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The use of U.S. Geological Survey digital geospatial data products for science research

January 1, 2012

The development of geographic information system (GIS) transformed the practice of geographic science research. The availability of low-cost, reliable data by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) supported the advance of GIS in the early stages of the transition to digital technology. To estimate the extent of the scientific use of USGS digital geospatial data products, a search of science literature databases yielded numbers of articles citing USGS products. Though this method requires careful consideration to avoid false positives, these citation numbers of three types of products (vector, land-use/land-cover, and elevation data) were graphed, and the frequency trends were examined. Trends indicated that the use of several, but not all, products increased with time. The use of some products declined and reasons for these declines are offered. To better understand how these data affected the design and outcomes of research projects, the study begins to build a context for the data by discussing digital cartographic research preceding the production of mass-produced products. The data distribution methods used various media for different system types and were supported by instructional material. The findings are an initial assessment of the affect of USGS products on GIS-enabled science research. A brief examination of the specific papers indicates that USGS data were used for science and GIS conceptual research, advanced education, and problem analysis and solution applications.

Publication Year 2012
Title The use of U.S. Geological Survey digital geospatial data products for science research
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-19088-9_8
Authors Dalia E. Varanka, Carol Deering, Holly Caro
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70139533
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center; Center for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS)