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Why did I receive additional empty files when downloading vector data?

Downloaded vector products, such as Boundaries, Transportation, and Structures, are bundled with additional empty feature classes. Our Best Practices Geodatabase design contains placeholders for future data holdings, whether or not data is included in the request. While there are some cases where this approach is valid (such as a maintenance partner adding new data), it is not ideal in all situations because you will receive additional empty files for other data categories in addition to your requested vector data products. Navigate to the Foundation folder to find data that should be populated with appropriate content for your specific order.

USGS plans to address this issue during 2014 with the following actions:

1) Vector data models will be refined to remove many fields that do not typically have content.

2) Vector data will be migrated to the 'cloud' for staged product delivery.

3) Staged vector data will no longer contain these empty feature classes as placeholders.

Tags: Maps, Topographic, Recreation, Quadrangle, GeoPDF, Scale