Posts Tagged ‘geospatial’

In GIS more things change the more they stay the same

August 19, 2008

I started out of school as an environmental scientist analyst working for a government agency, and what I did was analysis on our monolithic GIS, now more popularly known as geospatial, platform. The hard thing about using spatially defined data is, the babel of data formats and the harsh difficulty of sharing data and of accessing the data outside of a thick client desktop application or proprietary databases. This was very true 10 years ago, and it is true now. There has been spatial data standards created over the past decade (the Open Geospatial Consortium or OGC) but support for this as might be imagined is overall not complete.


Geospatial professionals support McCain over Obama by more than a 3 – 1 margin

August 14, 2008

The geospatial (GIS) commercial lobbyist group community organization MAPPS took a poll of its members at its July meeting and found that McCain was supported over Obama by 76% to 24%.

The poll, conducted during the MAPPS annual summer conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, measured the preference of principals, owners, partners and senior professional executives of the geospatial community’s leading firms.

“The MAPPS members clearly prefer Senator McCain based on his record on business issues, taxes, foreign policy and national defense,” said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.  “The margin in the poll demonstrates that MAPPS members view the 2008 Presidential election as a clear choice.”

MAPPS’ member spouses were even polled. They only favored McCain by a 64% to 36% margin. McCain’s gender gap is making itself felt.

MAPPS members participating in a similar poll favored President George Bush over Senator John Kerry in July, 2004.  Bush went on to defeat Kerry in the November, 2004 election.

Stick a fork in Obama, that sucker’s done.

Speaking of the appropriately named MAPPS organization, who are they?

MAPPS is the most politically active association in the geospatial community.  The association features a full time government relations staff in Washington, DC, sponsors the MAPPS Political Action Committee (MAPPS PAC), and hosts a Federal Programs Conference in March of each year in which members of MAPPS visit Capitol Hill for meetings with some 300 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan association organized under section 501(c)(6) of the Interal Revenue Code, MAPPS does not endorse any candidate or party.  The poll was taken for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement nor an attempt to influence any members, voters or elections.

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. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, 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. MAPPS provides its members 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

One odd bedfellow kind of thing with the geospatial industry is that arguably its two largest user bases wouldn’t be expected to see eye to eye politically. You have the environmental management community who you would imagine would not lean Republican. Then you have the defense/aerospace community who you would imagine believe that their jobs depend on Republicans.