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The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is the U.S. federal agency mandated with defining, maintaining, and providing access to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). The NSRS includes all geodetic coordinate information, such as latitude, longitude, height and gravity, plus the official location of the coastline of the United States and its territories.

NGS is part of the National Ocean Service (NOS), a line office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). While NOS, NOAA, and DOC have histories limited to the late 20th century, NGS is the oldest scientific agency of the U.S. government. President Thomas Jefferson, a land surveyor himself, was vital to this history. He was instrumental in the design of the Public Land Survey System, ...

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