The National Map partnership network cultivates and maintains long-term relationships with
partners and develops agreements for The National Map and other initiatives that support USGS
science. Partnerships are the foundation of The National Map because they leverage funding across
organizations as a way to provide significant cost savings, reduce redundancy in geospatial data acquisition and
stewardship, and ensure the availability of common base data to a broad range of users and applications.
An addition to the longstanding partnership functions of The National Map is an emerging initiative
to systematically reach out to priority user communities. The goal of user engagement is to gather
feedback on the products and services of The National Map so that future development will
best meet USGS and Department of the Interior science objectives and provide the greatest value and
impact for the Nation. Priority user communities include Geologic Mapping, Geologic Hazards, Natural
Resources Conservation, and Water Resources.
The National Map partner and user engagement activities are conducted by a network of liaisons and
- Partner and User Engagement leadership in the National Geospatial Program provides strategic
direction and oversight to the range of The National Map partnership and user activities.
- Federal Geospatial Liaisons work with the Federal Geographic Data Committee and other
Federal agencies to develop and manage partnerships at the national and programmatic level to
support development and use of The National Map.
- Community of Use Coordinators lead and manage outreach to the priority user communities
of The National Map; they also provide direction and guidance to USGS Geospatial Liaisons for
expanding user outreach.
- Alaska Mapping Project Manager coordinates National Geospatial Program efforts to modernize mapping for the State of Alaska.
- The National Map Liaisons facilitate partnerships and agreements that improve the data holdings and the products and services of The National Map. Many liaisons also provide outreach and support to the priority user communities in the areas of Water Resources, Natural Resources Conservation and Geologic Mapping and Hazards.
- Associates are part-time liaisons who support both partnerships and user engagement and
provide linkages to USGS science centers.
Summary of Fiscal Year 2012 Activities of the National Geospatial Program
The partnership network established 118 agreements in 4 data themes:
- Elevation - 38 agreements for 165,795 square miles of high-resolution (lidar) elevation data for a total of $4,921,026 in 27 States. High-resolution elevation data are used to support conservation planning, floodplain mapping, dam safety assessments, and a broad range of other applications. The National Enhanced Elevation Assessment documented over 600 mission-critical uses for the data.
- Hydrography - 22 agreements for the National Hydrography Dataset for a total of $960.903 in 18 States. These partnerships update and maintain the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), a comprehensive digital set of surface water features for the United States that is used in a wide range of hydrologic applications such as fisheries management and water quality monitoring.
- Imagery - 52 agreements for 169,560 square miles of leaf-off high-resolution imagery for a total of $190,846 in 35 States. These data are used by Federal, State, and local governments and others for a broad range of applications. Additionally, under an agreement between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, the USGS contributed $951,000 for National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) leaf-on imagery data for 1,471,543 square miles in 22 States. NAIP is provided as a layer in US Topo and serves a range of needs across government.
- Geographic Names - 6 agreements for Geographic Names for a total of $217,341 in 6 States. These agreements will provide updated and more accurate geographic names for the Federal authoritative source of official geographic feature names, the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).
Data acquired through these agreements are available to other agencies and the public through The National Map.
Excluding NAIP, every dollar the USGS invests in these agreements is matched by 6.5 dollars from other agencies. Including NAIP, the ratio increases to 1:7.6.
The partnership network further supports the development of National Geospatial Program (NGP) initiatives and the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) through the following activities:
United States Interagency Elevation Inventory
Liaisons coordinated with Federal, State, local, and other partners to update the United States Interagency Elevation Inventory for fiscal year 2012. Liaison support included validating existing records and documenting new information on elevation datasets. The inventory showed that approximately 30 percent of the country has been covered with high-resolution elevation (lidar) projects that are complete, in progress, or funded as of fiscal year 2012. These activities support the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative.
Support of Federal Geographic Data Committee NSDI CAP Grants
USGS Geospatial Liaisons frequently support the projects resulting from Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) National Spatial Data Infrastructure Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) grants. Liaison involvement varies by project and may include monitoring and encouraging progress toward grant completion, presenting the grant's goals and outcomes to various audiences, encouraging participation from the GIS community, providing technical support, or providing reach-back to National Geospatial Program activities and contacts.
Workshops and Training
Liaisons facilitate and help to conduct training and workshops on a variety of activities related to The National Map. For example, the USGS provides technical training on use and maintenance of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and workshops on the characteristics and use of high-resolution elevation (lidar) data.