3D Nation Requirements and Benefits Study



What is 3D Nation?

3D Nation serves as a unifying structure for all national elevation efforts, and provides a consistent set of standards and objectives for an authoritative foundation to support national needs. The 3D Nation concept provides a foundation for mapping our changing world by uniting terrestrial and coastal/ocean mapping efforts from the highest mountains to our deepest oceans to ensure public access to an accurate, authoritative national elevation dataset.

Study Purpose:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are working to improve the technology, systems, data, and services that provide information about 3D elevation data and related applications within the United States. By learning more about business uses and associated benefits that would be realized from improved 3D elevation data, the agencies will be able to prioritize and direct investments that will best serve user needs. A comprehensive study of requirements and benefits for improved elevation data that covers the geographic scope as defined by the 3D Nation vision will help Federal mapping agencies to develop and refine future program alternatives for enhanced 3D elevation data to meet many Federal, State, and other national business needs.

What is 3D Elevation Data?

3D elevation data refers to: 

Topographic data – precise 3D measurements of the terrestrial terrain

Bathymetric data – 3D measurements of underwater depths and topography


For more information:

Please visit the 3D Nation Study sharing site.



Updated on January 22, 2021
Elevation Theme

Community Type: NGDA

Sponsor: FGDC

Sponsor Email: NGDATeam@fgdc.gov

Theme Lead Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Theme Lead: Ashley Chappell (NOAA), Sue Buto (USGS)