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NGP Standards and Specifications

Standards and specifications are essential to facilitate the development and sharing of geospatial data and products. 

National Geospatial Program (NGP) standards and specifications define requirements to ensure that all maps and data prepared by NGP, in support of The National Map, are consistent in accuracy, structure, format, style, and content.


For comments or questions about any USGS National Geospatial Program standards and specifications, please e-mail



Lidar Base Specification 2023 rev. A is now available


3DEP Lidar Base Spec News


Lidar Base Specification 2022 rev. A is now available!


Federal standards and procedures for the National Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD): Chapter 3 of Section A, Federal Standards, Book 11, Collection and Delineation of Spatial Data

The Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) is a seamless, national hydrologic unit dataset developed using the guidelines and specifications outlined in this document. A hydrologic unit defines the areal extent of surface-water drainage to an outlet point on a dendritic stream network or to outlet points where the stream network is not dendritic. A hydrologic unit may represent all or only part of the t
Kimberly A. Jones, Lily S. Niknami, Susan G. Buto, Drew Decker

Elevation-derived hydrography acquisition specifications

Hydrographic features derived from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program data, and collected for use by the USGS, must meet the specifications described in this document. The specifications described herein pertain to the final product delivered to the USGS, not to methods used to derive the hydrographic features. The specifications describe the collection area, spatial reference syst
Silvia Terziotti, Christy-Ann Archuleta

Elevation-derived hydrography—Representation, extraction, attribution, and delineation rules

With the increasing availability of 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) quality high resolution elevation data across the United States and the pressing need for better integrated elevation and hydrography data, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing guidance to improve the horizontal and vertical alignment of these datasets. The U.S. Geological Survey is providing the Elevation-Derived Hydrography—Acqu
Christy-Ann Archuleta, Silvia Terziotti