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Information Systems

The USGS has developed many tools and techniques for analyzing data and specialized websites for sharing information and products with the public.

Filter Total Items: 87

What is The National Map Structures Tint?

The National Map’s Structures Tint dataset represents manmade structures using broad-area tints rather than defining the exact shape of individual buildings. The Structures Tint data was provided by Oak Ridge National Labs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This dataset was introduced in 2021 and is designed for use at the 1:24,000 scale (the standard scale for USGS topographic maps) or...

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What is The National Map Structures Tint?

The National Map’s Structures Tint dataset represents manmade structures using broad-area tints rather than defining the exact shape of individual buildings. The Structures Tint data was provided by Oak Ridge National Labs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This dataset was introduced in 2021 and is designed for use at the 1:24,000 scale (the standard scale for USGS topographic maps) or...

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Does the Latest Earthquakes map show non-earthquake seismic events?

In addition to naturally occurring earthquakes, human activities such as mining and construction blasts can sometimes produce seismic waves large enough to be detected on the USGS national seismic network. These artificially-generated events have a different seismic ‘fingerprint’ from tectonic earthquakes, so they can be discerned by a seismologist when reviewed. Specifically, small quarry blasts...

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Does the Latest Earthquakes map show non-earthquake seismic events?

In addition to naturally occurring earthquakes, human activities such as mining and construction blasts can sometimes produce seismic waves large enough to be detected on the USGS national seismic network. These artificially-generated events have a different seismic ‘fingerprint’ from tectonic earthquakes, so they can be discerned by a seismologist when reviewed. Specifically, small quarry blasts...

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Does the USGS have photographs of features in Antarctica? 

The USGS does not have a comprehensive photographic collection of geographic features in Antarctica. However, some air photography is available through EarthExplorer by searching the Antarctic Single Frames category within the larger Aerial Imagery category. A limited number of photographs taken on the ground are in the online USGS Denver Library Photographic Collection (be sure to click the...

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Does the USGS have photographs of features in Antarctica? 

The USGS does not have a comprehensive photographic collection of geographic features in Antarctica. However, some air photography is available through EarthExplorer by searching the Antarctic Single Frames category within the larger Aerial Imagery category. A limited number of photographs taken on the ground are in the online USGS Denver Library Photographic Collection (be sure to click the...

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How do I download layers in The National Map Viewer?

Base map data layers in The National Map Viewer are for viewing only. This application is designed for visualizing data, combining different data layers, and creating (and printing) your own maps. To download data from The National Map, see the link at the top of the Viewer for the Data Downloader.  None of the base map layers in the Viewer are available for download, but some of them can be...

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How do I download layers in The National Map Viewer?

Base map data layers in The National Map Viewer are for viewing only. This application is designed for visualizing data, combining different data layers, and creating (and printing) your own maps. To download data from The National Map, see the link at the top of the Viewer for the Data Downloader.  None of the base map layers in the Viewer are available for download, but some of them can be...

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How do you determine the place name for an earthquake?

For the automated naming of earthquakes we use a GeoNames dataset to reference populated places that are in close proximity to a seismic event. GeoNames has compiled a list of cities in the United States where the population is 1,000 or greater (cities1000.txt). This is the primary list that we use when selecting nearby places. In order to provide the public with a better understanding for the...

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How do you determine the place name for an earthquake?

For the automated naming of earthquakes we use a GeoNames dataset to reference populated places that are in close proximity to a seismic event. GeoNames has compiled a list of cities in the United States where the population is 1,000 or greater (cities1000.txt). This is the primary list that we use when selecting nearby places. In order to provide the public with a better understanding for the...

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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...

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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...

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What are the differences between data, a dataset, and a database?

Data are observations or measurements (unprocessed or processed) represented as text, numbers, or multimedia. A dataset is a structured collection of data generally associated with a unique body of work. A database is an organized collection of data stored as multiple datasets. Those datasets are generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system that allows the data to be easily...

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What are the differences between data, a dataset, and a database?

Data are observations or measurements (unprocessed or processed) represented as text, numbers, or multimedia. A dataset is a structured collection of data generally associated with a unique body of work. A database is an organized collection of data stored as multiple datasets. Those datasets are generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system that allows the data to be easily...

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Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found in the USGS Publications Warehouse. Metadata for USGS data can be found in 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

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Where can I find metadata for USGS products?

Metadata for publications authored by USGS scientists can be found in the USGS Publications Warehouse. Metadata for USGS data can be found in 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

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When/Why does the USGS publish research results in outside journals that require a fee to access rather than in the USGS publication series?

Publishing in outside journals by USGS scientists allows the research—including its scientific and practical contributions—to be disseminated to others in a particular field. This makes scientific researchers and practitioners with similar interests aware of new knowledge in their field, and it helps to advance knowledge and its application. USGS scientists publish in both free open-access...

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When/Why does the USGS publish research results in outside journals that require a fee to access rather than in the USGS publication series?

Publishing in outside journals by USGS scientists allows the research—including its scientific and practical contributions—to be disseminated to others in a particular field. This makes scientific researchers and practitioners with similar interests aware of new knowledge in their field, and it helps to advance knowledge and its application. USGS scientists publish in both free open-access...

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What are the different USGS publication series?

The primary USGS publication series include: Fact Sheet (for general audiences) General Information Product (for general audiences) Circular (for general audiences) Professional Paper Scientific Investigations Report Scientific Investigations Map Data Series Techniques and Methods Open-File Report Learn more: USGS Manual: USGS Publication series

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What are the different USGS publication series?

The primary USGS publication series include: Fact Sheet (for general audiences) General Information Product (for general audiences) Circular (for general audiences) Professional Paper Scientific Investigations Report Scientific Investigations Map Data Series Techniques and Methods Open-File Report Learn more: USGS Manual: USGS Publication series

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What does it mean when a publication is peer reviewed?

A peer-reviewed publication is also sometimes referred to as a scholarly publication. The peer-review process subjects an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field (peers) and is considered necessary to ensure academic scientific quality. Learn more: Fundamental Science Practices: Peer Review

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What does it mean when a publication is peer reviewed?

A peer-reviewed publication is also sometimes referred to as a scholarly publication. The peer-review process subjects an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field (peers) and is considered necessary to ensure academic scientific quality. Learn more: Fundamental Science Practices: Peer Review

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Can I get a USGS scientist to review my book?

No. Federal employees are prohibited from endorsing commercial products. Also, government employees are required to use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties. Learn more: DOI - Department of Ethics Office

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Can I get a USGS scientist to review my book?

No. Federal employees are prohibited from endorsing commercial products. Also, government employees are required to use official time in an honest effort to perform official duties. Learn more: DOI - Department of Ethics Office

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