"The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) initiative responds to a growing need for high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features. The National Enhanced Elevation Assessment (NEEA), which was completed in 2011, clearly documented this need within government and industry sectors. The results of the NEEA indicated that enhanced elevation data have the potential to generate $13 billion in new benefits annually. The benefits apply to flood risk management, agriculture, water supply, homeland security, renewable energy, aviation safety, and other areas. The 3DEP initiative was recommended by the National Digital Elevation Program and its 12 Federal member agencies and was endorsed by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC)."
Fact Sheet 2012-3089
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/