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November 29th, 2016
MAPPS Announces Judges for Tenth Annual Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards

Nov 29, 2016 — MAPPS (, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, today announced the six judge panel for the tenth annual Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards Competition.

The slate of impartial 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 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.

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 was president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, and is the author of the blog, Power America and several books, including his most recent Nothing to Fear: A Bright Future for Fossil Fuels.

Perry Trunick is editor of P.O.B. magazine, a trade publication covering the surveying and mapping field.  Trunick is an experienced marketing communications professional and an adjunct instructor in the Executive MBA program at Cleveland State University.

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 based nonprofit think tank advancing free markets. A professional urban planner by training, Gilroy researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has worked to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. 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.

Karen Kerrigan is President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a Vienna, Virginia-based 501 (c)(4) nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy and research organization that promotes entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Ms. Kerrigan has served on numerous federal advisory boards including the National Women’s Business Council, the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialog, the U.S. Treasury’s Taxpayer Advisory Panel, and the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements.

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 group of geospatial professionals and business experts serve as judges for this year’s Excellence Awards,” said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. “We seek to recognize the best, and we have the best judging it.”

The Geospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards program has two grand award winners.  Data and services projects are in seven categories for deliverables from January 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016.  Categories are: airborne and satellite data acquisition; photogrammetry/elevation data generation; remote sensing; GIS/IT; small projects; surveying/field data collection; and licensed data products. A Grand Award winner will be selected from these seven category winners to earn the MAPPS Project of the Year.  The winner for the technology innovation category will be selected for the best New Technology of the Year Award.

Winners will be announced on Monday, January 16, 2017 at the MAPPS Winter Conference at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. Registration for the conference 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. Associate members include firms that provide equipment, hardware, software, products and services to member firms, as well as other firms world-wide. For more information, visit