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Alaska Roundtable

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Alaska
 
David Hayes:  Thanks for coming to the round table today. I expected to be with you in person but as it turns out I'm unexpectedly with the Secretary in Norway today so I have a good excuse. I very much appreciate all of you coming together for this important topic. This is the issue of mapping in Alaska is an important issue that the Department of the Interior is happy to cohost this round table on along with the state of Alaska, and we appreciate the Governor's interest in this. His office is participation in this round table and also the interest of the Alaska delegation.
I really don't have to explain to this group how important mapping is to the business of government and to the business of the private sector. I think all of us have come to take good mapping for granted now. We have a number of federal agencies around the table here and all of us in our different mission areas have found how important solid mapping is.
Whether we're talking about infrastructure and potential infrastructure development, whether we're talking about resources and the availability of resources, the nature of resources on our landscape, or whether we're talking about safety issues. Basic issues such as aviation safety, navigation related safety et cetera.
We all take good mapping for granted and what is surprising to many is how poorly mapped the state of Alaska is. Our 49th state has been left behind when it's come to mapping. aTopographically, as I understand it, we are perhaps 20 percent mapped in Alaska with current technology.
A number of agencies, including our USGS, I know Marsha is here representing USGS today, have tried to tackle this. And the state of Alaska has tried to tackle this. Progress is being made. Some databases have been recently purchased. The USGS has a topographical initiative underway.
The reality is that at the current rate of activity, we will not be addressing and solving this mapping void on an acceptable schedule. What we want to do in this roundtable is make sure that all of the affected players have an appreciation for where we are, with Alaska, right now on the mapping situation.
It's not a good place. We want to collaborate together across our agencies and our interest groups to figure out how we can accelerate the effort to bring Alaska mapping up to speed with where it needs to be. I'm hoping that today's workshop will provide an opportunity to do that.
First, to share information about the status quo, and secondly, I hope organize as a group, perhaps with an executive committee with representation from the key departments and agencies and interests that need good mapping in Alaska. And that's virtually every major department in the federal government given the huge stake we all have in Alaska, to form an executive committee to find a way forward.
There's no quick way to do this. There is some expense involved. But if we work together and put our minds together and efforts together and get some contributions together, we can. Working with the state and private industry get there, and get there much more quickly than the status quo.
Thanks again for participating in the round table, and I will look forward to future discussions with all of you on this important subject.
p.

Details

Title: Alaska Roundtable

Description:

Aviation safety, energy development, resource assessments, flood plain management, and a long list of other Federal and State government activities depend on access to accurate, up-to-date topographic maps and data. Remarkably, modern mapping information does not exist over the majority of land in Alaska, where significant resource, safety and national security interests intersect.

To address this issue, the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the State of Alaska co-hosted the Alaska Mapping Roundtable meeting of senior Federal and State executives to raise awareness of status and plans and to explore alternatives for a joint funding strategy for completing topographic mapping in Alaska. The Roundtable was held in Washington, DC on June 28, 2012 and more than 20 Federal departments and bureaus participated because of their mission critical needs for this information. Alaska participants included representatives from the Governor's Office, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, the University, and the Congressional delegation.

This features an address to the Alaska Roundtable participants by David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Mr. Hayes outlines the urgency and needs for completing topographic mapping in the State of Alaska.

Location: USA

Date Taken: 6/20/2010

Length: 4:47

Video Producer: James Maxwell , U.S. Geological Survey, NGTOC


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Tags: Alaska AlaskaMapping DOI NationalGeospatialProgram TheNationalMap USGS USTopo

 

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