March 13-17, 2017

(Conference is March 13-15 & NSPS Business Meetings are March 14, 16, 17) 
Sheraton Hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland



Targeted LIDAR Use to Support In-Office Review and Validation of an Address Frame
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Assuring an accurate and complete address list for the United States and Puerto Rico is a critical step in the Census Bureau’s planning and conducting of each decennial census. Analysis of address and land use/land cover data from a variety of sources indicate in-office methods and data-driven decision-making can substitute for expensive in-field address canvassing in many areas of the country. As a result, and as part of its reengineered address canvassing for the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is implementing a nation-wide imagery-based review that started in October 2015, to validate the accuracy and completeness of the address list for most of the housing units in the nation. The experience gained from the Interactive Review phase of In-Office Address Canvassing has led to the development of a prototype that automates this process for future and ongoing Address Canvassing operations. In this presentation, Census will discuss on research and development on the use of Imagery and LiDAR to help identify structure locations as well as change between two vintages of imagery.

National Coastal Mapping Strategy
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) is a working group of the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST). SOST serves as the Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Policy Committee under the National Ocean Council.  The IWG-OCM was established in 2006 to "facilitate the coordination of ocean and coastal mapping activities and avoid duplicating mapping activities across the Federal sector as well as with State, industry, academic and non-governmental (NGO) mapping interests." In 2016 the IWG-OCM published a strategy document for public comment and has also begun holding regional “Coastal Mapping Summits” starting with Alaska.  Ashley Chappell, Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping, NOAA Office of Coast Survey, will lead a discussion of the strategy and opportunities for surveying, hydrography, and mapping firms. 

Geospatial Information as a Utility
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Is it feasible that a new business model by which Federal agencies may acquire geospatial data as a utility-service from private firms a better way to acquire geospatial assets for the Nation? David Alexander of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will lead a discussion on the evolution of geospatial information toward a utility marketplace that parallels markets such as electricity, water, natural gas, and broadband. Generally, these markets encompass a mix of public and private entities. It presents examples of current geospatial information services that meet the prevailing definition of a utility. 

Surveying Indoors 
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Surveying technology is not limited to the outside world.  Indoor mapping is a growing market.  This session will review the applications of these advanced technologies and update one of the most interesting and important developments in the survey and mapping market -- indoor mapping.  Panelists will share their expertise and help build a better understanding of the technologies, markets and applications for this fascinating advance from the centuries-old tape measure and pencil method of measuring indoor features. Mark Brooks, Optimal Geo, will lead the discussion with Kevin Perkins, Trimble; Frank Callazo, Leica Geosystems; and Allen Nobles, Nobles Consulting Group.

Parcel Update

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

National Parcel Data Summit was held in June, 2016 to focus Federal agencies, as well as state and local government and the private sector on the need for initiatives to make a national parcel system a reality.  This session will be a discussion of summit, as well as actions taken as a result of the June meeting, progress made, and what's next.  Discussion leaders will include Ivan DeLoatch, Executive Director of the Federal Geographic Data Committee and others, to be announced.

Aerial Photography and NAFTA

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) includes provisions for cross boarder operations of companies involved in aerial surveying, mapping and photography.  The rules for the implementation of these provisions for aerial services companies are administered by several US Governmental agencies including the U.S. Trade Representative USTR); Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of State, Department of Commerce,   U.S. Customs and Border Protection,  etc.  Over the years since the implementation of NAFTA, these provisions have morphed into a set of cumbersome requirements and approvals that clearly were not intended in the original trade agreement language and do not meet the standard of “transparency” between nations.  As a candidate, President Trump made it clear that he intends to promote renegotiation of NAFTA.  This session will discuss the needs of the aerial surveying and mapping profession with regard to NAFTA operations.  In a round-table format, expert officials from relevant Federal agencies will discuss issues and solutions.

P3 101: Are you ready for P3s for Infrastructure?
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Do you know how a public-private partnership (P3) for infrastructure works?  Do you know who your client would be?  Do you know how that client will procure your firm's services?
President Trump will soon unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure program.  If approved by Congress, it could be focused on private investment financed by tax credits for P3s.
Speaker: Sam Headon, Senior Legal Counsel, Skanska, a leading international project development and construction group and P3 partners.  His "P3 101" presentation will explain what a P3 is, how it works, who does what, how engineering/surveying/mapping firms participate, and how standards (e.g. FHwA standards for highways) are applied. 

National Geodetic Survey Program Updates
Time:  1:00 - 4:00 PM
Speakers:  Dr. Dru Smith, NGS NSRS Modernization Manager; Mike Aslaksen , NGS Remote Sensing Division Chief; TBD, other NGS speakers as necessary 
The missions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is "to define, maintain and provide access to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) to meet our nation's economic, social, and environmental needs." The foundational elements - latitude, longitude, elevation, shoreline information and their changes over time - contribute to informed decision making and impact a wide range of important activities including mapping and charting, navigation, flood risk determination, transportation, land use and ecosystem management. This session will describe the current status of the NSRS including preparations for a major NSRS modernization to be realized in 2022 replacing the current horizontal and vertical datums.  Updates on major activities and recent progress for the following NGS initiatives will also be include:  Coastal Mapping Program, OPUS, CORS, and GRAV-D.

Small Business Roundtable

Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Experts from the Small Business Administration will discuss issues in Federal procurement that are impacting surveying, mapping, and geospatial firms.  Topics will include:

  • Mentor-Protégé:  Some firms are nervous that Mentor-Protégé arrangements will divide contractors into “have” and “have-not” classes.  That is great if you’re in one, not so great if you’re not.  Primes are limited in the number of protégés they can mentor, and can also perform up to 60% of the work on a contract.  This seems to defeat the purpose of small business set-asides – allowing like-sized firms to compete on an equal playing field.  SBA will provide tips on how to be successful in this new contracting environment.
  • Set-Asides:  Small business set asides on Federal contracts is a difficult maze to navigate.  SBA will discuss how percentages for set-aside contracts are figured, whether goals are the same for every Federal agency, and trends over time – are they increasing, decreasing or staying the same?
  • Procurement:  “Brooks Act” QBS procurements have recently become egregiously slow.  In some cases, when multiple contracts are awarded, this is particularly burdensome on small businesses as their contracts are often not awarded until after all the large firms get theirs.  This session will identify the reasons for some contracts taking more than a year from FedBizOpps to award, and potential solutions.

Building a Capital Investment Business Case in an Architecture, Engineering, Surveying or Mapping Firm
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Given the equipment needed in a surveying, mapping and geospatial practice, building a capital investment business case within an architect-engineer (A-E) or surveying or mapping (S-M) firm can be a challenge.  This session will help the non-CFO manager present an investment case to the CFO, board of directors or partners in the firm.  Topics to be discussed include interaction between vendors/OEMs and surveying and mapping service firm professionals;  the business of surveying and mapping (private practice - management); new technology and the integration of technology (e.g. surveying with photogrammetry/LiDAR/BIM/scanning, etc.).  In this session, Robert Hanson, Senior Vice President of GIT Service Area, Michael Baker International, Inc. will cover the following:
1.       How to structure the ROI and cash flow analysis to support an investment
2.       Structuring cost components in an operations budget for the asset’s expenses
3.       Determination of a charge rate with alternatives (e.g., day rate or cost-reimbursable)
4.       Practical models (as example) examples for high-cost assets (inspection-grade UAS and LiDAR systems)

5.        Implementation of these cases and lessons learned 


Practice Management 

This workshop to increased profitability and value in your firm. Technical skills are not the only skill needed to advance yourself or your firm; developing business skills will aid you in making the critical decisions needed to increase your own value and that of the firm. This all-day program will give you:

  • A basic understanding of key financial statements and the financial metrics you need to make them meaningful to you. Learn why utilization is good, but not the only piece of the puzzle and how to gauge true productivity with this one metric. Learn the only key performance indicator that has a 100% correlation with profitability.
  • Advice on fee estimating and proposal negotiation specific to surveying firms. Learn the value of per diem rates and why uncompensated travel time can kill a budget, and how to monitor your projects for success.
  • The keys to a successful firm transition from creating a financially sound organization to identifying and training the next generation of personnel to give your firm a marketable value.

Instructor: Deborah Gill, CPA, CGMA, CDFA is the Chief Financial Officer at Precision Measurements, Inc. (PMI), a 50+ person land-surveying firm located in Virginia Beach, VA. Before joining PMI in July 2014, Deborah was the Director of Business Operations at Clark Nexsen, PC, a 550 person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design firm located in VA, NC, GA, and DC. She has also owned her own firm, Profit by Design, Ltd. providing consulting services and Deltek Vision support to over 100 clients in the Virginia and North Carolina area. Deborah has worked in the A/E/C industry for over 30 years. Deborah has provided many seminars on both accounting and human resources topics to SDA, AIA, NSPE, IFMA, and VSCPA in person, as well as, through webinars at both local and national levels. She is a Past National President for the Society for Design Administration, where she has served as the National President on two separate occasions. She is a 10 for 10 leader of the Hampton Roads United Way Women’s Leadership Council.

MAPPS Agency Briefings

Liaisons from the following agencies will brief the MAPPS members: 

  • NOAA
  • USGS
  • USDA
  • DHS
  • DOD
  • NGA


Survey Plats in GIS Systems
Moderated by members of PRIA (Property Records Industry Association)
With the use of GIS systems for storing County (as well other jurisdictions) property records departments nationwide becoming ubiquitous, County Recorders and Professional Surveyors are more aware than ever before that accuracy in the presentation of that information is essential. This is not only true as regards assessing property value, but also because the users of that information typically assume that the property boundary line and acreage information is also accurate, when in many cases this is not true. One way to insure that information in County property records is more accurate is to have actual land surveys performed by Professional Surveyors attached to the data in the GIS. While this concept is being utilized in some jurisdictions, it is far from being the “norm”.
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) have begun a dialog regarding this issue.

Bureau of Land Management - Cadastral Survey Forum 

  • Using Technology to Protect the Public Land Survey System - Direct Point Position Surveys (DPPS)

Boundary surveying is changing with the adoption of GPS, GNSS and other advancing technologies. The collection of geographic coordinate values and the greater use of geographic coordinate values for boundary determination have changed the public expectation.  The use of GPS technology for navigation maps, and survey/land records is extensive and continues to expand in all aspects of business.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska executes large area, original surveys and this session will provide a chronological overview of survey technology, its adoption and future applications.  The use of coordinates as boundary evidence in Federal surveys will be presented, as outlined in the BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions, 2009.  An open discussion on the use of advancing technologies to better define and preserve boundary locations will be included.  This session will assemble a group of BLM and other experts who will discuss the use of DPPS in today’s boundary survey and resurvey applications.

  • Riparian Boundaries

The complexity of riparian boundaries requires extensive research and data gathering.  These boundaries usually involve resources with high values both economically and environmentally to the riverbed and adjacent land owners.  This session will discuss some of the recent riparian boundary surveys that involved BLM and focus on the issues and challenges involved with these interesting surveys.

  • Cadastral Survey Records

The BLM Cadastral Survey Records are the original records for most of the United States.  These records are the basis for land title and ultimate land ownership.  The BLM provides the records to the public and interested parties though various channels including the General Land Office Records web site, and other methods.  This session will provide a historic overview of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and the evolution of the associated survey and land records.

  • A professional land surveyors partnership - Certified Federal Surveyor Program

The Certified Federal Surveyors Program (CFedS) is co-administered by BLM and NSPS.  CFedS provides extensive training for Professional Land Surveyors in dealing with Federal survey processes.  CFedS was approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 2004 as part of Indian trust reform to increase the knowledge of qualified surveyors who perform work on or near Federal interest lands.  This session will provide an update and overview of the CFedS Program; its accomplishments and the future direction of CFedS.