Frequently Asked Questions

Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data

The USGS provides the mapping and digital geospatial foundation for the Nation.

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Image: USGS Cartographer at Work
Yes, these are different maps that typically resulted from revisions and reprints. The differences are often minor. The date used to identify a map can be found in the lower right corner. If there are multiple editions with the same compilation date, look for additional dates in the lower right portion of the map collar that might differentiate...
Illustration shows study area was divided into seven streamflow analysis regions in Alaska
Flow tables are not included in either staged State or Subregion NHD data because very large datasets may exceed an internal two GB processing limit. However, you can process the NHD data and build flow tables locally on your computer. First, download the staged NHD data for your area of interest, and then access the NHD Utilities software which...
Figure 2. Current and proposed MR diversions in Louisiana deltaic wetlands. (Source: LaCPRA)
NWI data is available in the Content sub-tab under Overlays in a panel called Other Featured Data in the table of contents of The National Map viewer. NWI data layers are provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to download Wetlands data, go to the FWS National Wetlands Inventory website.
North Carolina
Downloads include Subbasin (fourth level, 8-digit hydrologic units), in addition to Subregion, as USGS has improved packaging of NHD data for distribution from the 'cloud.'
Data is currently available in Esri File Geodatabase 10.1 or Shapefile format.
Watershed Boundary Dataset Map - Mississippi
For more information, please go to the Download and Cart Web page. Tutorial videos are also available for using The National Map Download Client in lessons 4a, 4b, and 4c. Guidance for using The National Map Download Manager is provided in lesson 4d.
South Carolina
Information on the hydrography product and data model is available on The National Map Hydrography Web page.
NHDPlus HR Hydrologic Regions Map
The NHD User Guide, which includes interactive tutorials, feature catalog, and a video library, is located at the USGS Hydrography Web site.
Lick Run Watershed Map
Land cover data is offered through a bulk data application in EarthExplorer. Go to for a tutorial. To receive bulk data via external hard drive, we require you to supply the hard drive(s) within our specifications, pay for shipping the drive(s), and provide a paid return label or a carrier account number. Send an e-...
National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
Land cover data from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) is distributed in The National Map Download Client in GeoTIFF format as staged products that are pre-packaged in 3x3 degree tiles. For dynamic extracts of NLCD in additional formats, such as ArcGrid, BIL, GridFloat, or IMG, use the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium...
Map showing the western landscape is defined by extremes in climate, land cover, and habitat type.
See the National Map Land Cover page, which points to the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MRLC) page, which serves several vintages of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). At this writing, NLCD 2011 is the most recent version, but NLCD 2016 is scheduled for release by the end of 2018. The green woodland tint layer of US Topo...
National Land Cover Database
Information is found on the USGS National Land Cover Database website.