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Why does the USGS use the metric system instead of imperial units?

The metric system is the standard scientific measurement system used around the world (the United States is one of only three countries that have not adopted the metric system). Since the USGS is the science arm of the Department of the Interior and exchanges critical data with many global institutions, we also use the metric system.

There are convenient online calculators that will quickly convert metric units to imperial units (or imperial to metric). One meter is just over 3 feet long (3.28 feet), so you can very roughly convert meters to feet by multiplying by 3.

Learn More: Chart of conversion factors: From English to metric system and metric to English system