USGS - science for a changing world

National Geospatial Technical Operations Center

Skip Links

This is a formatting graphic.

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
November 6, 2015

Thumbnail image of VGI chain

The National Map Corps News:

  • Getting Recognized for Volunteer Mapping Efforts: The National Map Corps has updated the recognition badges that are awarded for participation in the "crowdsourcing" mapping project. Volunteer "citizen scientists" who collect manmade structure data such as police stations, schools, hospitals and cemeteries, to provide more precise spatial data for the USGS web-based mapping products can earn points and virtual badges. Due to continuous project growth and popularity, TNMCorps has added more badge levels and revised the current awards. More than 160,000 points have been edited or verified to date. It’s easy to become a member, so join in the fun:

  • Mapping Challenge – North Carolina Law Enforcement Facilities Finished: The USGS National Map Corps is pleased to announce the completion of the Mapping Challenge to update, verify, add and delete more than 550 Law Enforcement facilities in NC. Special thanks to volunteers fconley, @RogerSDavis, fred82001, Hgeisler, rjerrard, robwills77, Trailblazer, and LunaHyacinth their hard work and tenacity in contributing to this activity.
  • New Mapping Challenges featuring Cemeteries: The next Mapping Challenge is now open. We are asking volunteer "citizen scientists" to update and edit cemetery information for Orleans County, which includes the famous final resting places of New Orleans and Douglas County, Kansas, slightly southwest of Kansas City, which contains the legendary Stull cemetery. The map editing includes verifying or updating the existing locations, adding any missing information and removing obsolete data. Participation in the National Map Corp Volunteer Geographic Information project is easy. It is open to anyone with interest and an internet connection, and virtual badges are awarded for point submission – so consider volunteering today!

Thumbnail image of a copper plate

Copper Engravings Sale Continues: The General Service Agency is resuming the public sale of historic USGS map engravings. Plate sets offered during the latest round of bidding, which recently ended, included areas of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, incidental areas of adjacent States; and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Stay tuned for the announcement of the next group of sets to be offered though the General Services Administration auction site.

Thumbnail image of a newspaper icon

More Maps and Mappers in the News:

  • Director Profiled: Mike Tischler, Director of the USGS National Geospatial Program, was featured in a profile series of "movers & shakers" in the Washington DC area published in the National Journal. The article highlights Mike’s background, advancement within the Federal geospatial community and love of maps. For more:

  • Names and Maps – Keeping Pace with Change: "How official mapmakers keep up with a world that won’t stand still" found in The Washington Post.
  • Landscape Transformations: Explore land use changes through time using USGS–Esri Topogaphic Explorer. In a recent article in Geographia on the NASA Landsat page, geographer Joseph Kerski provides insights on how to use this tool merging historical USGS maps and Landsat imagery to explore land use modification on the Earth’s surface, using with Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and an example.
  • Attention Hikers and Map Junkies: "Nearly Every USGS Topo Map Ever Made, for Free" in the recent edition of the Appalachian Mountain Club magazine.
  • Benchmarks Still in Service: Easily overlooked marker has been stationed at courthouse for more than 100 years” from the Washington County (PA) Observer-Reporter.

Thumbnail image of global ecological land unit

NHD Newsletter: The most recent edition of the NHD Newsletter has been posted. The monthly bulletin highlights WBD Standards Review, NHDPlus High Resolution Update, Completion of the National WBD Review and Update of Downstream Codes (ToHUCs), Product & Service Lead Retiring, Hydrography Seminar Series, 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 past newsletters go to

USGS Twitter logo

Passed 4,420! 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!

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 11-05-15):
  • Wisconsin: 0% complete - 1,109 quadrangles
  • Iowa: 0% complete - 1,011 quadrangles
  • Kansas: 0% complete - 1,403 quadrangles

Free Acrobat Reader

formatting graphic formatting graphic
official logo for year of the map

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

- OR -

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

contact information

If you have a question or need assistance, please contact us.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 09-Jun-2015 14:09:43 EDT

Kari Craun David Brostuen Phyllis Altheide