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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
June 3, 2016

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New US Topo Maps:

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Copper Plates Gone (Sort of): The General Services Administration has completed the donation or sale of nearly 4,000 excess sets of historic USGS engraved copper map plates. The transfer of this “excess property” raised more than $1.1 million for the U.S. Treasury and more importantly, placed most of the “copper plates” into appropriate settings for preservation and viewing. The highest bid for a set of “copper plates” was $18,938, can you guess the location? Also, which state featured three of the next four high bids? For the answer to these questions, and many more details, go to the new Science Snippet:

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The National Map Corps News:

    Making Your Mark on a Map: Volunteer map editors have contributed more than 200,000 “points” to The National Map Corps database. A little more than a year after reaching 100,000 points, TNM Corps citizen scientists have more than doubled the number of structure or manmade features submitted to update The National Map structures dataset. You too can join the hundreds of citizen scientists who are making significant additions to the USGS’s ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public. And remember, to show appreciation of the volunteers’ efforts, TNM Corps has enhanced the recognition program that awards “virtual" badges to volunteers. Each edit that is submitted is worth one point towards the badge level. Also, a special challenge is currently underway celebrating International Map Year, with a limited edition embroidered patch award.

  • Meet HGeisler :The newest member of the Squadron of Biplane Spectators! The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) Citizen Scientists edit structures to improve US Topo maps and along the way earn virtual badges. HGeisler has edited more than 6,000 points entering our top category!

    “As a geography major in college, I focused on urban geography, air photo interpretation, and cartography’, said HGeisler. “:Thanks to a 40 year career as an urban planner, along with living in five states and nine cities, I developed an on-the-ground familiarity with geography as well as the characteristics of many structures. Throughout my career, USGS maps and aerial imagery have been basic tools in my work so volunteering with TNMCorps was a natural opportunity to contribute using my knowledge, experiences, and love of maps. Participating in TNMCorps has also brought me full circle in my career since my first position after college as an air photo interpreter preparing topographic maps for Afghanistan using black and white stereo pair photos under a stereoscope. Once again, I am annotating aerial images but this time using a mouse and a keyboard rather than prismacolor pencils and rapidograph pens!”

    You too can join HGeisler along with hundreds of other volunteers who contribute to The National Map. You don’t have to be a cartographer, just an interest and a computer. Sign up and begin editing points today!

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Arctic Spatial Data Pilot Project: The Open Geospatial Consortium and sponsors, the USGS and Natural Resources Canada, announce a Request for Quotation and Call for Participation in the OGC Interoperability Program’s Arctic Spatial Data Pilot initiative. The pilot is designed to demonstrate the diversity, richness and value of providing geospatial data in support of Spatial Data infrastructures and how they help stakeholders to gain new perspectives into social, economic, and environmental issues, by providing an online network of resources that improves the sharing, use and integration of information tied to geographic locations in North America, the Arctic, and around the world. Responses are due by June 17, 2016.

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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 Hydrography Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset. Highlights: Delineation of Maine Coastal Waters in the NHD, NHDPlusV2 National Seamless File Geodatabase Released, NHD Quality Control Errors and How to Resolve Those Errors, 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:

    “Sensing for Scientific Understanding” USGS Director talks mapping, Landsat, 3DEP, water & more earth science – interview in Earth Imaging Journal.

  • “USGS & lidar Helps DC Tree Management” via Government Technology News.
  • “Utilizing Tools of the Trade for Land and Natural Resource Management” posted to GIS Cafe.
  • “Dewberry Awarded Five-Year USGS Contract for Geospatial Products and Services” featured in GIS USer.
  • “Element of Artwork: Historical Copper Plated Holland Maps Bought by Native Son” published in the Holland (MI) Sentinel.
  • “Proud History of Topographic Engineers” in LiDAR magazine.:
  • “Exploring Vegas with a Paper Map” mountain biking using US Topo maps posted to the International Mountain Bicycling Association blog.
  • Television clip, Volcano Lidar Releals Earth’s Underground Secrets: broadcast on KING 5 News (Western Washington state):
  • “USGS Discovers Source of 1964 Alaska Tsunami that Decimated Village” via Fox News.
  • “Dewberry Selected to Produce High-Resolution Lidar Topography and Bathymetry Data for Puerto Rico” announced in LiDAR Magazine.
  • “3DEP: The 3D Elevation Program” in Earth Imaging Journal.
  • 3DEP featured in Esri “Mapping the Nation”.
  • “How we used a century of data to create a modern, digital geologic map of Alaska How geologic map of Alaska was created; century of data” detail in The Conversation magazine.
  • “Big Returns on Big Data” explained in Esri Case Studies.

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Passed 5,073! 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 6,000!

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 06-03-16):
  • 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 – 4,310 quadrangles
  • Kentucky: 100% complete - 556 quadrangles
  • Tennesse: 97% complete - 620 quadrangles
  • Minnesota: 34% complete - 416 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 Download Client.

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