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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

120.6 - National Mapping Division


OPR: National Mapping Division

1. General Functions. In support of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) mission to provide information about the Earth and its physical resources, the National Mapping Division (NMD) provides geographic, cartographic, and remote sensing information, maps, and technical assistance; and conducts related research responsive to national needs. In order to accomplish this mission, the Division collects, compiles, and analyzes information about natural and manmade features on the Earth's surface and documents changes as appropriate; produces and maintains series of accurate and up-to-date general purpose base maps and thematic maps such as land use/land cover maps; develops and maintains a digital geographic/cartographic data base for multipurpose needs and assists USGS divisions and other Federal and State agencies in developing and applying spatial data; conducts geographic, cartographic and map reproduction research utilizing modern technology and equipment; develops applications of remotely sensed data and imagery acquired from spacecraft and aircraft to the mapping, earth science, and resource and environmental inventory and manages these responsibilities for the Department of the Interior and the USGS; provides thematic mapping support to USGS divisions and other Federal agencies; prints topographic, geologic, hydrologic, land use, and other thematic maps; and operates information and technical assistance centers which gather, index, analyze and catalog geographic and cartographic information. The Division also makes available maps, imagery, spatial data, remotely sensed data, and related information; provides assistance in selecting, acquiring, and using geographic and cartographic products; and designs, prints, and distributes maps of the National Atlas. It coordinates Federal topographic mapping and digital cartography activities and provides leadership in the development and advancement of surveying and mapping technology.

2. Headquarters Organization. The headquarters office of the Division is located in Reston, Virginia, and is composed of the Office of the Division Chief. The Chief of the Division exercises general authority delegated by the Director in planning, scheduling and executing the Division's programs of research, data dissemination, mapping, printing, technical assistance, and product distribution. The Division Chief is assisted in the exercise of this responsibility by a headquarters staff which includes an Associate Chief for Operations, an Associate Chief for Programs and Finances, and senior program advisors. The Associate Chief for Operations oversees all day-to-day operational activities of the Division. The Associate Chief for Programs and Finances has divisionwide oversight responsibility for strategic planning, financial management, budget development, and administrative support activities. Senior program advisors function as team leaders responsible for policy, leadership, oversight, and resource allocation coordination for the following major Division activities: Data Production Data and Information Delivery Systems Development and Integration External Affairs Research and Applications Senior program advisors will form an integrated business council for establishing coordinated Division Policy.

3. Field Organization. The field organization of the Division consists of five Centers.

A. Field Centers. Under the line direction of the Division Chief, three Mapping Centers, the Mapping Applications Center, and the EROS Data Center perform operational aspects of the scientific and technical functions of the Division. All Centers conduct critical Nationwide parts of the National Mapping Program and provide technical and operational support to divisionwide activities. The Mapping Centers perform the production activities associated with data collection and integration, which include geometronic and cartometric operations, quality assurance and quality control of contractor or cooperator derived data sets, geographic investigations, and information services. The Mapping Centers also perform research and development activities required to implement new technology. Mapping activities are assigned to the Mapping Centers based on overall priorities and scheduling of the National Mapping Program. In addition, the Rocky Mountain Mapping Center provides for the warehousing of maps, books, and open-file reports published by the USGS nationwide, establishes and maintains a dealer network, and provides over-the-counter sales and mail order services for the distribution of USGS products to the public. The Mapping Applications Center is responsible for developing and demonstrating analytical applications of digital spatial and image data in support of bureau, Department and Federal programs, supports the development of new production techniques and processes, and the development of new products. The Mapping Applications Center manages the storage, reproduction, and dissemination of digital products for the National Digital Cartographic Data Base, and directs the printing of all maps published by the USGS. The EROS Data Center is responsible for developing and demonstrating applications of remotely sensed earth science data acquired from spacecraft and aircraft; developing basic criteria for remotely sensing Earth features and coordinating with other agencies on basic earth science data and image requirements, product formats, and sensor system configurations; and conducting and sponsoring research in the application of remotely sensed and other types of spatial data to earth science problems. The EROS Data Center is the Nation's principal storage, reproduction, and dissemination facility for aerial mapping and space imagery. Centers and their locations are:

Mapping Applications Center - Reston, Virginia

Mid-Continent Mapping Center - Rolla, Missouri

Rocky Mountain Mapping Center - Denver, Colorado

Western Mapping Center - Menlo Park, California

EROS Data Center - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

B. Chief, Field Center. Each Center Chief has the following responsibilities:

(1) Directs the operational functions of the Center in accordance with the program, policies, objectives, and standards established by the National Mapping Division Executive Staff.

(2) Represents the Division in a line capacity in negotiations and dealings with other organizations and committees within and outside the USGS on external matters of common concern to the Division and makes decisions and issues instructions on such matters.

(3) Initiates and reviews programs and project proposals, advising and recommending appropriate Center participation to the National Mapping Division Executive Staff.

(4) Represents the Division at the Center in dealings with scientific and technical societies and agency representatives to assure mutual understanding of objectives, policies, and programs.

(5) As a professional specialist, personally directs and conducts scientific and technical operations and research as assigned by the Division Chief.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 19-Dec-2012@10:41 (kk)
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