Attendees at a national trade association conference in the geospatial field are accustomed to collecting billions of pieces of information to create maps. The products and services created by the individuals in the profession are used for location intelligence and planning by the U.S. military. Today, however, these professionals developed a different type of product to serve our men and women in uniform.
Over 100 attendees attending the annual winter conference of MAPPS (www.mapps.org), the national association for private sector geospatial firms, at The Lodge at Torrey Pines competed in physical and intellectual challenge games to win prizes for care packages to be sent to deployed military service members. This was part of the "Team Up for Troops" networking event held during the conference.
"On a regular basis the members of MAPPS are working to provide information to our military partners and clients, but today we are providing a different type of support. As business owners, MAPPS members are not just interested in profit, but professionalism and community service as well. This is a gratifying opportunity to benefit active duty service members protecting our freedom and in harm's way," said Jeff Lower, MAPPS President (PAR, LLC, Bossier City, LA). "As a trade association, MAPPS is an advocate for professionalism in the geospatial market and this event is an example of the community spirit of the organization and its mission of service to others."
Participants were split into teams to collect items including DVDs, flip cams, mini footballs, flashlights, winter hats, note pads, pens and chap stick provided by the event sponsors. The sponsors of each of the teams included Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (Harrisburg, PA); Microsoft Corporation (Boulder, CO); Merrick & Company (Greenwood Village, CO); PAR, LLC (Bossier City, LA); Quantum Spatial (Sheboygan, WI); and RIEGL USA (Orlando, FL).
The care packages were received by Lieutenant Colonel Jon Shultz of the Alabama Air National Guard and will be sent to service members around the world. Recipients of the care packages have a connection to attendees or the firms that make up the MAPPS membership.
"On behalf of the active duty, guard, and reserve service members I would like to thank the MAPPS organization for this gesture," said Lt. Col. Shultz. "These care packages go a long way to boost morale to those that are deployed around the world."
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 www.mapps.org.