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National Geospatial Technical Operations Center

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National Geospatial Technical Operations Center

The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) provides leadership and world-class technical expertise in the acquisition and management of trusted geospatial data, services, and map products for the Nation. NGTOC supports The National Map as part of the National Geospatial Program.

NGTOC News and Highlights             News Archive
April 1, 2016

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3DEP in the News:

  • 3D Elevation – We’ve Got You Covered: The USGS, in partnership with several federal, state, tribal and local agencies, has initiated the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) which can provide a wide variety of benefits for every state. 3D elevation data relies on high-tech tools like lidar and IfSAR to produce extremely detailed maps of everything from geologic features to buildings. Usages include flood risk management, infrastructure and construction planning, natural resources conservation, agriculture and precision farming, water issues and hundreds of other critical activities.
  • 2016 Lidar Awards Announced:The USGS has announced the first recipients of the 2016 partnership funding awards for the 3D Elevation Program. This program, referred to as 3DEP, presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between the USGS and other federal, state and local agencies to leverage the services and expertise of private sector mapping firms that acquire high-quality, three-dimensional mapping data of the U.S. Funding has been awarded to 21 proposals in 19 states and territories. The total data acquisition for the year is expected to result in the influx of more than 150,000 square miles of public domain lidar point cloud data and derived elevation products into the 3DEP program.
  • Flood Mapping: The USGS helps communities protect lives and property by providing cutting-edge tools and information that enable communities to understand local flood risks and improve mitigation decisions. Although flood-related fatalities have declined during recent years due to improved forecasting and early warning systems, economic losses have continued to rise with increased development in flood-hazard areas. With an electronic connection to USGS real-time stream data, USGS flood inundation maps allow communities to know — on a street-by-street, block-by-block basis — the extent of any potential flood and, in times of emergency, identify at-risk areas and resources in advance of arriving floodwaters.

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TNM Data Download Enhancements: The USGS National Map program is transitioning all of its GIS data download capabilities to its new TNM Download client during the week of February 15, 2016. The new launch page will help users easily find the variety of resources available to get National Map data, download GIS data, visualize and analyze data on the web, or access developer tools such as APIs and map services. Usage of TNM Download Client combined with staged product files will provide faster, more reliable and larger quantities of data to the geospatial community. The Download Client has an associated API available to developers to take advantage in their own applications.

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Arctic SDI: The Open Geospatial Consortium has released requests for information to help advance the "Arctic Spatial Data Pilot" The Arctic Spatial Data Pilot is an OGC Interoperability Program initiative sponsored by the USGS and Natural Resources Canada to support arctic data producers, users and other Arctic stakeholders in gaining new perspectives on Arctic social, economic, and environmental issues by making full use of online Arctic geographic information. Responses to the RFI are due by March 18, 2016.

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2015 Gannett Award: To commemorate the nation’s first chief geographer, the USGS established the Henry Gannett Award. This year’s recipient is Nicholas Mastrodicasa, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, for his leadership in the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative and the development of an elevation requirements study for Alaska. As manager for the Alaska Aviation Safety Project, a 3-dimensional terrain mapping project for the State, Nick recognized the critical need for improved topographic data for Alaska to support pilot safety and rescue efforts, as well as coordination and participation in several Alaska mapping events.

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2016 Nebert NSDI Award: The Federal Geographic Data Committee is now accepting nominations for the Doug D. Nebert National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Champion of the Year Award. Doug was a recognized national and international leader in the establishment of spatial data infrastructures and technical visionary as well as respected colleague. The nominations are available to an individual or a team representing federal, state, tribal, regional, and/or local government, academia, or non¬profit and professional organization that has developed an outstanding, innovative, and operational tool, application, or service capability used by multiple organizations that furthers the vision of the NSDI. Entries are due by May 6, 2016.

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Final Copper Plate Sale: Public sale by auction of sets of USGS topographic and geologic engravings that map places in the States of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and incidental areas of adjacent jurisdictions closed on March 14, 2016. The General Services Agency will provide updates on any further sales or disposal on the GSA Auction site: The sets are listed in the category "Jewelry & Exotic Collectibles".

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New NGAC Members: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has appointed a new Chair, Vice Chair and 14 new and continuing members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. The NGAC was formed to offer recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs. The NGAC is comprised of up to 30 members, selected to achieve a balanced representation of the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology. NGAC members are appointed to serve staggered terms on the committee. For the full list of new and continuing members, as well as new leadership, see the Department of Interior News Release:

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NHD Newsletter: The most recent edition of the NHD Newsletter has been posted. The monthly bulletin features issues in the USGS National Hyrodgraphy Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset. Highlights: NHDPlusHR Data Preparation Issues Identified, EPA’s StreamCat Dataset, Seventh USGS Hydrography Seminar, and other current hydrography related news. Newsletter readers are encouraged to send in articles on their work to help spread the word of how the NHD and WBD are contributing to water management and science. To view this and past newsletters go to

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More Maps and Mappers in the News:

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Passed 4,901! The National Map Twitter site is continuing to grow. Thanks to all who have joined us on @USGSTNM. Are you part? If not, sign up today and help us reach 5,000!

Notice to all @USGSTNMRes twitter followers. This account has combined with @USGSTNM. Please continue following us at @USGSTNM

US Topo Update: The availability of US Topo maps has reached its third "cycle." That means that each USGS quadrangle in the U.S. and appropriate territories is entering its third revision phase. Alaska is the lone exclusion, and is covered as part of the Alaska Mapping Initiative. The production and release of US Topo maps started in October 2009. In October 2012, the project has met its very aggressive long term goal of replacing all quads in the lower 48 states in three years with the new GeoPDF maps. The National Geospatial Technical Operations Center reports the following US Topo maps are loaded to the Map Locator of the USGS Store (as of 04-01-16):
  • Wisconsin: 100% complete - 1,108 quadrangles
  • Iowa: 100% complete - 1,011 quadrangles
  • Kansas: 100% complete - 1,403 quadrangles
  • Oklahoma: 100% complete – 1,149 quadrangles
  • Texas: 100% complete – 28 quadrangles
  • Kentucky: 28% complete - 28 quadrangles

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NGTOC is one organization with two locations: Denver, Colorado and Rolla, Missouri.


NGTOC Products & Services

To access The National Map Product & Services, visit The National Map Viewer.

NGTOC Contacts

Mailing address:

U.S. Geological Survey
1400 Independence Road
Rolla, MO 65401-2602

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U.S. Geological Survey
PO Box 25046, MS 510
Denver, Colorado 80225-0046

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Kari Craun David Brostuen Phyllis Altheide