The Development of U.S. National Mapping Policy
Author: Southard, R. B.
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 April 1983, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 5-15(11)
Abstract:National mapping policy evolved differently in the United States than in Europe: its development has been "bottom up" rather than "top down". Among the first policies was the establishment of the federal government's role in mapping for defense needs and to promote safe marine navigation. Mapping for defense was assigned to military agencies, and mapping for economic development was relegated to civilian agencies. Consolidation of the four great surveys of the West into a single organization, the U.S. Geological Survey, was an early response to calls for a single civilian mapping agency. Periodic attempts at further consolidation, occurring roughly every ten years since 1878, have failed to establish a single organization for domestic, nonmilitary surveying and mapping. Yet a consolidated federal mapping administration, working in cooperation with the states, would promote the efficient application of digital technology, permit a more comprehensive review of expenditures for surveying and mapping, and encourage the more effective development of programs to meet national needs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 1983