The Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) is a digital platform to help families, survivors, and fellow veterans to take a leading role in honoring their beloved veteran. Built on millions of existing National Cemetery Administration (NCA) records in a 25-year-old database, VLM is a powerful example of an agency harnessing the potential of a legacy system to provide a modernized service that better serves the public.
It is a well-kept secret that the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau were the original two federal agencies to build the first national digital database of roads and boundaries in the United States. The agencies joined forces to develop homegrown computer software and state of the art technologies to convert existing USGS topographic maps of the nation to the points, lines, and polygons that fueled early GIS. Today, the USGS and Census Bureau have a longstanding goal to leverage and use roads and authoritative boundary datasets.