On-Line Resources for
Land Surveying and Geomatics
Your comments arewelcome and appreciated.
Last Revised: 5 January 2004...... links updated and verified: 15 March 1999
U.S. Federal Information at firstgov.gov

The Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ) started surveying the Public Land System [no longer online] in 1785, and is still the trustee of the public lands, which positions them well to have an interest in Geospatial Information and have collected a list of MetaData and Mapping Sites . It is presently organized under the Interior Dept. Their ftp site appears closed [17 May '97].

The former Coast and Geodetic Survey served coastal and airspace mapping, under NOAA's National Ocean Service, Nautical Charting Divsion

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), maintains the national network of geodetic control points now known as the National Spatial Reference System, (formerly the National Geodetic Reference System), including a system of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) which also has an ftp site. NGS has put a number of their Software Products for the PC on line via their ftp site.
NGS also works with the United States Coast Guard to implement their DGPS Project and with the FAA Programs. The NGS Aeronautical Survey Program site has some very useful content.

The NGS also chairs the Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee (FGCS) of the the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) which is charged with the coordination of Surveying, Mapping and Related Spatial Data Activities of the federal government, and shall coordinate the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Part of this coordination involves the development of a National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, which is an outstanding source of links to spatial data, as intended. The FGDC is also responsible for the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata, and publishes Standards Documents of its subcommittees.

There's always something new at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Their National Mapping Program has a well organized Information Site.
As part of the National Mapping Program, EROS , the Earth Research Observation Systems data center (EDC) holds the world's largest collection of space and aircraft acquired imagery of the Earth, and is the home for a variety of USGS digital data sets, including those of the SAST , the Scientific Assessment and Strategy Team database of files on the Environmental Information System for the Upper Mississippi and Missouri River Basins, and considerable other data. See also the Earth Science Information Center (ESIC ).
The metadata index of USGS data is the Global Land Information System (GLIS)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains the National Wetlands Inventory at its ftp site . Here's a guide .

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looks after the nation's waterways, which includes jurisdiction over the wetlands; has a NSDI Clearinghouse node.

The U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center (TEC) Surveying Division has a Precise Survey Team. [These sites not currently accessible, at least directly]

The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] is starting to produce digital copies of their Flood Insurance Rate Map [FIRM] product through their Map Service Center

The former Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) of the Dept. of Defense ... is now folded into the new National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) ... and renamed later to National Geospatial-Intelligence (GEOINT) Agency.

Magnetic Variation, or Declination, can be obtained for different times and locations by
telnet to neis.cr.usgs.gov ; login:QED
or with a DOS program available at ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/Solid_Earth/Mainfld_Mag/Models/
For additional information see the USGS Magnetic Field Monitoring and Charting Program website
and Geomagnetic Models at NGDC

Declination Online

Geomagnetic References and Calculators at Martindale's Reference Desk

The U. S. National Earth Orientation Service (NEOS) is a joint venture of the U. S. Naval Observatory (USNO) and the Geosciences Laboratory (GL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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