New and Proposed Survey Related Organizations

The various survey-related publications have had a full time job of late keeping up with all the new and proposed professional organizations. 

Kristi Grahl, writing at the Sight Lines Blog (affiliated with POB) cited one that launched, and another one proposed at this year's SPAR event:

Some of the biggest news out of SPAR International this week was the recent formation of a new nonprofit association focused on 3D services and technology, called 3D Professional Association (3DPA), and the exploratory introduction of another new nonprofit organization focused on building survey activities, tentatively called the U.S. Institute of Building Surveyors (USIBS).

She goes on to ponder whether such efforts made sense in today's marketplace.

The question is whether these new organizations will truly help fill the gaps and bridge some of the disparity, or whether—as some believe—they’ll create new silos in an already-fractured profession served by MAPPS, ASPRS, and NSPS and the other member organizations of ACSM. Should the existing associations be given a chance to step up to the plate, or have they missed their opportunity? Will new associations help or hurt lobbying efforts on important issues in Washington? And what really is the best way to create new standards and certification opportunities in these burgeoning fields?

Today, I read in Professional Surveyors' Field Notes newsletter that another organization was proposed at the event:
..., the panel [members at a session called “Creating National Standards for Infrastructure Surveying”] took this a step further, proposing the creation of a new group, the Geospatial Transportation Mapping Association (GTMA).
The argument is that current organizations such as MAPPS and ASPRS are not appropriately "oriented" for such standards work. The article by editor TJ Frazier, LS includes MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello's take on that proposal; he argues the existing organizations should stand together.
The private geospatial community is not large.  Splintering this small community will not only weaken its voice and political strength, it will result in a wasteful dilution of scarce financial resources.
I have to admit that while we have our own challenges managing, growing, and maybe keeping alive our geospatial organizations with a GIS twist, we've not seen seen this sort of explosion of new groups of late. On the other hand, efforts to bring the existing organizations together (I'm thinking of COGO) haven't been all that successful either.

Published Friday, April 8th, 2011

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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