US Army Corps of Engineers
Army Geospatial Center Website

Common Map Background (CMB) Program

Published Feb. 13, 2013
Common Map Background

Common Map Background


The Army Geospatial Center’s (AGC) Common Map Background (CMB) program was designed to provide the capability to assemble, host, maintain and disseminate a common geospatial map data library. The library includes the latest and best available National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) data as well as AGC products. Data and/or products from the CMB data library are provided as requested to Army customers.

Current Operations

CMB dramatically eliminates the time and expense required for field users to acquire, manage and load/import CD-ROMs of geospatial data pertinent to their Area of Operations.

Products requested range from map and image datasets of small areas of interest to large country or command datasets. Customers are able to place requests through the AGC’s website, by email or phone. CMB analysts receive requests from a multitude of agencies, ranging from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District offices and Army Topographic Units overseas, to troops in preparation for deployment. Data can be delivered via CD-ROM, DVD or external hard drive.

Data available includes: CIB, Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED levels 0, 1, 2), Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), shaded relief products created from DTED and SRTM as well as Indian Remote Sensing imagery (IRS – 5 meter color) of the entire United States. Products from the CMB database are in the native NGA RPF format.

In addition, the CMB program distributes, by request, AGC products such as: BuckEye LIDAR, imagery and associated image products, Urban Tactical Planners (UTPs), UTP fly-throughs, Water Resource Data Bases (WRDBs), VMAP, USGS Digital Ortho Quarter Quad imagery (DOQQ – 1 meter), Engineering Route Studies (ERSs) and GeoPDF products. Maps formatted for display on the Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receiver (DAGR) and Garmin GPS units are also available through the CMB program.

Our newest initiative is the launch of CMB Online – a Web-based geospatial portal to AGC data holdings. CMB Online allows the user to search and discover AGC data, place their order online and have it delivered via FTP or shipment on a DVD or hard drive, eliminating the guesswork when ordering data for an AOI.

The CMB program developed and is now disseminating an Afghanistan "Gold Brick" containing the most current data available of Afghanistan. The data is contained on two drives and is formatted for "plug and play" use by the Soldier. The Gold Brick will be disseminated to AGC customers quarterly, and includes BuckEye, UTPs, ERSs, WRDBs and NGA data, as well as other datasets.

Future Developments

CMB will continue to explore and ingest new datasets to provide even more comprehensive data to the Soldier. Future plans include the development of an Iraq Gold Brick and the refinement of the Afghanistan brick as new data becomes available.

Point of Contact

Data Dissemination Team:, Commercial (703) 428-7889, DSN 364-7889

CMB Websites:

CMB Online:

Product Catalog *CaC Required



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