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Oct 8, 2005

USGS To Subcontract New Topographic Maps

The following is from the Government Affairs Update from the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping:

The USGS Coalition met recently with Acting USGS Director Patrick Leahy to get an update on USGS issues. Leahy talked about the role of the USGS in the recovery of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. He called the events of Katrina a "failure of science" because it could have been prevented if science was properly used. He said that in the days after the flood in New Orleans, the USGS provided topographic maps with detailed imagery that changed daily to reflect the changing conditions of the city. He also said that LIDAR was used to determine the condition of the failing levees.

As a result of what happened in New Orleans, Leahy said, other flood prone cities and localities are pushing the USGS for topographic maps. To respond to the increased need for topographic maps, the USGS will start contracting with state and local governments, as well as the private sector for the development of the new maps.