Lesson 1: Introduction to Using The National Map Products and Services

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Welcome to the USGS course on Using The National Map Products and Services. This series of videos is focused on The National Map and the variety of products and services that it provides.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:08:35

Location Taken: US


Welcome to the USGS course on Using The National Map Products and Services. This series of videos is focused on The National Map and the variety of products and services that it provides.

The USGS is the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States. One of its many products is The National Map or TNM. As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.

The National Map is easily accessible for display on the Web, as products and services, and as well as downloadable data.

The geographic information available from The National Map includes:

Elevation, Hydrography, Geographic names, Land cover, Boundaries, Transportation, Structures, and Orthoimagery or aerial photos.

These layers will be discussed in more detail in lesson 2.

Other types of geographic information can be added into The National Map Viewer as the animation shows; this will be discussed further in lesson 3c.

Or, The National Map data can be added into a Geographic Information System, to add authoritative content to your own map, to create specific types of maps or map views.

The National Map is a significant contribution to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and is continuously being transformed to better serve the geospatial community by providing high quality, integrated geospatial data and improved products and services, including a new generation of digital topographic maps.

This new generation of digital topographic maps is called US Topo. This will be the topic in lesson 8a. Efforts are also being made to expand access to the Historical Topographic Map Collection online. Which will be discussed in more detail in lesson 9c.

The course content is loosely grouped into categories focusing on specific elements of data, themes, products, or use of data.

These include the following categories:

An Introduction to The National Map and the Viewer Interface.

…and double click to finish drawing the polyline. The profile results tab displays the elevation profile.

How to use The National Map Download Client and how to connect to the National Map Web Services.

..and click next. Then enter the vector service URL and click finish. Expand the layer to see the available services. Select a layer then drag and drop it into the map pane. Here we are adding the map indices layer.

How to access The National Map, US Topo & Historical Topographic Map Collection or HTMC on mobile devices.

You can use your fingers to navigate around the map and pinch and zoom to zoom in or out. You can also rotate the map to a different orientation. The target icon in the upper left will turn on your GPS receiver, identifying your location on the map with a blue dot.

Using Earth Explorer and the Hazards Data Distribution System

Displaying all browse on the map display from the search results list and the browse opacity slider that can adjust opacity level of the overlay browse images.

Accessing and using US Topo, HTMC, and the Topo TNM Style Template. The topoView Help Guide is located at ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/help

An introduction to the National Hydrography Dataset or NHD

Note that lake features contained artificial flow path features. These permit hydro network connectivity to be maintained through water bodies. Although other scales are available the NHD high resolution at a 1:24000 scale or better in some locations is the most up to date and detailed hydrography data set for the nation.

3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Topics such as accessing and using 3DEP data

Zoon in to the lower left corner of the 2D example for a great view of the Mother Cabrini Shrine. Now select ‘Color LiDAR by Intensity’ from the drop-down symbology menu.

How to use the United States Interagency Elevation Inventory application,

The geographic icons provide a quick way to navigate to common geographies. The standard zoom in and zoom out buttons are on the lower left of the map. The mouse wheel can be used to scroll in and out…

as well as how to use the SeaSketch application.

Now that you know how to use the interface lets see if LiDAR data exists for your area of interest. You can click on the map within an existing project to learn more about the project including quality level and point spacing.

The course will also touch on how to use the Emergency Operations Collection Management Tool

You can also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Click and drag the map to the desired location or view to pan and zoom the map.

The intention behind these videos is to clarify some of the complexity associated with the rich content in The National Map and provide guidance for better utilization of its products and services.

If you would like to learn more about a specific topic please follow the URL on the screen to go to the course catalog. www.usgs.gov/NGPvideos

As you view the course material, if you have questions or comments regarding The National Map, its products and services, or the videos themselves, feel free to send an email to the address shown. tnm_help@usgs.gov

Here, we have listed several resources related to the material we cover in our course. These resources will expand on the material covered and offer more detail than we are able to provide in our lessons. These resources also provide a source for help specific to each product we discuss.

This series of training videos were originally developed by the User Engagement staff in the National Geospatial Program to educate USGS staff involved with water resource science on the latest products and services available from The National Map. The videos now also serve to educate the general public. The course has been funded through the USGS Office of Organizational and Employee Development and the National Geospatial Program.

A special thank you to various groups within USGS, without whom the creation of the videos would not have been possible:

Office of Organizational and Employee Development (OED),

Reviewers and content providers within the National Geospatial Program and its National Geospatial Technical Operations Center,

And the USGS New England Water Science Center.


This concludes Lesson 1. Please return to the course catalog to view lesson 2.