:''"United States Coast Survey" and "United States Coast and Geodetic Survey" redirect here. They are former scientific agencies of the United States government which should not be confused with the United States Coast Guard, a seagoing U.S. government law enforcement and safety agency, the modern Coast Survey, a U.S. government agency that makes nautical charts, or the United States Geological Survey, a U.S. government agency that studies earth science and makes topographical maps.''
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), formerly the United States Survey of the Coast (1807–1836), United States Coast Survey (1836–1878), and United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) (1878–1970), is a United States federal agency that defines and manages a national coordinate system, providing the foundation for transportation and communication; mapping and charting; and a large number of applications of science and engineering. Since its foundation in its present form in 1970, it has been part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of the United States Department of Commerce.
The National Geodetic Surveys history and heritage are intertwined with those of other NOAA offices. As the U.S. Coast Survey and U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the agency operated a fleet of survey ships, and from 1917 the Coast and Geodetic Survey was one of the uniformed services of the United States with its own corps of commissioned officers. Upon the creation of the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) in 1965, the commissioned corps was separated from the Survey to become the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (or "ESSA Corps"). Upon the creation of NOAA in 1970, the ESSA Corps became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (or "NOAA Corps"); the operation of ships was transferred to the new NOAA fleet; geodetic responsibilities were placed under the new National Geodetic Survey; and hydrographic survey duties came under the cognizance of NOAA's new Office of Coast Survey. Thus, the National Geodetic Survey's ancestor organizations are also the ancestors of today's NOAA Corps and Office of Coast Survey and are among the ancestors of today's NOAA fleet. In addition, today's National Institute of Standards and Technology, although long since separated from the Survey, got its start as the Survey's Office of Weights and Measures.