For over 30 years, the United States Forest Service (USFS) has been maintaining the FSTopo as well as additional Small Scale and specialty Maps covering all National Forest System lands such as Forest Visitor Map (FVM), Wilderness Map, Special Use Map, Ranger District Map, format conversions, Intermediate scale thematic maps, annotation products, Forest Atlas thematic maps, and specialty products unique to project in size, layers, data, content, etc.. FSTopo, which is the Forest Service Primary Base Map Series (1:24,000 scale for the lower 48 and Puerto Rico, 1:63,360 for Alaska) 7.5 minute – matched with the USGS The National Map USTopo footprint – supports agency-wide decision-making across all USFS mission areas. 

Xentity’s contract is in support of these services supports the mapping production, cartographic mapping procedures, and GIS technical currently in an Oracle 12c based ESRI SDE 10.3.1 enterprise versioned database environment. 

The program is continuously improving its practices and approach such as enterprise dataset consolidation, platform improvements and analysis, improved workflows to integrate enterprise geospatial data into FSTopo, and other USFS map products. Other activities included data and map compilation, logical consistency, completeness, text collection, data management, format generation (geo-enabled PDF, GeoTiff, and Vector data conversions) and edit submissions. 

Maintaining And Supporting FSTopo

In providing FS Cartography services, Xentity found a constant challenge in maintaining and supporting the USFS’s FSTopo and Small Scale Maps through supporting and improving practices and approaches, along with editing tasks. In particular, map data, along with alignments and locations for data, required updating to its correct map position. New data required proper integration in order to replace current FSTopo data. This includes transportation, trails, drainage, boundaries, land ownership, contours, recreation, text collection of name features and cultural or man-made features. Furthermore, data mining had gaps in data management that needed filling in order for this process to be complete. Data required constant collecting and updating in order to provide more up-to-date versions to users.

Xentity performed routine cartographic support to produce the USFS’s base map product; FSTopo. In doing so, they provided updates of 300 Quadrangle/Maps. They electronically updated to its correct map position within acceptable tolerances specified in the National Map Accuracy Standards. Furthermore, we extracted applicable data from the FSTopo program and transferred into a Secondary Base Geo-database. Check out this map of part of Michigan for reference (notice Lake Huron at the the far right).

Map Data Updated

Through Xentity’s efforts, all map data electronically updated to its correct map position within acceptable tolerances. Alignments and locations for data to be updated digitized directly from provided forest data, external data mining and aerial imagery. All features attributed correctly, and all features digitized using the current Digitizing Standards. The integration process replaced current FSTopo data with this new data where appropriate. Routine cartographic support helped further maintain and update long-running map services that cover the National Forest System’s lands. Thereby helping the USFS in its federal mission.