State Mapping Advisory Committee (SMAC)


1:00 PM; Monday, December 20, 1999


Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

University of Nevada, Reno Campus

Scrugham Engineering/Mines Building; Room 401

Reno, Nevada 89557

(775) 784-6691 Ext. 121; Email:

1:00 PM: OPENING REMARKS and Welcome by Jon Price, Chairman


               Report on Internet access to Nevada 7.5 minute Digital Raster Graphic Maps via the Keck Web site (, by Gregg Stefane and Rachel Dolbier, University Library, University of Nevada, Reno. The site is made up of two components; first is the spatial data distribution center, and second is the digital data application center. The first component includes Nevada coverage of the digital raster graphic (DRG) maps which are scanned, georeferenced, versions of the published USGS topographic maps; 7.5 minute digital elevation model (DEM) data sets; the Great Basin Geoscience data set, and several other data sets. The second component consists of metaframe viewing technology that allows users, through their normal browser interface, to utilize full featured advanced software applications such as Arcview and ENVI over the network.

This Web site was initially funded by the Keck Foundation and is actively seeking other geoscience related data sets to serve to the public. The Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Transportation were thanked for their contribution of Nevada DRGs. The Nevada Biodiversity Web site has a link on the Keck Web site. 

Report on image conversion of DOQs over the Humboldt Basin, by Eric Warmath, USGS Water Resources Division, Carson City, Nevada. Eric reported on his activity involving reformatting and merging many of the existing digital orthophoto quads (DOQ) that cover the primary channel of the Humboldt and some of it’s main tributaries. He has digitized the centers of the channels from the DOQs. The edited line work has better connectivity and possibly better accuracy then the existing hydro DLG data in this area. The purpose of the project is to develop an accurate river length from Deeth to the Parran Canal. The project will soon terminate and Eric seeks funding assistance or a cooperative venture to complete the digital coverage for the rest of the basin and add attributes and metadata for the entire project. If funding assistance is not found the project will stop once the river miles are calculated and probably be un-releaseable to other agencies because it lacks full attributes and metadata.

J.R. Peay was interested  in discussing a possible joint venture on the Humboldt project were  he could have some students finish attributing the data.  Kyle House stated that this would be a useful data set and that it should be completed. Jon Price suggested that Eric attend the Humboldt Basin workshop to be held at the BLM State Office on January 12, 2000, 8:30 AM.

Report on National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and Western Governor’s Association (WGA) National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA) Initiatives, by Ron Hess, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology: A NASA outreach program, developed in conjunction with a National States Geographic Information Council project and input from the Western Governors Association Geographic Information Council, has produced a long-term, 5-component project which includes:  (1) Nationwide Common Image Products (TM and maybe some select high resolution, 1 or 5 meter, satellite data) buy; (2) Regional training workshops oriented towards state and local agency users followed by local - state specific workshops: (3) Paid internships placing graduate and undergraduate students in local agencies for up to 3 years to train existing staff on use of the technology: (4) Bring local agency staff to regional NASA sites for training, use of computer/software/data resources and NASA expertise: (5) Series of pilot projects each 3 to 5 years in duration. The purposes of the pilot projects would be to transfer the technology and knowledge base for accomplishing the project to the affected local agencies and to have a reproducible project design that other agencies with similar requirements could utilize as a model.

It was also announced that the Western Governor’s Association will be hosting a workshop on the public land survey system (PLSS) focused on administrative ownership and boundaries that are based on PLSS. The workshop will be held in Salt Lake City on March 20-22, 2000. It is hoped that participation from each state will include representatives who collect, use, and disseminate cadastral data in State, local, and Federal agencies. It was suggested that if a State assessors’ association exists, it should be notified about this meeting.

Ron also announced that the first version of the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) is becoming available for Nevada. It is based on 1992 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data and has been classified into 21 categories. It should be considered a useable modeling tool at 1:100,000 and smaller scales. It will be made available in Geotiff format, which is a raster type file. The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology will work with the Keck Web site and the USGS to make available the Nevada portion of the NLCD on a local site. The master NLCD will be available from a USGS Web site in an Albers Equal-Area map projection. The data for the local Nevada site will probably be in UTM zone 11 projection NAD27 or NAD83 (final decision has not been made but committee preference seemed to indicate NAD83). The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology will place links to these sites on the Virtual Clearinghouse for Nevada Geographic Information Web page (

Ron Hess read the following status report into the minutes for Dave Pickel, National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), who was unable to attend the meeting.


From  Mon Dec 20 08:50:43 1999

Return-Path: <>

Subject: NRCS report to the SMAC

Status Report to the Nevada State Mapping Advisory Committee

11-digit Hydrologic Unit Spatial Data Development:

The development of 11-digit hydrologic units at 1:24000 scale for the state

nears completion.  99% of the linework is complete, however most watershed

codes have not yet been assigned.  Some HU boundaries were in use which did

not reflect hydrographic features such as county boundaries, highways or

stream centerlines.  HUs created with these kinds of boundaries had to be

recompiled to reflect true watershed features and in some cases were

eliminated entirely.

These data need to be reviewed and certified by our technical center in Ft.

Worth prior to their release and availability.  Before this can happen,

attributing of polygons and matching across state lines must be completed.

The metadata for these data also remains to be developed.  These activities

are on-going.

Some small percentage of 14-digit HUs (subwatersheds) have been compiled.

These were developed mainly for demonstration purposes at this time, to show

some inherent challenges involved in compiling these kinds of units in

Nevada.  The Great Basin, and its many bolsons, challenge the compiler of

subwatersheds just where to draw the line given the scale of the compilation

documents, the lack of external drainage, the often spreading of streams

into multiple channels as they issue from mountains onto fans and fan

piedmonts.  Since each bolson by definition has no external drainage, do we

draw the line at the elevation of the pour point of the bolson into the

adjoining one; do we draw the line at the bolson floor - the zone of

sediment deposition; or what?  Compounding this are the often bewildering

array of irrigation canals and ditches associated with every stream in the


These questions remain to be answered and 8-digit sub-basins need to be

ranked and prioritized for subwatershed development before significant

14-digit subwatershed development can continue.

Nevada Noxious Weed Spatial Database Development:

The NRCS agreed to provide GIS support to the state noxious weed control

effort.  To this end, we have adopted certain standards and procedures from

the Montana Noxious Weed Survey and Mapping System.  Field workers are

gathering noxious weed survey data and reporting them via the Invasive Plant

Survey form from the Nevada Cooperative Extension publication Invasive

Plants in Nevada:  An Identification Handbook.  The Invasive Plant Survey

form has been automated in the form of a MS Access database (InvPlant.mdb)

and is available at the following ftp location: /pub/incoming

This effort is in its infancy.  We expect it to gain importance and become

an integral part of noxious weed control efforts in the state.

Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO):

24 certified digitized soil surveys are available on-line at the following ftp location:  Soil survey data are

constantly being added to this site as they are digitized and certified.

Most of the state, exclusive of USFS and DOE ground, has been completed and

is, or will shortly be, available.  For further information on SSURGO status

contact Bill Dollarhide, NRCS State Soil Scientist.


Dave Pickel

NRCS GIS Coordinator

Phone:  775 784 5863



Jon Price announced that Nevada will be hosting the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) annual conference in September 2000 at Lake Tahoe. NSGIC is an organization of States committed to efficient and effective government through the prudent adoption of information technology. Members of NSGIC include delegations of senior state geographic information system managers from across the United States. Other members include representatives from federal agencies, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations. NSGIC membership includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in geographic information systems (GIS) and data and information technology policy. Further information on NSGIC can be obtained from their Web site ( 

Rupert White, with the Nevada State Office of Technology Services, announced that Space Imaging has an approved image purchase/price agreement with the State of Nevada. This will allow state and local agencies that wish to buy Ikonos 1-meter, or Indian 5-meter, or other multispectral image products from Space Imaging to do so without having to go to the bid process for purchase. Greg Smith is the State contact for this purchase agreement. 

Report on the SMAC Geologic Mapping Subcommittee, by Jon Price. Report included a summary of the procedures used to identify geologic mapping priorities based on a set of needs requirements developed for various data layers including hydrographic, transportation, urban, science, recreation, resources, etc. The geologic mapping subcommittee was created to develop and update the geologic mapping priorities for Nevada in response to the creation of the National Geologic Cooperative Mapping Program which assists in funding some geologic mapping projects in high priority areas. Nevada will be receiving about $111,000 in the upcoming year from this program, which will be matched by over $111,000 from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. The following quads are funded for new geologic mapping this year:

In the Reno area:

South half of the Virginia City quad

North half of the Tule peak quad

East half of the Dogskin Mountain quad

Quaternary geology of the Yerington quad.

In the Las Vegas/Pahrump area:

Sixmile Spring quad

South half of the Horse Springs quad.

In addition to this, a digital data conversion project to create digital geologic maps, with FGDC compliant metadata, from existing published geologic maps in the Las Vegas Valley and the Reno area has also been funded.

Clint Woods of the Clark County Geographic Information Systems Management Office was introduced. He announced that the 10th Annual State GIS Conference will be held on March 27-29, 2000 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas. It is being hosted by the Nevada Geographic Information Society (NGIS). The theme of this year’s conference is “GIS 2000". You can register on-line at “”. The first day of this conference will include two training tracks.

Report from U.S. Geological Survey National Mapping Division, by Tom Strum and Lee Case, USGS NMD. Changeover in coordination activity from the Denver USGS NMD Office to the USGS NMD office at Menlo Park. This is part of a USGS reorganization that will consolidate USGS outreach efforts for the Western States at Menlo Park, CA.

New 10-Meter digital elevation model (DEM) data is in progress for a large part of northwestern and south-central Nevada. Ten-meter DEMs already exist for the Humboldt Basin. The rest of Nevada is currently covered with standard 30-meter DEM data.

Digital Orthophoto Quad (DOQ) coverage of the Humboldt Basin is complete. DOQs are currently being produced over several parts of northwestern Nevada. Both sets of DOQs are based on 1994 NAPP photography. All of Nevada was flown during 1999 under the NAPP program, and the photography will probably become available for ordering and/or use in new DOQ production by the summer of 2000. The photos are currently being checked by USGS-NMD for quality. Currently the NAPP mission is on a 7 year cycle to update complete, 1:40,000 scale, aerial photographic coverage of the lower 48 states.

The USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) is operational and information on it can be obtained by going to the Web site at ””. NED has been developed by merging the highest-resolution, best-quality elevation data available across the United States into a seamless raster format. NED is the result of the USGS effort to provide seamless,  1:24,000-scale DEM data for the conterminous US and 1:63,360-scale DEM data for Alaska. The National Elevation Dataset offers seamless data for sale, by user-defined area, in a variety of formats.

Ron Hess will contact interested parties to purchase the NED DEM data for a block including Nevada plus at least a 50-km-wide buffer zone surrounding the State. The data will then be made available on the Keck Web site. If your agency is willing to contribute to this data buy contact Ron Hess directly.

The National Hydrography Dataset is now on-line at “”. The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that contains information about surface water features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, springs and wells. Within the NHD, surface water features are combined to form "reaches," which provide the framework for linking water-related data to the NHD surface-water drainage network. These linkages enable the analysis and display of these water-related data in upstream and downstream order. The NHD is based upon the content of USGS Digital Line Graph (DLG) hydrography data integrated with reach-related information from the EPA Reach File Version 3 (RF3). The NHD supersedes DLG and RF3 by incorporating them, not by replacing them. Users of DLG or RF3 will find the National Hydrography Dataset both familiar and greatly expanded and refined.

Tom also announced that acquisition of the transportation digital line graph (DLG) data layer will be phased out by the USGS over the next two years. Department of Interior (DOI) high-priority mapping requests for transportation DLG coverages in specific areas will still be considered but only for the next two years. Afterwards, other federal, state, or local agencies or the private sector will have to provide digital versions of the road network coverages.

Department of Interior (DOI) high priority mapping program coordination effort, by Mark O'Brien, Nevada State Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Mark and Tom Sturm gave a brief description of the DOI high-priority mapping program. The key element to successfully obtaining funding for a prioritized mapping project under this program is the ability to get enough DOI agencies to prioritize the same or overlapping area of interest. The State Mapping Advisory Committee is utilized as the forum for non-DOI agencies to have input to the priority process of the locally based DOI agencies.

A meeting of DOI agencies to be held in the second or third week of January will finalize the Nevada DOI requests. Tom Strum remarked that to obtain funded projects under the DOI high-priority mapping program now requires at least four, preferably six DOI agencies to express interest. 

The current products that are of interest to committee members and can be requested under this program include DLGs, DOQs, and 10-meter DEMs.

Issues and requirements identified:

The BLM utilizes transportation DLG data and would like to see more of these DLGs completed in Nevada.

NBMG can use and see the benefit in complete transportation DLG coverage for Nevada, however it should be noted that only about 15 to 20 percent of Nevada is currently covered by transportation DLGs.

Transportation DLGs created from new aerial photography compilation cost 3 times as much as digitizing from existing published topographic maps. DLGs created in areas that already have DOQs in existence cost less to develop then were the DOQs have to be produced from scratch.

DOQs can be used as a backdrop to a DRG, and new roads and tracks would be visible on the DOQ.

If transportation DLGs are requested they should be in rural areas, because these are areas without good roads coverages and are unlikely to be mapped commercially anytime soon.

Companies and consultants from whom NBMG has feedback are interested in getting the base DLG data; they then can update the roads and other information themselves. It is  important to have the digital base, whether it shows the roads from an older version of a published map or from newer photography.

DOQs requested this year will probably be produced from the 1994 NAPP photography and not the 1999 NAPP photography. This is caused by product inspection delays and the possible need to re-fly some areas. DOI high-priority mapping funds can not be carried over to the next fiscal year.

10-meter DEMs can be produced rapidly, cheaply, and will be produced from new contour digitizing. They will not be resampled 30 DEM data sets.

Two upcoming issues that may require various mapping updates are the possible listing of the sage grouse as an endangered species and the proposed Great Basin initiatives of the USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ron Hess handed out an outline map of Nevada showing 7.5' quadrangle boundaries. He requested that all agencies that have a need for DLG, DOQ, or DEM data products identify the area on the outline map and attach a description of the area that includes what projects or needs the requested mapping data would satisfy. Then return this information to Ron Hess. He also requested that the outline map be circulated to other members within each individual’s organization that may have an interest in these types of mapping products. The information received back will be compiled and reported to Mark O’Brien and Eric Warmath at the January DOI agency meeting.

The above information has to be back to Ron Hess no later then January 10th , 2000. The information can be faxed to (775)784-1709, E-mailed to  or mailed to:

Ron Hess

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

University of Nevada, Reno, M.S. 178

Reno, Nevada 89557-0088


If you have questions contact Ron Hess, Executive Secretary, Nevada State Mapping Advisory Committee at (775) 784-6691 ext. 121 or E-mail

Meeting Attendees

Jon Price                                            Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Ron Hess                                            Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Kyle House                                        Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Rita Carman                                       Nevada Division of State Lands

Eric Warmath                                    USGS Water Resources Division

Clint Woods                                      Clark County

Michael Wallen                                 Southern Nevada Water Authority

J.R. Peay                                            Community College of Southern Nevada

Lee Case                                            USGS National Mapping Division

Tom Sturm                                         USGS National Mapping Division

Gregg Stefane                                    University of Nevada, Reno

Rachel Dolbier                                  University of Nevada, Reno

Mark O’Brien                                    Bureau of Land Management

Gail Durham                                      Nevada Division of Forestry

Doug Cook                                         Cook Ventures, Inc.

Rupert White                                     Nevada Department of Information Technology

Rick Free                                           Nevada Department of Transportation

Michael Bish                                     Nevada Department of Transportation

Linda Newman                                   University of Nevada, Reno

Mike Del Grosso                              Nevada Division of State Lands

Kelvin Hickenbottom                       Nevada Division of Water Resources