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The governance structure of 3DEP is based on the National Geospatial Asset Elevation Theme as defined in the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 which was signed into law on October 5, 2018.

Theme Definition

3DEP Governance Hierarchy
Governance structure of the National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Elevation Theme

"The measured vertical position of the earth surface and other landscape or bathymetric features relative to a reference datum typically related to sea level. These points normally describe bare earth positions but may also describe the top surface of buildings and other objects, vegetation structure, or submerged objects. Elevation data can be stored as a three-dimensional point cloud or as a continuous surface such as a raster, triangulated irregular network, or contours. Elevation data may also be represented in other derivative forms such as slope, aspect, ridge and drainage lines, and shaded relief.”