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Features: November 2013


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...


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...