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3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study

The 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study was conducted to document national requirements for improved topographic and bathymetric elevation data, estimate the benefits and costs of meeting these requirements, and evaluate multiple scenarios for enhancing national elevation mapping program implementation scenarios. Study participants 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. The study was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey and was completed in September 2022. Questions regarding the report should be directed to NOAA and The report was developed by Dewberry under contract to NOAA in partnership with USGS.

Study Results

Responses were collected from: 45 Federal agencies, 56 state government agencies, 99 local governments, 8 Tribal governments, 10 non-governmental organizations, 14 academic institutions, and 34 private companies. The study analysed over 1,350 Mission Critical Activities (MCAs) and classified these as 30 different business use cases (BUs) spanning four geography types: Inland Topography, Inland Bathymetry, Nearshore Bathymetry, and Offshore Bathymetry. Below, are Figures 1 & 2, illustrating the 10 most frequently indicated BUs, and the spatial distribution of MCAs, respectively.

Figure 1: Displays the top ten most common Business Use cases
Figure 2: The spatial distribution of Mission Critical Activities areas of interest.

Coming Soon

IOCM is working diligently to bring you the best interpretation of 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study results. An ArcGIS Hub page with graphics, dashboards, and reports will be available in 2023.