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Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator will be the featured speaker at the second convening of the MAPPS Washington Policy Forum on Thursday, February 9, 2006. In recent years, NOAA’s National Ocean Service has launched several geospatial programs that utilize the private sector via the qualifications based selection process – an objective of MAPPS. These programs include the hydrographic survey, bathymetric LIDAR and shoreline mapping programs, as well as the coastal remote sensing program managed by NOAA’s Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC. NOAA also oversees the Hydrographic Services Improvement Panel, a Federal Advisory Committee, with which MAPPS has worked closely and on which MAPPS members serve. MMAPPS has more than 150 private sector firms from all aspects of the geospatial profession. Its member firms are in the mapping, spatial data and geographic information systems field engaged in mapping, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS and GIS data collection, integration and conversion services.