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USGS establishes National Geospatial Programs Office
Released: 8/17/2004

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Scott Harris 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4460

In a strategic move to strengthen geographic research and to consolidate geospatial data programs, Director Chip Groat announced today the creation of a National Geospatial Programs Office. The move to transfer The National Map from the Geography Discipline to the Geospatial Information Office (GIO) will allow existing expertise in the field of geography at the USGS to focus attention on geographic research and enhance USGS leadership in both geospatial programs and geographic research.

The reorganization will consolidate USGS geospatial programs under the new National Geospatial Programs Office located within the Geospatial Information Office (GIO). The National Geospatial Programs Office will oversee the portfolio of national geospatial programs for which the USGS has responsibility, including the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the Geospatial One Stop project, the Department of the Interior Enterprise Geospatial Information Management activity and The National Map.

The decision to reorganize is in direct response to discussions with constituent groups about how best to meet their geospatial data needs and recommendations from a report by the National Research Council of the National Academies. The report recommended the USGS should give higher priority to fundamental geographic research directed toward:

  • improving citizen involvement in decision making for issues related to natural sciences by creating citizen-friendly geographic interfaces with all the Survey’s primary spatial datasets;
  • expanding the utility and application of place-based science by conducting integrative place-specific research in addition to topical research in individual disciplines; and
  • enhancing the effectiveness of decision-support systems with increased geographic input and more effective map-like products as output.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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