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5 Conclusion The basic sciences of surveying and geodesy provided the foundation for the engineering profession. Mapping and charting grew through the exploration and control of the lands and seas. All of these areas are now widely recog- nized as individual and separate sciences and professions. Since surveying and mapping have always provided critical support to a wide variety of national programs, most countries have given their national programs si - ficant visibility by establishing central agencies, such as that of Surveyor General, with wide responsibility. The United States has tended to permit proliferation of its national program through many agencies. Since this proliferation tends to reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of these critical support programs, there have been many attempts through U.S. history to bang greater order. For example, earlier in this century a Federal Board of Surveys and Maps was established, and for a time the Executive Office of the President had a Survey and Maps Coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB, then the Bureau of the Budget). This latter function faded away since it did not fit into the budget/program review structure that is the basis for current OMB organization and operations. Without an overall program manager, there has been no overview of the total federal surveying and mapping program for many years, even though the scope of the program has greatly expanded, spurred on by increasing national needs for data on one hand and by surging scientific and technological prog- ress in these areas on the other. Without a central manager, the growth of surveying and mapping capabili- ties took place through the years in many federal agencies to provide the 52 , l
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Conclusion 53 specific survey data, maps, and charts they needed to support their own pro- grams. A principal example is the growth of topographic mapping in the Geo- logical Survey of the U.S. Department of the Interior. As other agencies learned of these products and recognized their value to their programs, ar- rangements were made to assign responsibility for production that would meet the needs of other agencies as well as those of the producing agency. Such coordination of programs has been useful. However, with the control of resources remaining subordinate to the interests of the principal functions of the agencies, it is unlikely that resources allocated to surveying and mapping would ever be consistent with the real national requirements for services and production. To a large extent, federal surveying and mapping have been responsive to current particular project support requirements or to a particular product need identified by individual user agencies or by specific public or state or local government user groups. In many instances, the cost of work needed to meet such specific needs would not be greatly increased if all national require- ments were accommodated in desigrung and carrying out the work. A signifi- cant waste of resources is suffered when the work done for one purpose must be repeated to meet other requirements. A central manager responsible for determining all national requirements and for developing technology, facili- ties, and programs to meet them should be able to eliminate this waste. Fur- thermore, all the national interests that depend on surveying and mapping services would realize gains in their effectiveness, efficiency, and economy from the improved availability of this critical data base. The 1973 Task Force report noted that a major improvement has already been realized in U.S. military surveying and mapping as a result of the Presi- dent's decision to eliminate organizational proliferation and centralize pro- gram direction by establishing the Defense Mapping Agency. This Panel is convinced that similar benefits would derive from the transfer of surveying and mapping and related functions of the several federal civilian agencies to a Federal Surveying and Mapping Administration.