Engineering Route Study (ERS)

Published Feb. 14, 2013


Description and Background

The Engineering Route Study (ERS) is an unclassified country-scale graphic designed to provide basic information on the major surface transportation systems in conjunction with terrain and climate data. The ERS is intended for use by Army and other Department of Defense contingency planners who are responding to crisis events or other international situations.

Key Capabilities

The ERS graphic provides current information on transportation systems, terrain, and environmental data. Highway system information includes road classification such as expressway, all-weather or fair-weather, surface type such as hard or loose surface, and distance in kilometers. The ERS graphic can include steep grades, sharp curves, ferry locations, key bridges and tunnels, border stations, and other man-made or environmental hazards affecting the major transportation routes. Other transportation systems delineated include C-130 capable airfields, strategic sealift capable ports, and major railroad lines. Terrain and environmental data includes key streams and rivers, surface configuration (plains, hills or mountains), areas of potential flooding and landslides, and descriptions of drainage and climate data.

Specifications and Sources

The ERS is a stand-alone graphic product, designed to be plotted as an ANSI C-sized document (17 by 22 inches). Transportation information comes from a variety of data sources including native and commercial maps, native, United States Government and international intelligence sources, imagery and other open sources. Terrain Configuration is derived from Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data. Individual themes or layers are available for some of the studies. ERS data/product can be downloaded in GeoPDF format from all three AGC websites. Vector data used to create the product, in shapefile format, is available for download for most of the studies.

Product Development

The ERS is now being produced using the Ground Warfighter Geospatial Data Model (GGDM) schema. The GGDM is a superset of the data model schema used by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Topographic Data Store (TDS) schema which in turn is based on the NFDD or National System for Geospatial-Intelligence Feature Data Dictionary.


The user can apply the ERS data to their specific needs. The ERS is intended to provide data at the country or operational level to assist the Warfighter in planning a variety of missions including military operations, humanitarian relief, transportation studies, and drug enforcement.

Current Status

There is a vast number of Engineering Route Studies, covering 158 nations, territories, and regions. Some large countries are mapped at the provincial level in order to provide coverage at a usable level of detail.

Data can be accessed via AGC web pages under Products & Services at (PKI) (SIPRNet) (JWICS)  

Point of ContactAGC Warfighter Geospatial Support and Production Directorate, Terrain Analysis Branch,

AGC Warfighter Geospatial Support and Production Directorate, Terrain Analysis Branch,