In the mid-1990s, the Strategic Mapping Program was established at TNRIS and funded by the Texas Legislature to include statewide digital GIS layers for seven specific data types to complement the United States Geological Survey 1:24k Topographic Map product. State contributions in the amount of $10 million dollars attracted matching dollars from local and federal agencies to build the seven basemap layers. The first generation of StratMap basemap layers were complete in early 2001, with maintenance updates conducted on a few of the layers over the next ten years.
The enormous cost of building and maintaining digital basemap layers for Texas became more difficult to continuously purchase as state funding for the StratMap Program declined to $0. In 2009, the Council on Competitive Government (CCG) entered into a contract pursuant to Government Code, Chapter 2162, to establish a pool of qualified vendors capable of providing quality geographic data. The selected vendors each signed a contract with the CCG to perform and provide data relating to High Priority Imagery and Data Sets (HPIDS) under the StratMap Program.
The goals of the contract were to encourage participation among state, regional, and local governments for data interoperability, to acquire quality geographic data at the best value to the state, and to improve coordination to eliminate redundant data purchases were achieved throughout the contract lifespan. The HPIDS contract stayed in effect from 2009 to 2015 and produced over $14 million dollars worth of geographic data for the state.
As a result of the success of the HPIDS contract, a new contract was established in 2016 at the Department of Information Resources (DIR) and renamed to reflect the original basemap program that began in 1995. The Texas Strategic Mapping (StratMap) Contract was expanded from geographic data products to a variety of GIS offerings such as software, services, and pre-spec geographic data.
While our structure and activities have evolved, the original charge of maintaining, creating and facilitating the acquisition of up-to-date geographic data available for the public of Texas is still the foundation of the StratMap Program.
The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is the primary elevation data product of the USGS and serves as the elevation layer of The National Map.
While the StratMap Program is active in acquiring new Orthoimagery and Elevation data today, relevant Hydrography, Political Boundaries, Transportation, and Soils layers are maintained by outside agencies but still available through the TNRIS Data Catalog.