How should I cite datasets and services from The National Map?

The USGS does not require a specific format when citing data obtained through The National Map; you should follow the citation guidelines provided by instructors or publication editors as appropriate. The following should help you find the information that you need: 

Citation for Datasets

  • Author: U.S. Geological Survey

  • Release date: the first four numbers of <pubdate> from dataset metadata for the year of the release date. For example, if the <pubdate> is 20190426, the year 2019.

  • Title: depends on the dataset. Examples include: National Hydrography Dataset, 3D Elevation Program 1-Meter Resolution Digital Elevation Model, Watershed Boundary Dataset, or 3D Elevation Program Lidar Point Cloud. 

  • Version: <title> from dataset metadata

  • Access information: date accessed and URL for webpage used to access the data

Dataset examples:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, National Hydrography Dataset (ver. USGS National Hydrography Dataset Best Resolution (NHD) for Hydrologic Unit (HU) 4 - 2001 (published 20191002)), accessed October 23, 2019 at URL https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/ngp/national-hydrography/access-national-hydrography-products

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, 3D Elevation Program 1-Meter Resolution Digital Elevation Model (published 20200606), accessed October 23, 2019 at URL https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/ngp/3dep/data-tools  

 

Citation for Web services

Web service examples:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, USGS TNM Hydrography (NHD), accessed June 7, 2019 at URL https://hydro.nationalmap.gov/arcgis/rest/services/nhd/MapServer.

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, USGS 3D Elevation Program Digital Elevation Model, accessed June 7, 2019 at URL  https://elevation.nationalmap.gov/arcgis/rest/services/3DEPElevation/ImageServer

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Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found on the USGS Publications Warehouse . Metadata for USGS data can be found on the USGS Science Data Catalog or on the repository serving the data. USGS data that predate 2000 might not have metadata. Learn more: USGS Data Management: Metadata/Documentation

How should I cite a USGS website?

The USGS does not require a specific format when citing our websites. You should follow the citation guidelines provided by instructors or publication editors as appropriate. Unless you are citing a specific USGS publication, the author of a USGS website is almost always "U.S. Geological Survey". Also acceptable: "United States Geological Survey"...

What are the Terms of Use/Licensing for map services and data from The National Map?

Map services and data downloaded from The National Map are free and in the public domain. There are no restrictions; however, we request that the following acknowledgment statement of the originating agency be included in products and data derived from our map services when citing, copying, or reprinting: "Map services and data available from U.S...

How can I submit a question or report issues regarding The National Map products and services?

Submit questions or report issues to The National Map service desk at: tnm_help@usgs.gov

Are there metadata Files for USGS topographic maps?

Yes. GeoPDF files for both Historical topographic maps (produced 1884-2006) and US Topo maps (produced 2009-present) come with an XML metadata file attached to each GeoPDF file. To access the metadata file, download the GeoPDF file, open it in Acrobat Reader, click on the paperclip icon, then select a file from the list that appears (a US Topo Map...

What sources were used for imagery in The National Map services?

Sources for orthoimagery in The National Map services : World view to 1:2,300,000 - NASA Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG) 1:1,150,000 to 1:289,000 - A subset of the Global Land Survey 2000 (Landsat) Scales larger than 1:289,000 - primarily the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The data is 1-meter pixel resolution flown during "leaf-on...

How do I download National Map data products?

Download National Map data products through The National Map Downloader : Select the data you wish to download on the left side of the page. Select the desired resolution and format. There are several ways to define your area of interest: To search by state or county: select the layers button on the top right of the map area. Click on "Selectable...

Where can I get metadata for The National Map products and services?

Metadata for The National Map products and services is available through the following sources: In The National Map Viewer , click on the "Layer List" icon above the map, then click on the three dots to the right of the layer and select "Description" in the dropdown menu. Most layers in the Viewer are also available as Download s and/or Services...
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Date published: October 23, 2019

USGS Digital Elevation Models (DEM) Switching to New Distribution Format

In support of ongoing efforts to provide efficient, cloud ready, open data formats, the U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is announcing plans to migrate its 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Digital Elevation Models (DEM) to a new data delivery format called Cloud Optimized Geotiff (COG) during the first half of fiscal year 2020.

Date published: February 7, 2019

USGS 3DEP Lidar Point Cloud Now Available as Amazon Public Dataset

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is excited to announce the availability of a new way to access and process lidar point cloud data from the 3DEP repository.

Date published: July 27, 2017

Exploring the Nation's waterways through the National Hydrography Dataset Plus

Interested in finding a good river to float down this hot summer? Or a favorite fishing hole? Ever wonder where those blue lines mapping the rivers, streams and lakes on the US Topo and other maps come from?

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July 8, 2015

Using The National Map Web Services in ArcMap

Lesson 5: Using The National Map Web Services in ArcMap - This video provides an overview and demonstrates how to use The National Map's web services in a mapping application.