USDA Certifies CompassData’s CompassTA Elevation Verification Software

Centennial, Colorado, 3 December 2014 – CompassData, a worldwide provider of geospatial data and services, announced that its CompassTA™ elevation accuracy software has received OCIO-ITS certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Certification allows 40,000 USDA users the opportunity to utilize CompassTA software for elevation accuracy verification of LiDAR point clouds, digital elevation models (DEM), and other raster data sets. 

“This certification provides assurance to our current and future USDA clients they are using a data verification tool that has been thoroughly scrutinized and tested by their own internal auditing process,” said Jeff Barker, CompassData product manager. 

USDA certified the CompassTA software through the Office of the Chief Information Officer – Information Technology Services (OCIO-ITS) within the Device Deployment Services Branch. 

Earlier this year, CompassData received DO-200A approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use its CompassAA™ software and ground control points (GCPs) to verify the accuracy of satellite and aerial imagery for the creation of certain aviation products. 

CompassTA and CompassAA are software tools in CompassData’s CompassV&V line of Verification and Validation products. Based on the popular Topo Analyst and Accuracy Analyst software tools CompassData purchased from Spatial Information Solutions (SIS) in early 2014, the rebranded CompassV&V products include CompassAA, for orthorectified image verification, and CompassTA, for QA/QC of elevation data. 

For 20 years, CompassData has performed custom GCP collection for clients in the geospatial profession and archived those points in a database for commercial sale to other end users. The CompassV&V tools are used extensively with custom and archived GCP to verify the accuracy of geospatial imagery, surface and elevation models and many other spatial products. 

Used by numerous U.S. federal agencies under the SIS brand names, CompassV&V tools are content enhancement solutions that automate map accuracy verification and eliminate manual processing, ensuring consistent quality control of geospatial products backed up by standardized reporting procedures. Both tools establish automated workflows and generate standards-based documentation delivered along with end products. 

“Since acquiring and rebranding the CompassV&V tools, we have made administrative upgrades to enhance the user experience,” said Barker. “Additional improvements are in the works.” 

Leveraging the CompassV&V software tools, CompassData has expanded its custom Validation Service using GCPs. This service is offered for clients who prefer, or are required, to have an independent third-party perform quality assurance and supply verification reports, CompassData has licensed professionals on staff that perform Validation Services using high-quality GCPs along with the CompassV&V tools. The CompassData team can conduct this service faster and at lower cost than other firms that have to obtain their own GCPs. 

About CompassData
Established in 1994, CompassData specializes in providing ground control points (GCPs), remotely sensed imagery, and QA/QC services and software. With 31,000 archived GCPs, the CompassData archive is the largest commercially offered database of photo-identifiable GCPs in the world available for off-the-shelf delivery. CompassData performs custom ground control collection, capturing and delivering points of guaranteed quality anywhere in the world within two to six weeks of order placement. FAA DO200A-certified GCPs and orthoimagery are used to support aviation mapping projects, with over 450 airports in the archive (and growing daily) available for off-the-shelf delivery. GCPs are used extensively to orthorectify or correct aerial, satellite and UAS imagery as well as LiDAR data. CompassV&V software and CompassData GCPs are utilized to verify the accuracy of imagery, radar (IFSAR), LiDAR and GIS data sets. Remote sensing satellite operators also rely on GCPs to calibrate newly deployed sensors. For more information, contact Blaine Horner at 303-905-8028 or by email at or