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NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey Height Modernization Implementation Helena, Mt October 17, 2006. Renee Shields National Geodetic Survey National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Height Mod Implementation. How has Height Mod been implemented in other states?

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noaa s national geodetic survey height modernization implementation helena mt october 17 2006

NOAA’sNational Geodetic SurveyHeight ModernizationImplementationHelena, MtOctober 17, 2006

Renee Shields

National Geodetic Survey

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

height mod implementation
Height Mod Implementation

How has Height Mod been implemented in other states?

How does the U.S. Federal Budget process work?

How do NOAA Grants work?

  • Leveling could not be used in NAVD88 adjustment so couldn’t implement NAVD88
  • Some heights in CA in error by more than a meter
  • No way to keep up with continuously re-leveling
  • GPS could be immediately used to meet some of California’s requirements

California (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

  • Establish California Spatial Reference Center
  • Projects
    • San Francisco Bay Demonstration Project
    • Hamilton Field Restoration
    • Post-earthquake surveys, e.g. Hector Mine, Yolo County
    • Leveling support from CalTrans
  • Densify CORS Network
  • Establish NAVD88 orthometric heights on CORS
  • Develop RTK networks
  • Educate users on Epochs
  • Update HTDP, Geoid models

North Carolina

(North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources )

  • Become Cooperative Technical State
  • Get additional grant funds from FEMA – update flood maps
  • Contract GPS Height Mod projects by county
  • NCGS perform leveling concurrent with GPS
  • Distribute data, maps via web site
  • Partner with NCA&T
    • develop training materials for workshops (non-traditional and traditional users)
    • Develop 4-year Geospatial degree program
    • Perform studies to develop standards for new techniques
    • Develop software, tools, models

Louisiana (Louisiana State University)

  • Establish LSRC
  • Re-establish outdated vertical network – update NAVD88, tie to sea-level datums
  • Perform subsidence, coastal erosion studies – develop HTDP, storm surge models for vertical motion
  • Study new technologies for GPS surveys
  • Educate users, managers to subsidence issues

Wisconsin (Wisconsin Department of Transportation)

Provide accurate vertical data for highway design (vertical component of the geodetic network)

Improve ability to delineate basins

Improve data quality to provide more accurate DTMs

Supplement control where marks have been destroyed

  • Create network that can fully utilize GPS technologies (cost effective)
  • Become role model and trainer for other states’ programs

Mississippi (USM)

  • Expand CORS network throughout the State
  • USM Gulf Coast Research Lab installed National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) station co-located with CORS
  • Height Modernization survey along Mississippi River (Cairo, IL to the Gulf) completed in cooperation with USACE

Alabama (ALDOR)

  • Alabama Department of Revenue manage program; Department of Transportation oversees surveying tasks
  • Densify CORS and HARN
  • Re-level where needed
  • Educate surveyors for contract work
  • Establish statewide SLIMS (Statewide Land Info Management Systems)

Other Funded States

  • Washington (DNR)
    • Ensure a high-accuracy geodetic reference network in WA (GPS, monuments, CORS, VRS networks, geodetic models)
    • Promote the development of specifications and guidelines for GPS surveys; Serve as an educational source for users
  • Texas (TAMUCC)
    • Establish TSRC
    • Improve Gulf Coast geoid model
    • NAVD88 heights on all CORS; tie CORS to tidal datums
    • Measure/monitor subsidence in Harris Galveston area
  • Kentucky (Morehead State)
  • Arizona (ASLD)

Other Interested States

  • Invited to brief congressional staff and/or present at conferences, forums:




  • Height Mod projects done:


evaluate your needs
Evaluate your needs
  • How much vertical control do you have/need?
    • Passive control disappearing because of development or other activities?
    • Control network easily maintained or densified to suit community’s needs?
  • How valid is the control network?
    • Is there movement from crustal deformation, e.g. earthquakes (Yellowstone), glacial rebound?
  • What will it take to fix it?

Montana’s needs?

Management of forest fires - evacuation planning, effective firefighting by knowing accurate positioning and slope

Mudslides, rockslides – may have contributed to decimation of passive control; accurate control network assists with cost effective rebuilding efforts

Forests in western 1/3 of MT

Agriculture – effective use of irrigation, pesticides, fertilizer, saves money and environment

Conversion from NGVD29 to NAVD88 for water management, GIS applications

Wheat in eastern 2/3 of MT

u s federal budget process
U.S. Federal Budget Process
  • Federal Fiscal Year: October 1 – September 30
  • Budget Process
    • Presidential budget
    • Congress adopts budget resolution – response to the Presidents budget
    • Consideration of appropriations – House and Senate conferences
    • Negotiate differences
    • Budget Bill goes to President to veto or sign
    • Bill signed into law
president s budget
President’s Budget
  • Initiates Budget Process
  • Submitted to Congress February 2 for upcoming FY
  • Recommended spending levels for programs and agencies
  • Represents “Budget Authority”
  • Budget submitted to Congress with justification materials from agencies
budget resolution
Budget Resolution
  • Congress’ response to President’s budget
  • A Guide for considering various budget bills
    • Not law, i.e. doesn’t go to President
    • Does set ceilings for each bill
  • Covers at least 5 years, upcoming plus 4 more
  • Required by Congressional Budget Act of 1974
    • No penalty for not adopting a resolution
    • 1999 and 2001 are only 2 years Congress has failed to adopt a resolution
appropriations committees
Appropriations Committees
  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold hearings for consideration of 13 separate bills via 13 sub-committees
  • Adopted Budget Resolution provides ceilings for sub-committees to use as guidelines
  • Sub-committees begin to mark up bills under their jurisdiction
appropriations committees1
Appropriations Committees
  • House
    • 65 members: 35(R), 29(D), 1(I)
    • Current Chair: Jerry Lewis, CA (R)
  • Senate
    • 28 members: 15(R), 13(D)
    • Current Chair: Thad Cochran, MS(R)
  • 13 Subcommittees
    • Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies
    • Commerce, Justice, and Science Defense
    • District of Columbia
    • Energy and Water
    • Homeland Security
    • Interior and Related Agencies
    • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
    • Legislative Branch
    • Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
    • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Appropriations Committees



Senate Appropriations Committee

House Appropriations Committee

SA Sub 1

HA Sub 1

SA Sub 1

HA Sub 2

SA Sub 3

HA Sub 3

SA Sub 13

HA Sub 13

appropriations committees2
Appropriations Committees
  • Sub-committees submit bills to full House/Senate for vote
  • Bills are considered and passed in each chamber in August and September
  • There are still big differences between the House version and Senate version
  • Little time left before start of FY to resolve differences



Appropriations Committees

  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees negotiate their differences
    • Negotiate differences
    • Reach an agreement within range of differences
    • Budget Bill goes to President who has 10 days to veto or sign
president acts on bill
President Acts on Bill
  • Does nothing within 10 days
    • If Congress is in session, Bill becomes law
    • If Congress is adjourned, Bill is vetoed
  • Vetoes Bill
    • Bill goes back to Congress
    • If House and Senate pass bill with a 2/3 vote, Bill becomes law
    • If not, Bill dies and they start over
  • Signs Bill into law

Height Modernization Appropriations



ngs role noaa grants
NGS’ Role - NOAA Grants
  • Appropriations puts funds in NGS budget
    • Amount and recipient designated by Congress
  • NGS publishes Request for Applications
    • Non-competitive
    • Available for particular applicants only
    • Can be up to 5 years
ngs role noaa grants1
NGS’ Role - NOAA Grants
  • Designated organization applies
    • Writes proposal, budget plan
    • Includes application forms, supporting documentation
  • Review by NGS and outside reviewers
  • Award managed and monitored by NGS

NGS’ Role and Responsibilities

Program Management -- Congressional briefings, budget, grants management, coordination, outreach

Outreach/Technology Transfer -- advisors, forums, workshops, conferences, publications, training, outsourcing

Project Leadership-- project planning, specifications, guidelines, CORS management

Quality Control -- training, assess techniques, survey control, load projects into NGS database

Research and Development-- software development, remote sensing, modeling, investigate GPS techniques, antenna calibrations

other approaches national
Other Approaches – National
  • Funding included in NGS budget – consistent, not threatened by whims of Congress
  • Program recognized by NOAA – added support to continue
  • NGS coordinates activities around the country, prioritizing based on need
  • NGS can redirect funds as needed, not restricted to spending within one state
other approaches regional
Other Approaches – Regional
  • Alternative if can’t get support for National program
  • Needs don’t stop at state boundaries
  • States within a region work in concert to support common issues/goals
  • More efficient use of funds
  • Encourages partnerships
  • Congress more likely to continue funding if affects a larger group – shows importance, commitment to program on part of users
the future
The Future
  • Continue efforts to maintain and grow the program
  • Research new technology to enhance HMP efforts
  • Continue to investigate opportunities to modify procedures and processes to improve efficiencies
  • Provide outreach, training, and support to states interested in Height Modernization

Contact information

Renee Shields

Grants Manager

N/NGS1, SSMC3, Room 9357

1315 East-West Highway

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-713-3231, x116