To commemorate the nation’s first chief geographer, the USGS established the Henry Gannett Award in 2009. As a new addition to the Gannett Award, the National Geospatial Program (NGP) has established the Henry Gannett internal award to recognize outstanding contributions to the geospatial community by a USGS employee.
The first recipient of this intra-bureau award is Kari Craun, Director of the National Geospatial Technical Operation Center, (NGTOC) for her extraordinary leadership and advancement of topographic services.
“As Director of the NGTOC, Kari is responsible for a wide range of functions in support of maintaining a seamless, current, nationally consistent set of base geospatial data for the United States, including production and delivery of the 3D Elevation Program,” said Suzette Kimball, Director of the USGS at a recent ceremony.
Craun was tasked by the NGP in 2008 to establish a production capability to automatically generate more than 55,000 topographic maps on a three-year cycle and to include the basic content of the traditional topographic map series, a feat that previously had required more than 50 years to complete.
Starting in 2009, the NGTOC began generating the new US Topo maps to meet this challenge. Overcoming numerous production and scheduling obstacles, the NGTOC under Craun’s direction, continued to improve operational efficiency and increase the quality and functionality of the new digital map series.
By 2012, the first coverage of the lower 48 states was completed, and immediately the system began a repeat of the cycle to regenerate another 55,000 maps in the next three years. By 2015, the second three -year cycle was completed. Each year the process has included additional features of the US Topo quadrangles and associated platforms like the Historical Topographic Map Collection and The National Map Corps volunteer science project.
Additionally, Craun is a Past-President of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society.
“As was Henry Gannett in his time, Kari Craun is a modern topographic mapping pioneer,” said Kimball in concluding her remarks.
The USGS National Geospatial Program presents the Henry Gannett Award biennially to memorialize the first USGS Chief Geographer, Henry Gannett (1882-1914), and his many contributions to American geography and cartography. Since the awards beginning, the USGS has recognized five individuals that have made substantial impacts to topographic mapping. The most recent ( year 2015) recipient was Nicholas Mastrodicasa, Alaska Department of Transportation.
Henry Gannett Award website: nationalmap.gov/gannett/