early 1950's, there was a growing awareness of the need for oceanographic
exploration and new methods and equipment for marine research, as
well as a growing realization of the importance of the world's ocean
resources. The Coast and Geodetic Survey began to meet these new needs
for oceanographic information by incorporating new advances in marine
technology that grew out of developments made during World War II,
such as electronic echo sounding equipment and positioning systems.
These new systems did much to improve the speed and accuracy of the
collection of hydrographic and oceanographic data. However, because
the recording, processing, and plotting of survey data were still
performed manually, the Survey's capacity to use the data fully was
lagging behind the capability to collect the data. In the 1960's the
Survey began a program to develop a computer-assisted system for handling
the massive amounts of hydrographic data that were being collected.
In 1962, the Survey's Pacific Marine Center produced the first automatically
processed and machine-plotted hydrographic smooth sheet -- the first
step in the marriage of hydrography and automated data processing.
Ultimately, this work culminated in the development of the Hydroplot
System, which became the mainstay for the Survey's hydrographic survey
operations. The system, which is only now facing obsolescence, is
considered by many to be the first, and most practical, automated
hydrographic survey system--and a major milestone in the history of
1960's, the Survey's fleet of 14 ships was replaced with new, larger,
and more sophisticated survey ships designed specifically for hydrographic
and oceanographic work. In 1970, with the formation of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the name of this new fleet
of ships was changed to the NOAA Fleet. At the same time, the Coast
and Geodetic Survey was renamed the National Ocean Survey, and the
Lake Survey Center, which was responsible for surveying functions
on the Great Lakes, was transferred from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
to NOS. 
oldest element of what became the Environmental Science Services Administration
was the Weather Bureau. 1991 will mark the 100th anniversary of the
civilian weather service which was created on July 1, 1891
when an Act of Congress transferred the weather bureau from the Army
Signal Corps to the Department of Agriculture. This action was preceded
however by nearly 250 years of weather observation and study in the
U.S. Historians agree that the first continuous weather records in
the U.S. were kept in 1644 and 1645 by the Reverend John Campanius
Holm near Wilmington, Delaware. While many other individuals kept
"weather diaries" from time to time around the country, the best known
is probably Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was considered a weather expert
in his day and often responded to questions about American weather
and climate. The War of 1812 brought the first government collection
of weather observations. Responding to growing interest in the effect
of weather on health, Dr. James Tilton, the Surgeon-General of the
Army, ordered hospital surgeons to observe the weather and keep climatological
records. The following highlights summarize the most significant events
during the pre-World War II history of the Weather Bureau:
1817 -- a system of weather observations at land offices established
by Josiah Miegs, Commissioner-General of the Land Office.
1825-1850 -- New York University and the State of Pennsylvania operate
state networks of weather observations.
1849 -- Professor Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution establishes
first extensive observation network by supplying weather instruments
to telegraph companies. Dr. Henry prepared maps based on simultaneous
observations sent to the Smithsonian by telegraph operators and
often made predictions based on those maps -- the first published
weather forecasts in the U.S. This network was severely disrupted
by the Civil War.
1865 -- Dr. Henry's annual report urges reorganization of all meteorological
observations under a single agency as a means of predicting storms
and warning coastal shipping.
1869 -- a new weather observation network established by Cleveland
Abbe, Director of the Cincinnati Observatory. Using some of the
former Smithsonian observers, Professor Abbe issued forecasts which
he called "probabilities."
1870 -- An Act [Ed. Joint Resolution] of Congress (introduced in
1869 by Congressman H. E. Paine of Wisconsin) established a national
weather warning service under the Secretary of War. Capitalizing
on a widespread telegraph system and the interest of their head,
Colonel A. J. Myer, the Army Signal Corps assumed responsibility
for taking observations at military stations and warning of storms
on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
1871 -- first daily weather maps appeared in January and weather
predictions began to be published regularly in February.