USNG Data Source Available For Broad Range of Applications

Lewisville, TX (May 8, 2009)  Companies today are being more and more pro-active regarding what information to keep or not in their centralized customer hub which is primarily being driven by compliance, privacy, and other pro-active business requirements like emergency preparedness.

“Emergency related data is becoming more and more mission critical, especially over the past ten years, and will continue to be as companies centralize all their master data sources from across the enterprise into a single customer hub.  One key data attribute that should not be left off this list is the 9-digit, US National Grid (USNG) zone designator”, according to Peter Benza, 25-year veteran of the information services industry.

The US National Grid (USNG) is one of the most popular nation grid systems to be adopted which provides a common reference system for both decision makers and first responders.  Use of the USNG ensures a uniform grid mapping and positional reporting system for search and rescue, emergency planning, hazard mitigation, response, and other recovery activities.  The USNG allows users to communicate in printed form (maps) vital information with reference to the USNG 9-digit (3-part) grid zone designator, square ID, and easting/northing grid coordinates.  FEMA, DHS, National GeoSpatial Intelligence Agency, National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and the Federal Geographic Data Committee all recognize and promote USNG as the nation preferred grid standard.

Peter Benza extended the usability of a USNG with the creation of two products: USNG-B and USNG-P.  The website listed below (USNGdownload) provides users with an easy way to download USNG boundary (and point) files in shape file format with some added features.

Unique USNG-B and USNG-P Product Features:

Peter Benza has taken the USNG base files and completed for you most of the extra processing required too extend the use and readiness of the newly created USNG-B designators.  These time-saving steps can be summarized as: converting to a geographic coordinate system (WGS84), merging multiple state files into a single state-tiled file, added a sequential/unique id to each state, calculated a center point for each 9-digit (1km) USNG zone designator and finally storing the x,y coordinates (longitude/latitude) in separate fields with 5dp degrees of precision for use in other spatial and non-spatial applications – see USNG-P.


Listen to a re-broadcast now in its entirety when Dan Charles of NPR’s Weekend Edition in 2006 shares with his listening audience an interview about how a new kind of map (USNG) could help emergency response.

The USNG-P data product enables users to communicate the “printed map” location using the 9-digit compliant USNG zone indicator and the center point (longitude, latitude) of each USNG boundary to accompany the designator in a newly created point file (USNG-P) that can be optimized by a broad range of applications.

A brief introduction describing these two new USNG products entails:

USNG-B  (A spatial boundary file in shape file format that consists of 9-digit USNG zone designator supported by various agencies as a standard for horizontal reference mapping in the United States.)

USNG-P  (A spatial point file in shape file format that conforms to the standards policy for using the 9-digit USNG zone indicator.)

Note: Point and Polygon (PNP) matching software is needed by the client to perform this USNG enhancement.  This enhancement service is also available upon request as an option.

USNG Benefits:

1.)    The US National Grid provides a nation-wide common language of presenting a location that can be optimized by a broad range of applications.

2.)    USNG’s gridded network of equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines offers a more standardized way to ensure a uniform grid mapping framework compared to other geographies like census, property, and other irregular in shape areas that can be significantly larger than the typical square mile.

3.)    USNG provides a better method to estimate resources given the same size of the grid and ground crews can be aligned.

4.)    The dependency of having to use a geographic coding tool is reduced if not eliminated when the input device (i.e. mobile phone, gps receiver, etc.)  is the mechanism used to capture a x,y coordinate (longitude and latitude) value.

5.)    USNG formats are used by FEMA, DHS, National Guard and US Coast Guard.  Additionally, the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) is the same as the USNG.

About USNGdownload:

For information about USNGdownload and pricing a single, multi-use, multi-site, unlimited, or enterprise license, please email:



About Peter Benza

Peter Benza has been compiling and assessing large customer and prospect name and address databases since he first started at Metromail Corporation in 1984 which merged with Experian after he joined the company.  Benza went on to manage a large retail specialty catalog database for many years and then turned his career from database marketing to packaged software (off-the-shelf) solutions used for: address standardization, ZIP code correction, national change of address, geocoding, tax jurisdiction assignments, and demographic overlays.  In most recent years you will find Peter Benza consulting with major corporations who continue on with their respective “information” journey’s that entails centralizing all their enterprises information assets in one location.

Physical Address: 1925 Silver Cloud Circle, Lewisville, TX 75067-5538

USNG: 14S PB 8454

USNG (X,Y) Coordinate: -97.02482, 33.01335