3D Nation Study Hub Site now available!

The 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study focuses on 3D elevation data on land and underwater.

A new ArcGIS Hub Site sharing the results of the 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, which was published in September 2022, is now available. The site currently features a tool which allows users to filter business use ranks by each state. The site will be updated with more immersive dashboards as they become available.  This study was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and conducted by Dewberry.  The study documents nationwide requirements and benefits of 3D elevation data both on land and underwater. The study also estimates the costs associated with meeting these requirements and evaluates multiple scenarios for enhancing national elevation mapping programs.

NOAA and USGS share a vision of a 3D Nation enriched by a seamless elevation surface from the peaks of our mountains to the depths of our waters. The goals of the 3D Nation Study were to capture inland, nearshore, and offshore topographic and bathymetric elevation data requirements and benefits and understand how those requirements and benefits dovetail in the nearshore coastal zone. By learning more about business uses and associated benefits that are realized from improved 3D elevation data, for both heights and depths, mapping agencies can better prioritize and direct investments to best serve user needs.

Filtering web-app displaying ranked primary business uses by state.
Gallery of Business Uses

The ArcGIS hub site provides more functionality to illustrate the study’s many facets of elevation data requirements and related information provided by respondents. Participants in the study included 45 federal agencies, 56 states and territories, and 58 non-governmental organizations. An analysis of the results showed that an improved national elevation program (both land elevations and water depths) has the potential to generate $13.5 billion in new benefits each year once fully operational. In addition, 1,352 mission critical activities related to business use were identified, including flood risk and coastal zone management, infrastructure and construction, natural resources conservation, geologic assessment and hazard mitigation, and marine and riverine navigation and safety, among others. 

More information about the federal interagency groups and activities related to topographic and bathymetric elevation mapping include:

NOAA’s Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program and USGS are working on additional GIS-based visual interpretations of the 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study results. Updates to the Hub Site will continue as additional scenarios and data are analyzed.

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