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3DEP Governance

Elevation Theme – National Geospatial Data Asset

    The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is organized around National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Themes. These themes are coordinated by theme subcommittees organized under the FGDC Coordination Committee.

    Theme Co-Leads

      Terrestrial Elevation - U.S. Geological Survey
      Bathymetric Elevation - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Theme Definition
    “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.”

The elevation theme co-leads and their partners coordinate closely on all aspects of elevation through the theme management structure.

Committees and Working Groups

3DEP Executive Forum
Purpose - To facilitate executive dialog and collaboration on strategies to implement and sustain 3DEP for the benefit of its Federal stakeholders and the broader community.


  • Monitor status, plans and coordination actions for 3DEP implementation.
  • Track and coordinate on significant developments regarding elevation or related geospatial activities - for example, actions being taken to address legislation, hurricane supplemental funding, GAO reports or other multi-agency activities.
  • Share insights and develop strategies to communicate with industry and other potential stakeholder groups that could play a role in 3DEP funding.
  • Provide executive direction and input to the 3DEP Working Group (re-chartered NDEP) as the operational coordinating body for enhanced elevation.

Alaska Mapping Executive Committee
The 3DEP goal for Alaska,where cloud cover and remote locations preclude the use of light detection and ranging (lidar) in much of the State, is to complete statewide coverage of Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) data. This goal is a first priority of the The Alaska Mapping Initiative and the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee (AMEC), which is chaired by the DOI Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. AMEC s making significant progress on building the Federal investment and partnering with the State to complete statewide data coverage. The AMEC partnership is a model for collaboration that is needed to successfully complete 3DEP coverage nationwide.

3DEP Working Group (re-chartered NDEP)
The 3D Elevation Group (3DEP) Working Group, formerly known as the National Digital Elevation Program (NDEP), is the operational coordination group for terrestrial elevation. It reports to the 3DEP Executive Forum. More information is available at the NDEP webpage.

Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping

The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) is the operational coordination group for bathymetric elevation. It reports to the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology.

3D National Elevation Subcommittee - Proposed

A proposed 3D National Elevation Subcommittee would be the Elevation Theme subcommittee under the FGDC. It would be comprised of the operational 3DEP Working Group and the IWG-OCM. It is also linked to the executive groups through their oversight roles to the operational groups.


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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 08-Aug-2017 10:16:10 EDT