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Alaska Mapping Executive Committee

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Alaska Mapping Executive Committee


November 28, 2012


Aviation safety, energy development, resource assessments, flood plain management, natural resource conservation, and a long list of other Federal and State government activities depend on access to accurate, up-to-date topographic maps and data. Remarkably, modern mapping information does not exist over the majority of land in Alaska, where significant resource, safety, and national security interests intersect. To address this issue, the Department of the Interior and the State of Alaska co-hosted the Alaska Mapping Roundtable meeting of senior Federal and State executives to raise awareness of status and plans and to explore alternatives for a joint funding strategy for completing topographic mapping in Alaska. The Roundtable was held in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2012, and more than 20 Federal departments and bureaus participated because of their mission critical needs for this information. Consensus was quickly reached that topographic mapping for Alaska must be prioritized and accelerated. As a result, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior established an interagency executive committee (Committee) to coordinate among the Federal agencies and with the Alaska State Government to oversee the Federal role in mapping Alaska.


The Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI), a cooperative State program endorsed by the Governor and implemented by several State agencies and the University of Alaska, is collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Mapping Initiative to jointly acquire data needed to provide an accurate, current, and accessible statewide base map. However, funding to accelerate and complete an effort of this significance and size requires the attention and commitment at the Federal executive level. The purpose of the Committee is to secure the resources necessary to complete the topographic mapping of Alaska by 2018. Guiding principles for the Committee that were outlined by the Roundtable participants include:

  • Utilize an enterprise approach to enable the greatest efficiencies in data acquisition and use.
  • Work in partnership with the State of Alaska to commit and coordinate funding to meet common needs for topographic mapping.
  • Leverage existing efforts, resources, and relationships.
  • Implement Federal Geographic Data Committee best practices for data and metadata standards and sharing, and make data accessible on the Geospatial Platform.


The Committee is chaired by the Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. The members of the Committee are senior executives from:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Executive of Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget
  • Executive of Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service
  • National Science Foundation
  • Northern Command
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • State of Alaska, as determined under the leadership of the Governor's Office

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Committee will include:

  • Inventory all sources of existing data and data intended to be acquired in the near future to validate and characterize the mapping gap and refine required funding estimates and maintain such inventory.
  • Provide a coordination point for integrating the modern mapping requirements of Federal agencies with mission responsibilities in Alaska.
  • Formulate a budget strategy to address the mapping needs of the Federal and State agencies on the Committee.
  • Oversee the development and execution of annual program plans for mapping Alaska until such time as the task is complete.
  • Coordinate the acquisition of modern mapping data to ensure completeness of coverage in accordance with standards for openness, quality, interoperability, and resolution.
  • Identify a lead agency and engage in an enterprise approach to data acquisition that leverages agency funding and resources.


The Committee will meet quarterly, and in addition as needed at the invitation of the Chair.


The Associate Director, Core Science Systems, U.S. Geological Survey, will provide the staff and administrative support required by the Committee. Routine costs of members will be borne by their respective agencies.


The Committee will define and agree to mutual topographic mapping goals for which it will complete funding by 2018 or sooner. This charter will remain in effect until the goals have been reached or until the charter is amended or replaced.

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