Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program

Mapping Science Committee

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1990



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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program Mapping Science Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M.White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O.Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M.White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for the Mapping Science Committee was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. Available from Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE THOMAS C.FINNIE, Consultant, Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Chairman JOHN C.ANTENUCCI, PlanGraphics, Inc. JOHN D.BOSSLER, Ohio State University DAVID J.COWEN, University of South Carolina JOHN E.ESTES, University of California, Santa Barbara ROBERT D.JOHNSON, Petroleum Information, Inc. HENRY PEREZ*, The H.M.Gousha Company, Inc. BARBARA B.PETCHENIK, R.R.Donnelley & Sons Company HUGO F.THOMAS, Connecticut Natural Resources Center C.DANA TOMLIN, Harvard University and Ohio State University THOMAS J.WILBANKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratories Staff THOMAS M.USSELMAN U.S. Geological Survey Liaison Representatives JOEL L.MORRISON LOWELL E.STARR *   Resigned from the committee in May 1989 due to other commitments.

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES WILLIAM L.FISHER, University of Texas, Co-Chairman BRIAN J.SKINNER, Yale University, Co-Chairman SAMUEL S.ADAMS, Colorado School of Mines KEIITI AKI, University of Southern California ALBERT W.BALLY, Rice University JAMES R.BAROFFIO, Chevron Corporation SANDRA L.BLACKSTONE, University of Denver DONALD J.DEPAOLO, University of California, Berkeley GORDON P.EATON, Iowa State University W.GARY ERNST, Stanford University PRISCILLA C.GREW, Minnesota Geological Survey ROBERT N.GINSBURG, University of Miami ALEXANDER F.H.GOETZ, University of Colorado HARRISON C.JAMISON, Consultant, Sunriver, Oregon THOMAS H.JORDAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CAREL OTTE, JR., Unocal Corporation FRANK M.RICHTER, University of Chicago J.J.SIMMONS, III, Interstate Commerce Commission STEVEN M.STANLEY, Johns Hopkins University IRVIN L.WHITE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Staff ROBERT S.LONG, Staff Director BETTY C.GUYOT, Staff Associate

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES NORMAN HACKERMAN, Robert A.Welch Foundation, Chairman ROBERT C.BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution B.CLARK BURCHFIEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology GEORGE F.CARRIER, Harvard University RALPH J.CICERONE, University of California, Irvine HERBERT D.DOAN, The Dow Chemical Company (retired) PETER S.EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DEAN E.EASTMAN, IBM, T.J.Watson Research Center MARYE ANN FOX, University of Texas GERHART FRIEDLANDER, Brookhaven National Laboratory LAWRENCE W.FUNKHOUSER, Chevron Corporation (retired) PHILLIP A.GRIFFITHS, Duke University NEAL F.LANE, Rice University CHRISTOPHER F.McKEE, University of California, Berkeley RICHARD S.NICHOLSON, American Association for the Advancement of Science JACK E.OLIVER, Cornell University JEREMIAH P.OSTRIKER, Princeton University Observatory PHILIP A.PALMER, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. FRANK L.PARKER, Vanderbilt University DENIS J.PRAGER, MacArthur Foundation DAVID M.RAUP, University of Chicago ROY F.SCHWITTERS, Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory LARRY L.SMARR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign KARL K.TUREKIAN, Yale University MYRON F.UMAN, Acting Executive Director

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program PREFACE Upon request of the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, a committee (the Mapping Science Committee) was established in 1987 to provide guidance to the USGS on mapping and geography issues. In the request, the suggested initial charges to the committee were the following: Examine the needs for the geographic and cartographic data provided by the USGS. Do the Survey’s current mapping activities and products adequately address these needs? Examine and advise on USGS programs of research and development of hardware and software for original data acquisition, processing, storing, marketing, and distribution of digital cartographic data and synthesized information products to the user community. Examine the scope and content of the USGS’s activities in geographic information systems (GIS) and recommend their role in assembling and maintaining digital data bases from within the USGS and from other sources. Respond to specific requests for guidance on mapping and geography. This report was prepared to address the first and third of these charges in a specific fashion, and to provide general guidance on the second. Future committee efforts will be directed toward the second, and, as requested, the fourth charge. This selection was made because of time constraints on the committee and because the committee felt that it was necessary to address user requirements and GIS involvement before research programs could be adequately addressed.

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program At three separate meetings between July 1987 and May 1988, the committee received briefings from the USGS on its programs and policies, and from other agencies on their use of USGS's products and data and onany collaborative efforts. The committee recognized significant overlap among the first three charges. It approached the task by forming two subgroups on slightly different ends of the spectrum represented by the tasks. One subgroup examined these charges as they affect the user community, the other looked at the specific component of geographic information systems and digital cartography. Both subgroups met during the fall of 1988 for further investigation and the initial drafting of their respective sections of the report. The subgroup draft sections were considered at a meeting in February 1989, where the two sections were combined into this report. The committee also met in April 1989 to further consider the contents of the report, and an editorial subgroup met on August 1989 to consolidate the committee's comments into this report. (Detailed agendas for these meetings are given in Appendix A.) The committee wishes to thank all of those who contributed information for its deliberations, both the USGS staff and officials from other federal agencies.

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program CONTENTS     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   4      Technological Transformation,   4      Committee’s Charge,   5      Organization of This Report,   6 2   TRADITION   7      The National Mapping Division’s Role in Federal Mapping,   7      Evolution of NMD Products,   8      Users of NMD Maps: The Cartographic Enterprise,   9      Public Sector Mappers,   10      Private Sector Mappers,   10      NMD and the Assessment of User Requirements,   10      The A-16 Process,   11      Federal Mapping Conferences,   11      Current and Emergent User Requirements Not Addressed by NMD,   12

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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program 3   TRANSFORMATION AND TRANSITION   14      The Digital Revolution in Spatial Data Handling,   14      Geographic Information Systems: Background,   15      The Nature of GIS,   16      Computer Technology and Cartography: Background,   21      NMD and Digital Cartography,   21      Spatial Information and the Economy,   22      Shifts in User Requirements,   22      Transformation of Public Sector Requirements,   24      Military Requirements,   24      Federal Civilian Requirements,   25      State and Local Government Requirements,   28      Committee Research on Requirements,   28      Transformation of Private Sector Requirements,   31      Additional Base Data Needs,   31      Private/Public Sector Relationships in Mapping,   33      Other User Requirements,   34      USGS/NMD Responses to Technological Transformation,   35      Research,   38 4   TOMORROW   41      NMD and Forces for Change,   41      A Future for the National Mapping Division,   43      Recommendations,   44     1. National Spatial Data Base,   44     2. Data Base Enhancement,   45     3. External Coordination Focus,   45     4. Standards Responsibility,   46     5. Data Base Structure and Operations,   47     6. Research Responsibility,   48      A Vision for the Future,   49     REFERENCES AND NOTES   51     APPENDIXES   53     A   Committee Meetings and Agendas   55     B   Committee’s Survey and Interviews Concerning User Requirements and Satisfaction   68     C   National Mapping Division’s User Requirements Evaluation Process   72     D   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   75