Washington, US: Federal agency executives discussed collaborative funding strategies for Alaska’s Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative during a roundtable convened by Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell and US Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Anne Castle. The agencies want to develop new maps for Alaska which meets the mapping standards that have been provided to 49 other states for years. Alaska is the only state in the US that has not been digitally mapped on a statewide basis and its maps do not meet National Map Accuracy Standards.
“Mars and the moon have been better mapped than Alaska,” Treadwell said. “Because of Alaska’s strategic importance, I believe it is not only in Alaska’s interest, but the national interest, that our maps be updated to meet requirements ranging from resource development to emergency management.”
Treadwell also highlighted that the State of Alaska has contributed USD 3.7 million to SDMI in its FY2013 capital budget. The state also contributed USD 3.5 million in 2010 as part of a cost-sharing agreement between the State of Alaska and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. That collaboration resulted in a digital elevation model that covered ten percent of the state.
Treadwell, Alaska’s Department of Transportation Commissioner Marc Luiken, and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Ed Fogels made the case for Alaska mapping upgrades before federal agencies whose missions also require accurate digital elevation data. Agencies were asked to build upon previous mapping efforts by contributing funds toward the effort.
“We appreciate USGS effort to lead at the federal level and to see the completion of SDMI through,” Luiken said.
Source: Capital City Weekly