Government Technology

Geodetic Survey Upgrade to Improve Mapping, Emergency and Land Planning



Infrastructure Begins With Mapping
Infrastructure Begins With Mapping

May 14, 2010 By

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Geodetic Survey -- the official U.S. government source for determining precise latitude, longitude and elevation -- is undergoing a modernization effort that takes into account advances in GPS and other technologies. The effort is important to all activities requiring accurate positioning information including levee construction projects, the design of evacuation routes in hurricane-prone areas and the forecast of sea-level rise in coastal communities. The modernized National Spatial Reference System will take even greater advantage of newer technologies and better track changes in position and elevation over time to improve and update digital maps.

The proposed changes will affect civilian-federal mapping authorities, as well as state and municipal governments that have adopted the National Spatial Reference System.

"The reference frame in the past was hampered by being held static in time on an Earth that is constantly changing," says Juliana Blackwell, director of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey. "The new methodologies better capture changes, such as subsidence or sea level rise, and the improved points of reference benefit everyone using positioning data for the foundation of their work."

A modernized reference system will allow users to easily calculate accurate positions using a survey-grade GPS receiver in conjunction with a scientific model of Earth's gravity field. In 2009, a NOAA commissioned, independent socio-economic study estimated the value of these modernization efforts to be $4.8 billion over the next 15 years, including $2.2 billion in avoidance costs from improved floodplain management.

"An improved vertical datum means elevation measurements will become more accurate and less expensive, helping the National Flood Insurance Program to reduce the impacts and losses caused by flooding," said Paul Rooney, a Mapping Technology Specialist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Photo: Geospatial Corp.


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Maintain Your IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
Between the demands of meeting federal IT compliance mandates, increasing cybersecurity threats, and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s not uncommon for routine maintenance tasks to slip among state and local government IT departments. If it’s been months, or even only days, since you have maintained your systems, your agency may not be prepared for a compliance audit—and that could have severe financial consequences. Regardless of your mission, consistent systems keep your data secure, your age
Best Practice Guide for Cloud and As-A-Service Procurements
While technology service options for government continue to evolve, procurement processes and policies have remained firmly rooted in practices that are no longer effective. This guide, built upon the collaborative work of state and local government and industry executives, outlines and explains the changes needed for more flexible and agile procurement processes.
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
View All

Featured Papers