MAPPS to Testify on Parcel-Based GIS as Early Warning System for Mortgage Crisis

Reston, VA, September 16, 2009 - MAPPS ( www.mapps.org), the association of private geospatial firms, will testify before Congress on Thursday to advocate the use of national parcel data and other geospatial technologies to provide transparency and accountability for oversight of Federal financial services programs.

Susan Marlow, President, Smart Data Strategies (Franklin, TN), chair of the MAPPS cadastre task force, will testify before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services. The hearing is on Thursday, September 17 at 10:00 AM in room 2128 Rayburn House Office Building, on the U.S. Capitol campus.

The hearing, "Utilizing Technology to Improve TARP and Financial Oversight" will focus on how technology can be used to ensure federal agencies provide strong, coordinated oversight of financial services activity. Ms. Marlow will discuss the role geospatial technology can play to provide transparency and accountability for programs, such as TARP, and be an early warning system for disruptions in the market, such as increased foreclosures. Her testimony will explain how the technology provides a method for tracking assets, such as the portfolio of mortgages the Federal government now holds, and other applications ranging from health care to climate change. She will call on Congress to amend the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to require data collection at the parcel level.

Ms. Marlow was a member of the National Research Council panel that produced the report, "National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future". She will tell Congress the challenge to creating a national cadastre or parcel system in the NSDI "is not technical, it is political and institutional" and was first identified as such in the 1980 National Academy study, "Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre".

MAPPS has been advocating for greater use of geospatial technology, especially in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crisis. MAPPS called on the White House staff of President Bush in October 2008 to convene a summit meeting to utilize geospatial technology and a coordinated parcel system to provide an 'early warning system' to minimize the multi-trillion dollar crisis. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) held such a stakeholder conference in May of this year.

About MAPPS
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, 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. MAPPS provides its 160+ 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.



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