The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established its first streamgage in 1889 on the Rio Grande River at Embudo, N.M. As the need for streamflow information increased, the USGS streamgaging network expanded to its current (2007) size of approximately 7,400 streamgages nationwide. The USGS streamgaging network, for most of its history, required mechanical measuring and recording devices to collect station data. Time-consuming and labor-intensive site visits were required to gather the recorded data for processing in the office. Eventually the data were published in paper reports. The USGS has progressively improved the streamgaging program by incorporating new technologies and techniques that streamline data collection, data delivery, and records processing while increasing the number and quality of product types that can be derived from the data. Improvements in recent decades that have expanded and broadened the streamgaging program are included the fact sheet.