Company will develop, enhance and document a suite of Open Source software for serving geospatial data over the Internet in support of The National Map project.

Maps a la carte Inc., creators of TopoZone based in North Chelmsford, Mass., entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the USGS to support the USGS' National Map project. Under the agreement, Maps a la carte will develop, enhance and document a suite of Open Source software for serving geospatial data over the Internet.

Working with partners, the USGS is building The National Map as a framework for geographic knowledge that will provide current, accurate and nationally consistent digital data and topographic maps derived from those data to the Nation. The availability of software tools for hosting and serving geospatial data in a flexible, low cost way, without being tied to specific or proprietary formats or vendors, will encourage more state, local and private holders of geospatial data to serve it through The National Map.

TopoZone has developed a unique, complete library of USGS digital topographic maps (DRG), aerial photographs (DOQQ) and other geospatial data. All data is stored at full uncompressed resolution and served to the TopoZone web site and to partners through the Open GIS Consortium's Web Mapping Service (OGC WMS) interface. TopoZone will make this 20-Terabyte library of data available to the USGS for testing with other technologies for The National Map.

TopoZone's Internet mapping system is built using Open Source tools, including the MapServer system, an Open Source Internet map server originally developed at the University of Minnesota. The MapServer system will be used to serve data to The National Map and will be provided to USGS partners along with complementary software tools and documentation.

Source: TopoZone, Dec. 8, 2003