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GIS Day

GIS Day 2013

This year we celebrate GIS Day on November 20, as part of Geography Awareness Week. It might surprise the average person how much geography matters in our everyday lives. The ability to link maps digitally to information enables us to visualize and understand patterns and relationships around us. Geographic information systems, or GIS, provides this link. More...

Containers in port

The Advent of the Modern-Day Shipping Container

Read a brief history of the humble shipping container. The arrival of containers revolutionized the shipping industry. Containers could be efficiently stacked, allowing more and more goods to be transported across the seas. Labor costs were dramatically lowered and, since containers were sealed, theft was reduced. Over time, the marine transportation industry and the size of ships, trucks, trains, docks, and ports increased and expanded to handle the growing use of containers. The impact on global commerce was enormous, leading to a boom in international trade due to lower transportation and handling costs. More...

survey

How high is the Washington Monument?

This month, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) conducted a series of geodetic surveys of the peak of the Washington Monument. These surveys will allow NOAA to establish a new definitive height for the monument and allow comparisons with future surveys to detect any changes in height. Questions? We thought you might have a few, so we put together a handy Q&A. More...

Bilby Tower construction

Historic Traveling Bilby Tower 'Comes Home'

Employees of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey recently volunteered their services in Osgood, Indiana, where the Surveyors Historical Society erected a historic Bilby Tower in Osgood Trail Park. Osgood is the hometown of Jasper Bilby, who invented the innovative survey tower in 1927. The tower now stands as a permanent monument to Jasper Bilby and his pioneering contribution to geodesy's evolution. More...

boat on Erie Canal

The Great Loop: Circumnavigating Eastern North America by Boat

The Great Loop is a continuous waterway one can traverse that includes a little bit of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America's heartland. Once the journey is complete, you are an official "Looper." There are some requirements. They include a great amount of time, a boat with less than a five foot draft to get you down those inland waterways and, of course, NOAA nautical charts and a NOAA radio. More...

an estuary in Florida

National Estuaries Week, September 23-29

Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world and are home to many different plants and animals. Estuaries also support the U.S. economy in the form of seafood sales, jobs, and recreational activities such as fishing, bird watching, and boating. Our National Estuarine Research Reserves are designed to protect these areas and the species that inhabit them. Do your part to help protect and conserve our nation's estuaries. More...

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900

On September 8, 1900, a horrific hurricane slammed into Galveston, Texas. Wind speeds surpassed 135 miles per hour, making it a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Storm surges rose 15 feet and, within hours, estimates of 6,000 to 12,000 unwary people were killed and over 3,600 buildings were destroyed. The Galveston Hurricane remains the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. More...

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