Core Science Systems
Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
The USGS Library, managed by CSAS&L, supports all fundamental scientific research conducted within USGS. It serves both internal and external customers with comprehensive access to literature, data, and information necessary understand USGS mission areas and make critical decisions about how to proceed with research initiatives and investigations in the earth and natural sciences.
The USGS took over responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. More than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous States.
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 downloadable data.
This U.S. Geological Survey project consists of two primary studies about long-term land-cover change in the Delaware River Basin, particularly in Pennsylvania. The objectives for these projects were to address and quantify predominant affects and outcomes of land-surface change in urbanizing areas.
The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) provides leadership and world-class technical expertise in the acquisition and management of trusted geospatial data, services, and map products for the Nation. NGTOC supports The National Map as part of the National Geospatial Program.
U.S. Geological Survey: a History of the National Program for Topographic Mapping (1884–2009) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS because the public found them - then and now - to be a critical and versatile tool for viewing the nation's vast landscape.
The CDI is a collaboration of USGS scientists, data managers, policy experts, and other organizations that promote data integration capabilities and data management best practices. It is an instrumental community of practice for leveraging expertise and resources to test new technologies and institutionalize best practices.
Standards and specifications are essential to facilitate the development and sharing of geospatial data and products. The USGS standards and specifications define the requirements to ensure that all products and data prepared by the USGS under the National Geospatial Program are consistent in accuracy, structure, format, style, and content.
The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal standard for geographic names. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names for the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.
USGS topographic maps originally published on paper in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as PDF documents. This collection is of topographic quadrangle maps with scales between 1:10,000 and 1:250,000. These historic documents are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.
Using crowd-sourcing techniques, the US Geological Survey’s Volunteered Geographic Information project known as “The National Map Corps (TNMCorps)” encourages citizen volunteers to collect and edit data about man-made structures in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the USGS National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map and US Topo Maps.
US Topo maps are modeled on the familiar 7.5-minute, 1:24,000-scale quadrangle maps of the period 1947-1992, but are mass-produced from national GIS databases on a 3-year cycle.The maps are layered PDF documents with geospatial extensions. They are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.
The Biocomplexity Thesaurus is an online resource supporting terms in a 'broader than' and 'narrower than' structure in ecological and biological sciences.
Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.
The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.
OBIS-USA is the US Node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, providing the collection and distribution point to OBIS of marine biogeographic records in U.S. waters or collected with U.S. funding. Using the Darwin Core standard, OBIS-USA integrates and makes accessible data on marine species presence, absence, and abundance to aid scientists, resource managers, and decisions makers.
Data and web services from NFHP’s 2010 and 2015 assessments of streams and estuaries, as well as other data contributed by Fish Habitat Partnerships, are available for download and use via the NFHP Data System. The results of the national assessment can also be viewed online using the National Assessment Results Viewer.
Mandated by Congress, all states and U.S. territories must develop a State Wildlife Action Plan every ten years, outlining the steps that are needed for conservation in their state or territory before wildlife and habitats become too rare or costly to restore. The Species Conservation Analysis Tool provides a national look at Species of Greatest Conservation Need as reported in those plans.
The USGS Data Release Workbench provides a user-friendly view of USGS data release requirements, in line with with Federal Open Data and Open Access goals, and allows USGS researchers to track progress toward releasing their data.
The USGS Science Data Catalog serves as a single access point for public USGS scientific datasets and as a conduit to external catalogs in response to Federal Open Data requirements. The SDC allows the public to access USGS datasets through text and GIS-based search; topical browse, and keyword, mission area, data source, and scientist faceting.
The ARC activity’s mission is to provide high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities and expertise to USGS scientists for the acceleration and expansion of scientific discovery. Machine access, training workshops, and project consultations are provided to USGS researches in need of these advanced computing capabilities.
myUSGS offers an access-controlled online suite of science collaborative tools, ideal for use by USGS scientists and their research teams as well as by other communities of practice involving USGS and its partners.
The Metadata Wizard tool helps geospatial data users with the creation and editing of metadata compliant with the Federal Geographic Data Committee's 'Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata' (FGDC-CSDGM).
The OME is an online metadata creation tool that allows scientists to document their data using the FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata by answering simple questions about their data.
New US Topo maps for Alaska are being produced statewide, with digital 7.5 minute 1:25,000-scale maps providing a comprehensive update to the 15-minute 1:63,360-scale printed maps produced nearly fifty years ago. You can view a status map showing where the new maps are available, and link to a site to download the maps.
Conflation and integration of archived geologic maps and associated uncertainties
Old, archived geologic maps are often available with little or no associated metadata. This creates special problems in terms of extracting their data to use with a modern database. This research focuses on some problems and uncertainties associated with conflating older geologic maps in regions where modern geologic maps are, as yet, non-existent...Shoberg, Thomas G.
High performance computing to support multiscale representation of hydrography for the conterminous United States
The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for the United States furnishes a comprehensive set of vector features representing the surface-waters in the country (U.S. Geological Survey 2000). The high-resolution (HR) layer of the NHD is largely comprised of hydrographic features originally derived from 1:24,000-scale (24K) U.S. Topographic maps....Stanislawski, Larry V.; Liu, Yan; Buttenfield, Barbara P.; Survila, Kornelijus; Wendel, Jeffrey; Okok, Abdurraouf
An evaluation of unsupervised and supervised learning algorithms for clustering landscape types in the United States
Knowledge of landscape type can inform cartographic generalization of hydrographic features, because landscape characteristics provide an important geographic context that affects variation in channel geometry, flow pattern, and network configuration. Landscape types are characterized by expansive spatial gradients, lacking abrupt changes between...Wendel, Jochen; Buttenfield, Barbara P.; Stanislawski, Larry V.
Evaluation of the U.S. Geological Survey standard elevation products in a two-dimensional hydraulic modeling application for a low relief coastal floodplain
Growing use of two-dimensional (2-D) hydraulic models has created a need for high resolution data to support flood volume estimates, floodplain specific engineering data, and accurate flood inundation scenarios. Elevation data are a critical input to these models that guide the flood-wave across the landscape allowing the computation of valuable...Witt, Emitt C.
Geospatial resources for the geologic community: The USGS National Map
Geospatial data are a key component of investigating, interpreting, and communicating the geological sciences. Locating geospatial data can be time-consuming, which detracts from time spent on a study because these data are not obviously placed in central locations or are served from many disparate databases. The National Map of the US Geological...Witt, Emitt C.
1-Meter Digital Elevation Model specification
In January 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center began producing the 1-Meter Digital Elevation Model data product. This new product was developed to provide high resolution bare-earth digital elevation models from light detection and ranging (lidar) elevation data and other elevation data collected over...Arundel, Samantha T.; Archuleta, Christy-Ann M.; Phillips, Lori A.; Roche, Brittany L.; Constance, Eric W.
Automated extraction of natural drainage density patterns for the conterminous United States through high performance computing
Hydrographic networks form an important data foundation for cartographic base mapping and for hydrologic analysis. Drainage density patterns for these networks can be derived to characterize local landscape, bedrock and climate conditions, and further inform hydrologic and geomorphological analysis by indicating areas where too few headwater...Stanislawski, Larry V.; Falgout, Jeff T.; Buttenfield, Barbara P.
A rapid approach for automated comparison of independently derived stream networks
This paper presents an improved coefficient of line correspondence (CLC) metric for automatically assessing the similarity of two different sets of linear features. Elevation-derived channels at 1:24,000 scale (24K) are generated from a weighted flow-accumulation model and compared to 24K National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) flowlines. The CLC...Stanislawski, Larry V.; Buttenfield, Barbara P.; Doumbouya, Ariel T.
Framework for modeling urban restoration resilience time in the aftermath of an extreme event
The impacts of extreme events continue long after the emergency response has terminated. Effective reconstruction of supply-chain strategic infrastructure (SCSI) elements is essential for postevent recovery and the reconnectivity of a region with the outside. This study uses an interdisciplinary approach to develop a comprehensive framework to...Ramachandran, Varun; Long, Suzanna K.; Shoberg, Thomas G.; Corns, Steven; Carlo, Héctor
A Systems Thinking approach to post-disaster restoration of maritime transportation systems
A Systems Thinking approach is used to examine elements of a maritime transportation system that are most likely to be impacted by an extreme event. The majority of the literature uses a high-level view that can fail to capture the damage at the sub-system elements. This work uses a system dynamics simulation for a better view and understanding of...Lespier, Lizzette Pérez; Long, Suzanna K.; Shoberg, Thomas G.
Crowdsourcing The National Map
Using crowdsourcing techniques, the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project known as “The National Map Corps (TNMCorps)” encourages citizen scientists to collect and edit data about man-made structures in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative map data for the USGS National Geospatial Program’s web-...McCartney, Elizabeth; Craun, Kari J.; Korris, Erin M.; Brostuen, David A.; Moore, Laurence R.
Minerals, lands, and geology for the common defence and general welfare, Volume 4, 1939-1961: A history of geology in relation to the development of public-land, federal science, and mapping policies and the development of mineral resources in the United States from the 60th to the 82d year of the U.S. Geological Survey
The fourth volume of the comprehensive history of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is titled “Minerals, Lands, and Geology for the Common Defence and General Welfare—Volume 4, 1939‒1961.” The title is based on a passage in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. The late Mary C. Rabbitt (1915‒2002), a geophysicist who served with...Rabbitt, Mary C.; Nelson, Clifford M.
The National Map Corps is requesting volunteer assistance to verify geographic information related to education structures in Illinois.
The National Map Corps is requesting volunteer assistance to verify geographic information related to education structures in Illinois.
Keep tabs on wildfire activity via this U.S. Geological Survey website, GeoMAC.
The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is the official inventory of public parks and other protected areas in all U.S. states and territories.
The USGS is seeing a dramatic increase in the use of 3D geospatial data for infrastructure planning, modeling and construction
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?
As the USGS continues to celebrate “Mapping Month”, we again promote noteworthy contributors to The National Map Corps “crowdsourcing” project.
As part of the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, EDMAP is supporting upcoming geologic mappers by providing invalubable experience and matching-funds grants.
The USGS continues to collect high resolution elevation data, contributing to greatly improved Alaska map data
USGS crowd-sourcing project volunteers have updated more than 1,200 Post Office locations and data in Illinois
The USGS uses cutting edge technologies to investigate and forecast landslides and other natural hazards.
Earlier this month, the USGS launched “TopoView 2.1”, an enhancement to the current popular TopoView mapping service that lets users discover, interact, and download historical USGS topographic maps scans.