MAPPS President Testifies Before Congress on Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Reauthorization

June 14, 2013 -- In testimony before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, of the House Committee on Natural Resources, MAPPS President Dick McDonald, CP, PLS (T3 Global Strategies, Bridgeville, PA), commended Congress on its leadership in creating the hydrographic survey contracting program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), through the Hydrographic Services Improvement (HSIA) Act of 1998, but said that it needs to go further to benefit taxpayers and reduce duplication between NOAA and the private sector.
McDonald was testifying on the Hydrographic Services Improvement Amendments Act of 2013, H.R. 1399, a reauthorization of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998.
In 1998 there was a "survey backlog" of 43,000 square nautical miles (SNM) of critical areas along the nation's coastline that needed to be collected. The hydrographic survey program in NOAA, through the original HSIA Act, and its subsequent amendments and reauthorization has successfully and significantly reduced the backlog. To date, surveys of more than 28,000 SNM have been completed.
"It is because of the leadership of Congress, and this Subcommittee in particular, that NOAA has begun to transform itself from being a source of competition with the private geospatial community to a partner that utilizes the services and capabilities available from numerous qualified private firms," said McDonald.
In his testimony, McDonald recommended the coastal geospatial services contract program carried out by NOAA's Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC as a model for the rest of the agency.
"In this program, roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. NOAA, as a data partner for Federal, State and local government, creates the demand for geospatial data. The private sector provides the supply of geospatial data," said McDonald.
Numerous reports issued by the Commerce Department Inspector General and independent government studies have concluded that NOAA should contract for mapping activities and decommission its hydrographic fleet "because its operation is so much more expensive than the private sector". The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP), an advisory board established by the Secretary of Commerce, has recommended that NOAA conduct a thorough cost-comparison of government and contractor hydrographic surveys.
In written testimony, MAPPS applauded NOAA's valuable work in the establishment of professional and technical standards, research and development.
"For too long, NOAA and other Federal agencies have unwisely spent taxpayers' dollars by attempting to perform commercially available hydrographic and other geospatial activities. We urge the subcommittee to use the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act to change this paradigm," said McDonald. "This is not a recommendation that comes solely from MAPPS, but it is one that has been advocated by virtually every study conducted on NOAA's programs."
MAPPS urged the Subcommittee to add H.R. 1382, the "Digital Coast Act of 2013", a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) which would develop a coordinated and comprehensive national mapping effort for coastal, State and territorial waters of the United States, as an amendment to H.R. 1399.
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

Review Article Be the first to review this article
Featured Video
GIS Analyst II for Foresters Co Op at Grass Valley, California
Geospatial Solutions Specialist for University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, North Dakota
GIS Coordinator for City of Marysville at Marysville, Ohio
Service Software Expert-CATIA & CAA for Dassault Systemes at Shanghai, China
Construction Project Manager for Gordon Prill, Inc at Sunnyvale, California
Mechanical Engineer II for Aehr Test Systems at Fremont, California
Upcoming Events
Energy Drone & Robotics Summit at Houston TX - Jul 30 - 6, 2021
InterDrone 2021 --- Cancelled at Hyatt Regency Dallas TX - Aug 10 - 12, 2021
URISA GIS Leadership Academy at 701 Lee St #960 Des Plaines IL - Aug 16 - 20, 2021
8th International Scientific Conference on SOCIAL SCIENCES (ISCSS) 2021 at Congress Centre MARITIM PARADISE BLUE Albena Bulgaria - Aug 21 - 30, 2021

© 2021 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
670 Aberdeen Way, Milpitas, CA 95035
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise