This study focused on the role played by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in providing spatial information to other federal agencies and to the nation as a whole. During most of the USGS's history, this information took the form of topographic maps, most importantly and most recently nationwide coverage at the scale of 1:24,000. However, more recently the demand for spatially referenced information shifted dramatically from analog maps to digital data. As a result, the USGS, the only organization offering a comprehensive national reference map series, came under intense pressure to respond to this change with an altered or expanded program. This study was produced at the USGS's request, and contained a series of recommendations designed to assist the USGS to adapt to changing user requirements.