project of the Year. This is the eighth annual awards competition.

Winners will be announced on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at the Geospatial and Engineering International Conference at the Westin Alexandria hotel in Alexandria, VA. Early registration for the conference has been extended until September 19. Conference attendees can receive an extra $50 off registration by making a hotel reservation at the Westin Alexandria. Further details are available at


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