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Oregon NHD - GNIS Project. Bruce Fisher USGS Geographer (Retired) Advisor to Oregon GNB Sheri Schneider Oregon Geospatial Liaison . Purpose: .

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Oregon NHD - GNIS Project

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Oregon nhd gnis project




Bruce Fisher USGS Geographer (Retired)Advisor to Oregon GNB

Sheri Schneider

Oregon Geospatial Liaison



  • USGS will provide funding for professional OWRD staff who will conduct the review and make needed corrections or edits to both OR GNIS and NHD or provide documentation to others for further review

  • Review and reconcile Oregon GNIS hydrographic features names with NHD to ensure that all ‘hydrographic’ place names in GNIS exist as named features in NHD.

  • OWRD will produce a guidebook for other states to use to help expedite the review process throughout the US.

Project scope

Project Scope :

  • Statewide for Oregon

    • Some Oregon Subbasin boundaries cross into adjacent states.



  • To identify those hydrographic features that are named in the GNIS but not named in the NHD

  • Develop the appropriate methodologies to make corrections.

    • Automated methods to transfer the GNIS names to features in NHD where possible .

    • Create process guidelines and tools for simple manual editing.

    • Determine appropriate corrective action in consult with NHD stewards.

    • Then document the transfer process and determine and collect metrics for use in other states

Oregon nhd gnis project

Framework Project Team

Federal and State participants will decide:

Workflow process

Type of edits needed

Standard procedures and rules

Stewardship involvement

Work plan

Work plan

  • Primarily done by the Oregon Water Resources Department

    • Chose one NHD subbasin as a pilot basin and do a complete analysis as to the extent of errors between the OR GNIS and the NHD

    • Determine the appropriate corrections needed for simple fixes

    • Write rules and complete corrections

    • Organize meeting between data stewards to resolve complex or politically difficult errors

    • Complete analysis of all subbasins

    • Complete corrections of all subbasins

Metrics collection

Metrics collection

  • Number of errors found in each subbasin

  • Breakdown of the types of errors

  • Complexity of error

  • Resolution developed to correct errors

  • Length of time to make a correction

The types of edits anticipated

The types of edits anticipated

  • Easy

    • Add a GNIS name to an existing NHD feature

    • Make a GNIS name a variant in the GNIS database where it has been corrected in the NHD.

  • Moderate

    • Change a feature in NHD and attach a GNIS name.

  • Difficult

    • Add a new feature in NHD and add a GNIS name.

    • Any correction that involves changing or adding a feature in the NHD will require involvement by the NHD data steward.

Quality assurance

Quality Assurance

  • Pacific Northwest Hydrography Framework through the BLM will provide technical training, oversight and guidance to OWRD personnel.

  • As needed, a joint meeting between USGS, OWRD, and BLM will be held to resolve project related issues. Issues related to corrections may require the involvement of multiple stewards.

  • USGS National GNIS staff will review all OR GNIS corrections before any are committed to the database.

Oregon nhd gnis project

  • OR GNIS comparison to NHD In the OR GNIS there are 55,800 named features

  • 25,436 are named for hydrographic features ( 47%)

  • 19,431 OR GNIS feature names are match up to the NHD

  • 6,605 features in OR GNIS are not found in the NHD

Some reasons for discrepancies

Some reasons for discrepancies:

  • NHD relied mostly on USGS topographic maps as primary source for names.

  • Omitted acquiring names from other sources.

  • Scale of maps that were used.

  • Area or length of the feature was too small

    • Example: NHD only collected names for linear features longer than one mile or areal features greater than 6 acres.

  • NHD did not use the most recent version of the OR GNIS database.

Oregon nhd gnis project

Many GNIS names missing in the NHD are for feature class ‘Canyon’

Water right certificates

Water Right Certificates

Assigning names to an NHD feature is complicated by what is

recorded on the water right of record for the associated feature.

The following example is for Rough Canyon -

The NHD feature associated with Rough Canyon has multiple water rights on it which OWRD references by using Rough Creek or Rough Canyon Creek.

Neither name exists in the OR GNIS. This issue might only be reconciled by proposing a one of these as the name for the creek using the Board of Geographic Names process.

Oregon nhd gnis project

Rough Canyon

Oregon nhd gnis project

Water Right Certificate 61311

Water Right Certificate 78591

Oregon nhd gnis project

Oregon Water Right Certificate referring to Rough Canyon Creek

Rough Canyon Creek

Owrd water right certificate pertaining to rough creek

OWRD Water Right Certificate pertaining to Rough Creek

Rough Creek



  • All named hydrographic features in GNIS will exist as named features in NHD.

  • Missing, misplaced, misnamed, and duplicate names will be corrected in both NHD and GNIS for the GNIS hydrographic features.

  • Documentation of the issues, processes and methods used plus an instructional guidebook for use by other states .

  • USGS will receive all deliverables by June 30, 2011.

Oregon nhd gnis project

GNIS Update Project




State of Oregon


Oregon nhd gnis project

Point is about 1000 feet off from location on topo.

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