Question about NHD

11-21-2016 05:23 PM
Frequent Contributor


Today, I had a meeting with two people to go over what I have been working on soils data. It has a lot of cleaning up. When we were discussing, this person was talking about the edits with the NHD for every two years. What I would like to get more information about it on how every two years that NHD works or needs to make edits. NHD is a National Hydrography Dataset that is done by the USGS.  Does anyone out there know what I was talking about ? Could anyone out there can directed me to where can I find ?

That will help to what I am looking for about it.


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4 Replies
MVP Frequent Contributor

Welcome to the world of water!  Asking "what is NHD" is sort of like asking "what is GIS" - it's a broad question, and not quickly answered.

So as a starting point, I'd look here to get an overview of what NHD is:

U.S. Geological Survey - National Hydrography Dataset 

You can locate the USGS contact for your region here:

MOU / Info 

I suspect these contact(s) can tell you who is updating the NHD data for your area, and if it is your organizations responsibility, what the current process/expectations are.

Once you get a better idea of what the NHD is about and what you will be doing with it, there are folks on GeoNet that use the data often and can answer specific questions.  For example, I suspect many of the folks in this group are familiar with the data:

Arc Hydro 

Chris Donohue, GISP

Frequent Contributor

Thank you but I am not doing the NHD work, just how it works when you make the edits to the NHD every two years. What the person was telling me that the USGS get collected from the public input and then they make edits. That is where I want to know how that works. I hope if I can make myself more clearly.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Are you looking for the "Steward" in your area that helps with the NHD updates?

U.S. Geological Survey - National Hydrography Dataset 

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) contains detailed geospatial information about the Nation's surface water. Making these data accurate will be an ongoing task as the landscape changes and users demand greater accuracy.

Just as building the NHD required a large partnership across the nation, maintaining the NHD also requires an extensive partnership, and can best be accomplished by those closest to the hydrography. Users within the states and federal lands understand the hydrography around them and are motivated to ensure the accuracy of the NHD to meet their business needs; therefore, they are ideally suited to become the stewards of the data; an agency in each state will manage the maintenance activities within the state. The maintenance will be performed by that agency or other agencies in the state. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) will facilitate the overall process, providing national management, coordination, tools, standards, documentation, training, quality assurance, data archival, and data distribution. Updates to the NHD will be made by the stewards, transmitted to the USGS, processed, and made available in the national dataset distribution.

Learn more about NHD Stewardship here .

Frequent Contributor

For example, I am working on this soil data I have been working on and it will be ongoing for long time..because the database will be changing in three years so the person I work with will have a database in three years and wants me to update it with the soil database. That sort of thing he was talking about NHD being update every two years. I do not work with the NHD updates myself and I want to know how that works that I will be doing the same thing with the soil data.That is all and I just want to know how that works...

Thanks for the heads up. I will print it and read it.

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