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

by | Nov 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 (Reston, VA) ” MAPPS (, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, today announced the panel of judges for the ninth Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards Competition.

The slate of judges will 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.

The panel of judges will include 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.

New to the panel this year is Michael Anderson, editor of Point of Beginning (P.O.B.) magazine. Mike has 20 years of experience in the construction trade press and 30 years of background in journalism. A past president of the Construction Writers Association, he has served in editorial positions with a number of leading construction industry publications throughout North America.

Doug Domenech, former Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia, returns to the panel. Domenech 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 currently the director of the Fueling Freedom Project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Donn D. Dears, a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Florida, is 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 the blog, Power America. He is former president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues.

Neil Sandler is owner of Flatdog Media, parent company of xyHt (formerly Professional Surveyor Magazine) and Spokes Magazine, a bicycling magazine. Sandler brings more than 40 years of work in journalism including 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.
Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit think tank advancing free markets. A certified urban planner (AICP), Gilroy researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. He is the editor of the world’s most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

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

“MAPPS is honored to have such a diverse and proficient group serve as judges for this year’s Excellence Awards,” said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. “We seek to recognize the highest quality projects, services, and technology and we are pleased to have such high quality judges evaluating the submissions.”

The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program has eight categories for projects and technologies delivered to clients or introduced in the market from January 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015 — 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.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at the MAPPS Winter Conference at the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, NV. Registration is open at


MAPPS is the only national association of firms in the surveying, mapping and geospatial 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. Their associate members include firms that provide products and services to member firms, as well as other firms world-wide. For more information, visit


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