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Navigation Surveys and Mapping

The Corps of Engineers routinely monitors conditions at Federal navigation channels. This includes bathymetric surveys, which are detailed measurements of the elevation of the bottom of a channel relative to a fixed elevation datum. These surveys are conducted on an annual basis at most Federal channels. The information is used to identify shoaling, or areas where sediments have accumulated, as well as any other obstructions. When shoaling is identified, the Corps issues a notice to navigation users in cooperation with the Coast Guard.

Survey data is used to determine the need for maintenance dredging at Federal channels, and to estimate the quantity of sediments that will have to be removed by the dredging contractor. Sediments to be dredged are sampled and tested in order to determine the appropriate options for management of the dredged material.

Bathymetric surveys of Federal navigation channels are available in electronic form at one or more web sites maintained by the Corps of Engineers, including the following:

The Corps of Engineers no longer maintains or distributes nautical charts or maps of the Great Lakes. Charts developed by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration can be obtained from a number of local distributors.

Navigation Maps and Charts

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All IENCs are available for down load at

Ohio River Navigation Charts are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore, or by calling the Government Printing Office toll-free at (866) 512-1800.

Mail orders with an attached Government Printing Office order form are accepted. The Government Printing Office will accept payment by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover/NOVUS, American Express, or Superintendent of Documents Deposit Account. Navigation charts are no longer available for purchase directly from Corps of Engineers district offices. All hard copy charts must be ordered through the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

CorpsMap is the USACE nationwide enterprise GIS implementation. CorpsMap is the single authoritative source for USACE national geospatial data assets. CorpsMap consists of an operational geospatial database, an open interface, and a Web portal. CorpsMap supports data analysis and visualization using a Web browser, Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS, C/JMTK, and other off-the-shelf software.

Under direction of the USACE Geospatial Coordinator, CorpsMap supports a single USACE common operating picture and provides for secure integration of geospatial data across business lines and secure access to this information within and beyond the corps. CorpsMap provides a single authoritative source of information to external agencies including NorthCom, DHS, NSA during an emergency.

CorpsMap supports visualization and analysis of USACE infrastructure including project locations, administrative boundaries, and federal levees. Real-time display of cloud cover, weather radar, storm tracks and stream gage data, critical infrastructure and watershed data.
Congress first authorized the US Army Corps of Engineers to inventory dams in the United States with the National Dam Inspection Act (Public Law 92-367) of 1972. The NID was first published in 1975, with a few updates as resources permitted over the next ten years. The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-662) authorized the Corps to maintain and periodically publish an updated NID, with re-authorization and a dedicated funding source provided under the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-3). The Corps also began close collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state regulatory offices to obtain more accurate and complete information. The National Dam Safety and Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-310) reauthorized the National Dam Safety Program and included the maintenance and update of the NID by the Corps of Engineers. The most recent Dam Safety Act of 2006 reauthorized the maintenance and update of the NID.

Access the National Inventory of Dams at
The U.S. inland navigation system consists of 8,200 miles of rivers maintained by the Corps of Engineers in 22 states, and includes 276 lock chambers with a total lift of 6,100 feet.

The highly adaptable and effective system of barge navigation moves over 625 million tons of commodities annually, which includes coal, petroleum products, various other raw materials, food and farm products, chemicals, and manufactured goods (see Corps Navigation Data Center).

The shallow draft waterways have many unique characteristics and difficulties over coastal harbor and ocean navigation: river levels can change by over 30 feet in a seasonal cycle, the navigation channel can shift significantly within the river banks, and shifting yet ever present river currents pose constant challenges in these confined waterways.

Access Inland Electronic Navigation Charts (IENC) at

The Allegheny River, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, Kanawha River, Monongahela River and Ohio River Navigation Charts are available by Internet from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore, by calling the Government Printing Office toll-free at (866) 512-1800 or by mail order with the Government Printing Office order form. Payment can be made by check, money order, or major credit card.

When ordering by Internet, enter appropriate navigation system in the Search the Sales Product Catalog field and click on the Submit button. Click on the Add to Chart icon and follow the instructions.


Engineering Regulation 1110-1-8156

This regulation prescribes the policy for the acquisition and management of nontactical geospatial data throughout the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and prescribes policy to comply with Executive Order (EO) 12906, Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16, Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities.

Engineering Manual 1110-1-1000 Photogrammetric Mapping

This manual presents procedural guidance, technical specifications, and quality control (QC) criteria for performing aerial photogrammetric mapping activities.

Engineering Manual 1110-1-2909
The Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (SDSFIE) is the single Department of Defense spatial data standard that supports common implementation and interoperability for installations, environment, and civil works missions. Seven principals guide the development of SDSFIE:
  • SDSFIE will focus on the geospatial representation of features and maintain a minimum number of attributes. It will link to our business databases for attribute data and not duplicate attributes found in business databases.
  • SDSFIE will provide a data model that is scalable from installation mapping up to service level and DoD; from local to global.
  • If a relevant data content standard already exists, SDSFIE must incorporate it into the model rather than develop new content.
  • SDSFIE standard development will follow a nationally recognized development process.
  • SDSFIE will reside in the public domain and is vendor neutral.
  • The standard will be responsive and built to support the business needs of data creators and end users.
  • SDSFIE is governed and managed by the Services.
More information on SDSFIE can be found at: