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General Meeting - Annual Federal Agencies Presentations




General Meeting


                 FY 2007                              FY 2006                                   FY 2005                             FY 2004

                                                              FY 2003                                   FY 2002                             FY 2001

                                                              FY 2000                                   FY 1999                             FY 1998







April 17-18, 2001

Washington, D. C.

CUAC representatives: 
Janet Collins, Western Washington University (WAML)
Mike Furlough, University of Virginia (MAGERT)
Donna Koepp, University of Kansas (GODORT)
Clara McLeod, Washington University (GIS)
Bruce Obenhaus, Virginia Tech (SLA G&M)
Celia Pratt, University of North Carolina (SLA G&M) 0
Dan Seldin, Indiana University (NACIS)
Richard Spohn, University of Cincinnati (GIS)
Paul Stout, Ball State University (NACIS)
Christopher JJ Thiry, Colorado School of Mines (WAML)
Mark Thomas, Duke University (MAGERT)

Agency Presenters:                                         
Robin Haun-Mohamed (GPO)
Tad Downing (GPO)
Rea Mueller (USGS)
John Hebert (LC G&M)
Jim Lusby (NIMA)
Tim Trainor (Census)
Roger Payne (US BGN)
Nancy Haack (NPS)
Christine Clarke (NRCS)
Doug Vandegraft (F&WS)

Vi Moorhead (LC Cataloging)
Chip Woodward (LC Cataloging)
Wilford Daniels (LC Cataloging)
Patricia Banks (NOAA)
Sharon Kemp (NOAA)


CUAC Members

  1. Copyright and Free Access Issues- Mark Thomas
  2. CRADAS and Free Access- Janet Collins
  3. Preservation and Public Access- Donna Koepp
  4. GIS in Libraries - Mike Furlough
  5. Summary- Christopher Thiry


  1. Government Printing Office- Robin Huan-Mohamed, Tad Downing
  2. Geological Survey- Rea Mueller
  3. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division- John Hebert
  4. National Imagery and Mapping Agency- Jim Lusby
  5. Census Bureau- Tim Trainor
  6. Board of Geographic Names- Roger Payne
  7. National Park Service- Nancy Haack
  8. National Resources Conservation Services- Christine Clarke
  9. Fish and Wildlife Service- Doug Vandegraft

Mark Thomas

The United States has a long tradition of government-funded basic research to provide the infrastructure needed for an informed citizenry and to provide the building blocks for academic and private research. It also has a tradition of copyright-free government publications, based on the belief that the property rights of government information resides with the people as a whole. This is something that sets this country apart from others—it’s a tradition of which we should be proud and should try to preserve.

Free Access
Public money has paid for the collection and compilation of the information. A corollary to this is the implication that government agencies have the obligation to provide some sort of results or output to the public who funded it: giving the deliverables to the sponsors, as it were. Dissemination is just the final step; free access should be funded at this point as an integral portion of the government research process.

The concept of depository libraries—the idea that government information should be deposited in repositories for the use of the public—goes back to the early 19th century. By the late 1850s, the feature of congressional designation of depositories in districts or states had developed. The Printing Act of 1895 moved the Superintendent of Documents to the Government Printing Office (GPO) and ushered in the modern era of depositories. Title 44, chapters 19 and 13, of the United States Code requires agencies to provide material to the public through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).

Benefits to the Agency
Freely available data, whether tangible products distributed through libraries or material provided free on the Internet, is good publicity for the agency. In many cases, such as with topographic maps or nautical charts, the library acts as a "showroom," since librarians frequently tell patrons how to purchase the products for themselves. Best selling commercial books are held by public libraries, often in multiple volumes, but this doesn’t prevent them from becoming best sellers. For convenience or to have more control, many users always prefer to acquire material directly for themselves.

Even in cases, such as with many electronic products, where the a government agency disseminates material for free, the open access model has benefits for the agency. Besides advertising specific products, it "advertises" the agency; good publicity can never hurt when it’s time for funding to be renewed. Familiarizing users with the products and services of the agency will build and expand the user base for that agency’s services and info.

The Census Bureau has sold, for instance, CDs of 1990 Census data. Nonetheless, these were also available for free to libraries through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). They eventually, with the advent of the World Wide Web, put this material on the Internet. This is a good model for all agencies.

For all the reasons listed above, benefiting the general public and the issuing agency alike, we urge the federal producers of maps and geospatial data to maintain this nation’s longstanding tradition of free access to government-funded information.

Government Information
American Library Association (ALA). Government Documents Round Table (GODORT). Principles on Government Information


National Commission on Library and Information Science (NCLIS).NCLIS Principles of Public Information

Federal Depository Library Program
ALA GODORT.The Federal depository Library Program (fact sheet)

ALA Washington Office.
Federal Depository Library Program Fact Sheet


United States Code. Title 44.

United States Government Printing Office (GPO)
Snapshots of the Federal Depository Library Program (historical overview)


Janet Collins

  1. A trend with your agency?
  2. How do you see it changing what you do within your agency?
  3. What are the potential impacts to the depository program?
  4. Will we still have free access to the information through the depository program? For how long? In what format?
  5. Will the information be copyrighted? Potential costs?
  6. How do we respond to the public that questions taxpayer-based information being copyrighted?
  7. Can we work together to assure free access to government information, ongoing participation in the depository program, and benefit everyone?

Donna Koepp

  1. What is your agency doing to archive your products? Will these archives be public and freely available?
  2. Are snap shots at regular intervals being taken of products that are continually being updated in an electronic environment?
  3. If some of your agencies products are being produced cooperatively—either with another federal agency or with a commercial sector partner (CRADA) are these products being archived in a way that they will continue to be freely accessible to the public?
  4. Have you considered, when negotiating a CRADA, fitting into the agreement enough copies of your product to fulfill the need of the GPO depository library program?
  5. The Cartographic/GIS library community is an excellent way to advertise the availability of your products and how they can be used. Is there any way you can think of that we might assist you in meeting your goals or mission?

Mike Furlough


  • Not just the academic users
  • State and local government users
  • General public

Information Needs

  • Basic geographic information
  • Raw data
  • Assistance in converting data to information

Models of service

  • Data provider
  • Assistance in interpretation and use of data
  • No single model works for all libraries
  • Campus-wide GIS support may come from other units, but frequently doesn't
  • Statewide clearinghouses are not as well positioned to support public data users

Levels of expertise

  • Within libraries: often home-grown or self-trained
  • Within public: largely novices
  • Within researchers: increasingly more novices

Metadata and Cataloging

  • A struggle:
    • How to best catalog resources (MARC compliance)?
    • How to best make use of available FGDC style metadata?
    • Does the "clearinghouse" model work for all concerned?
    • Who is getting left out?
    • Encourage the production and distribution of metadata in standard forms
    • Consider the distribution of metadata in easier to use forms for general public


  • Concern over industry-driven standards in format and software
  • Support the development of open-standards
  • Copyrights should belong to the public wherever it is possible


  • Spatial data tends to have wider uses than that for which it was orginally created.
  • We cannot always envision how data products will/should be used.
  • Do not mistake delivery of geographic information for delivery of spatial data

Web-mapping is not the same as spatial analysis.

  • GIS software industry is focused on government and business, not on education and the public.

Christopher Thiry

This is a summary of the responses CUAC received from the questions asked last year to us by Robin Haun-Mohamed. The "X" signifies the number of times the response was given. In general, the responses came from academic libraries with large map collections.

Most mentioned concerns:

  • Lack of printing facilities.
  • High costs plotters or oversized printers.
  • Purchase of, maintenance of, and lack of expertise in computer software and hardware.
  • Archiving of, or lack thereof, data.
  • Difficulty in finding many maps on the web.


  1. What is the impact on libraries when mapping is online?
    • Can't support paper printing because of cost. X13
    • Need for better equipment and software. X6
    • Limited expertise in software and hardware. X4
    • Complexity of data and software ties up computers. X4
    • Archiving of maps? X3
    • Format stability? Will we be able to ready CD-ROMs 20 years from now? X2
    • Difficult to find on-line. X2
    • Library may be by-passed. X2
    • Requires less time to file and maintenance. X2
    • Increased map use in general.
    • Lose of ability to become aware of new maps.
    • Easier to keep track of.
    • Finding on-line often takes more time than finding in paper.
    • Raises expectations of what is available on-line.
    • Many patrons only interested in digital products and forget/don’t know about printed maps.
    • Patrons not skilled in using them.
    • Cannot use.
    • Libraries of lesser means cannot keep up.
    • Move collection from ownership to access.
    • More up-to-date maps.
    • Older items (15’ topos) not on-line.
    • Serious problem. Getting worse.
    • Plotters/printers do not have acid-free paper or permanent ink.


  1. How do we use online spatial/cartographic data?
    • Direct patron to web site—organize them on our web site. X4
    • Depends on request. X3
    • Don’t. X2
    • Download as needed. X2
    • Used to supplement collection. X2
    • Many thesis have maps in them. X2
    • Not very useful to most patrons.
    • Do catalog relevant web sites.
    • Used at all levels.
    • Public want very specialized data.
    • Students want Arc-formatted data.
    • Make maps to display topical information.
  1. Do we download things, save things, archive them, or do we go back to the original source material each time?
    • Go to source each time, but problems with broken links. X6
    • Save if items cover own region. X4
    • Depends. X2
    • Save sometimes if patrons use it multiple times. X2
    • Download especially if large file or popular site.
    • Usually don’t.
  1. Do we handle electronic map needs in the library or do we send our users someplace else?
    • Do not send elsewhere because we have expertise. X10
    • Both. X6
    • Help when possible, but limited expertise. X6
    • Send to GIS lab. X3
    • Let them check out CDs. X3
    • They must go elsewhere because there is no place to print. X3
    • Don’t have GIS lab on campus.
    • Patrons want to take data away.
  1. Do we use the airport charts, obstruction charts, approach charts, etc.?
    • Little use. X8
    • Some use. X8
    • Yes.
    • Haven’t received any in years.
    • Use VFR Terminal charts.
  1. What will be the impact if the USGS Open File Reports go online only?
    • No consistent format. X6
    • Question of archiving. X6
    • Difficult to locate—not all in one place. X5
    • Better than fiche. X4
    • Both fiche and digital difficult to print large maps. X3
    • No comprehensive index of online OFRs (in any format). X3
    • More use? X2
    • Save space. X2
    • Requires less time to file and maintenance. X2
    • Need for better equipment.
    • Depends what's in OFRs. Criteria has changed.
    • Same difficulty to use as fiche.
    • Cannot afford to start if charge.

Robin Haun-Mohamed
Tad Downing
Robin announced that this would probably be her last CUAC meeting, since there had been reorganization and reassignments at GPO, and that with the next meeting Tad Downing would officially take her place. At this meeting Tad would be learning about CUAC and commenting where he could.

Since Robin spoke to us last, GPO has experienced many changes. It was a very chaotic summer due to proposed budget cuts by Congress. There was an initial proposed cut by the House of 61%. The library community rallied with a letter campaign, testifying to Congress, newspaper articles, and in the end the GPO’s budget was cut by about 6%. Throughout the summer, however, in this environment of uncertainty, the Library Program Service moved very quickly on some initiatives that they were committed to completing.

At the Depository Library Council meeting in October 2000, GPO presented a Superintendent of Documents directive (SOD 71) which sets policy for dissemination and distribution of materials in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Cartographic materials and their use were taken into consideration when these criteria were decided upon. A list of essential titles, which will continue to be published in paper, has also been developed. (See Administrative Notes January 15, 2001).

There have been many personnel changes at GPO. Sheila McGarr resigned in September to become the Director of the National Education Library. Robin has become the Chief of Depository Services. Tad is now wearing two hats: Acting Chief of Depository Administration Branch and Head of Cataloging Department. Coleen Davis is now heading the Depository Distribution Branch, and Vicki Barber is on special detail to the Superintendent of Document’s office.

Even with the move to an electronic transition, LPS continues to distribute a number of physical products. The numbers, however, continue to decrease. In FY2000 there were 13,660 paper titles distributed or 22.3% of all FDLP titles. This number includes USGS maps. Microfiche distribution was 14,572 titles, or 23.8% of total distribution. Online titles on GPO Access account for 11,715 titles or 19.2% distributed. Online titles from other agency websites account for 20,591 titles or 33.7% of FDLP titles distributed. The CD-ROM or DVD titles totaled 617 or just 1% of the total.

The total number of USGS map sheets distributed in FY2000 was 357,907. In 1999 it was 381,282. A title count was not available.

There is a new FDLP administrative page which is now called the FDLP Desktop. This contains cataloging and locator tools, as well as other useful tools for libraries. For example, Depository Shipping Lists are now available here in PDF format. These tools can be used for claiming as well. The Joint Operation Graphics (1501s) that Jim Lusby promised us last year will need to be surveyed with depository libraries to determine distribution.

-Oregon GAP Analysis.
-Research Maps (R-Map) from HUD in CD-ROM.
-Digital Atlas of Central and South America.
-National Land Cover Data Base (NLCDB) is online only but has been cataloged by GPO.
-Tide Tables temporarily dropped off the distribution but are now back. 2001 will come out shortly and 2002 will come as scheduled.
-National Atlas is coming as depository when pages can be sent. Some sheets are cooperatively done and are exempt from FDLP.
-Tract maps from Census 2000 will be coming on CD and DVDs when they come out but right now they are ‘one offs'.

The 2001 Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries have been issued. Special specs for cartographic data use are noted. During inspections and self-studies, GPO is looking for written policies concerning computers for use with FDLP material. Computer specifications are checked, as well as any impediments to access to computer or online information. GPO is now taking comments regarding computer specifications that will go into effect in the fall of 2002. One noteworthy change is that libraries must provide a DVD player.

Selective FDLP housing sites need to be in compliance with all requirements of the FDLP Instruction and Guidelines for Depository Libraries. A decal on the door of selected housing sites is a requirement, as well as a written agreement for the selective housing site on file at GPO.

Robin asked for our ideas and participation in the October 2001 Depository Federal Library conference. She would like us to present a session on mapping.

Tad: Electronic transition not only in FDLP, but overall libraries. Transition to electronic has driven many changes within Library Program Service and this effects everyone. GPO is evaluating, validating, acquiring and cataloging electronic resources. Catalogers evaluate web sites, point to URLs and use PURLs. The links sometimes take the user to the exact page on the Web site that they think is appropriate: a place that is in accordance with the cataloging description. The Map catalogers are doing more of this than anyone else on the cataloging staff.

Rea Mueller

Rea Mueller presented for the USGS. Currently, there are 55,000+ 7.5" quads that cover the entire country. The topo maps are a "national treasure". It took approximately 33 million hours to produce the topos and the cost would be $1.6 billion at today's prices to re-do the set from scratch.

Over the next 10 years USGS, together with its partners, will implement a revision strategy that provides "truly current information" to customers in a cost effective way. This effort considers political, social, economic policy and technological challenges. Partners and stakeholders are part of the process. Implementation begins in 2002 with a vision that by the year 2010, this arrangement "will provide the nation with current, accurate, and nationally consistent basic spatial data, including digital data and derived topographic maps". The resulting proposal from this study, The National Map, is available on the web at http://nationalmap.usgs.gov. Comments are being requested by June 29, 2001.

Geographic Information will be delivered in a digital world. Geospatial data can be accessed at US Geodata online and electronic publications will include search and access tools. The Web URL is http://www.usgs.gov. Phone information are at 1-888-ASK-USGS. SDTs, DLGs, DEMs and land use/land cover data are available at no charge at http://edc.usgs.gov/doc/edchrome/ndcdb/ndcbd.html. Web search and access tools include National Water Stream Gauging Network, National Biological Information Infrastructure, place based scientific projects, and National Seismic Data Network. There is a new website for current midwest flooding.

GLIS will be going away and replaced by Earth Explorer. Over 60 databases will be represented. MAC users will need to use GLIS for the present.

The National Atlas will continue to be published mainly in electronic format. Some printed sheets will still be published. The updated "General Reference" sheet will be out on depository soon at larger scale and updated from the 1973 edition.

Other new products include the Pennsylvania Shaded Relief map in experimental editions, DDS-62A "Global GIS Database: Digital Atlas of Central and South America", the online version of the National Land Cover Dataset and CD-ROM of " Status and Trends publications of the Department of the Interior".

USGS' goal is to be "seamless". Design goals include web accessible, best available data, most current data, GIS application ready, multi-resolution and full coverage. Base map layers include Elevation (NED), Land Cover (NLCD), Hydrography (NHD), Orthoimagery (DOQ, TM), and Digital Raster Graphic (DRG) along with Geographic Names (GNIS) and reference layer.

Other trends include DLG's coming out on DVD. Web mapping will not be under copyright. CRADA's will continue (e.g. Laser Scan, Microsoft, ESRI, Chicago Map Corp, Earth Data, etc.).

Seamless maps are available on demand via Map Machines at several sites including REI stores, USGS Menlo Park, USGS Reston, etc. There will be more sites in the future. Users can center on a place and buy what they want (parts of many topos) at a cost usually less than the cost of purchasing all the topos ($6.00 as opposed to $4.00 for a standard topo sheet). These are color laminate maps. The machines were created through a partnership between USGS and National Geographic, which acquired Wildflower Productions. Users may soon be able to annotate on the map where they want to go.

John Hebert

Three years ago EDR Sanborn and the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division signed a contract to scan all the Sanborn fire insurance maps held by the Library of Congress and EDR Sanborn. The contract has been broken because EDR Sanborn wanted new copyrights for the scanned images. The LC Geography and Map Division wants to keep the maps produced before 1923 in the public domain. Bell and Howell is placing scans of their black and white microfilm on the web. LC G&M is talking with them about a contract to create color scans on the web. Pascagoula, Mississippi has been done as a prototype. There have been a few Sanborn maps in the LC G&M scanning program. The division is looking for organizations to help fund the Sanborn scanning that do not have a commercial interest in the scanned images.

The LC G&M scanning program is proceeding with maps that are in the cartobibliographies created by the Division. These lists include: Panoramic Maps, Civil War, Revolutionary War, and John Hebert’s Luso Hispanic Maps. The last cartobibliography contains over 1000 manuscript maps produced between 1500 and 1900. Other areas to be scanned include Russian Frontiers, Spanish Frontiers Parallel History, and Brazil. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, has an interest in scanning maps of Italy and the Vatican, and Japan.

High quality printouts of the LC G&M scans are available from Museum Archives of Seattle. The Division has an overhead camera worth more than $70,000 and a cradle worth about $25,000 in the Division to scan atlases.

The Division is working to set up scanning agreements with outside organizations. A letter of agreement has been approved by LC with the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Historical Society to scan Civil War maps in their collections. It is now being studied in Richmond. LC G&M has begun discussions with Harvard for scanning maps of coastal areas in time of the American Revolution from the American Neptune. There may be some possibility of cooperation with WAML.

The LC Geography and Map Division and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) are both using Endeavor Voyager for their Integrated Library System. Because of this, they have begun cooperating on a project for the Division to create sheet level records for the set maps. LC will acquire the records from NIMA and create records for retrospective sheets.

Barbara Story is working with a Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) committee chaired by Paige Andrew of Penn State to create a Core Level format for Cartographic Materials.

Dr. Charles B. Peterson, a cataloger at LC G&M, has donated his collection of approximately 15,000 gasoline company maps to LC. The Division has also acquired John Snyder’s collection concerning projections and manuscript maps from the National Geographic Society. They have also purchased 1:100,000 scale Soviet maps of the United States. The Division is looking for funding to purchase Soviet maps covering Alaska and Canada. In addition to the cooperative acquisitions program for foreign maps that has existed for years, the Division is working with El Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI) to acquire sets of Mexican maps at 1:50,000, 1:100,000 and larger covering different subjects.

The 50th anniversary Summer Project will be held this summer with 6 participants. The Division has received 300,000 maps from NIMA. Jim Flatness, the Division’s Acquisitions Officer had estimated that there would be about a 60% duplication with the Division’s collections. However, a sample of the maps has shown that the duplication rate is less.

Jim Lusby

Jim Lusby began his presentation by distinguishing between NIMA customers and consumers of NIMA products. NIMA's customers are the National Defense and Intelligence agencies who require cartographic information, products and data produced by NIMA. They can also direct NIMA to produce certain products or cover specific areas of the world. The civil and law enforcement agencies, along with the general public, are the consumers. The general public consumers may not be able to receive these products because of national security issues or because of cooperative arrangements made with organizations in other nations. The overall trend in NIMA has been a move to digital products and services, with print products based on those data being produced as needed.

He emphasized the political difficulty of arranging release of sensitive data produced for military or intelligence uses. In some cases, especially for emergency or disaster-relief situations, it can be accomplished on a limited basis. But it is sometimes less easy for educational and research use. In some cases, users may be able to review data but not duplicate it or receive a permanent copy.

There is no plan to take NIMA products entirely out of the FDLP. All publicly available products, including digital products will be placed into the FDLP within budget and cost constraints. Jim attempts to move products into that program where he can and where costs allow it.

Jim outlined many initiatives and cooperative projects with federal agencies over the past year, including NASA, USGS, FEMA, and the Secret Service. He also acknowledged the difficulty of determining public availability of various NIMA products. A web site is being worked on that will attempt to bring all of that information together in one location. No release date was given. Jim then outlined the availability and schedule for various data products:

DOI 10 (Digital Orthorectified Imagery)
10-meter resolution imagery is now available for public download through the NIMA Geospatial Engine (http://geoengine.nima.mil).

DTED (Digital Terraine Elevation Data)
DTED-0 (30 arc second/1km resolution) is now available with worldwide coverage through the NIMA Geospatial Engine; users may download about 50mb worth of data at a time. DETD-1 (SRTM) (100 m resolution) will be available for purchase through the EROS Data Center only for the areas in the United States. The projected time frame of this release is Dec 01; Lusby is working to make this data available through FDLP but there is no definite plan for that. DTED-2 (SRTM) (30 meter resolution) will be available only for the United States sometime early 2002 (see comments on SRTM below).

SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission)
The spring 2000 Space Shuttle mission took radar based elevation readings at 30 meter resolution over the entire world. The data is still being processed, with North America being the highest priority. Only United States data will be made available to the public as DTED-2 (see above), while the rest of the world will be restricted.

VMAP (Vector Map)
VMAP-0 is now available with worldwide coverage through the NIMA Geospatial Engine; users may download about 50mb worth of data at a time. VMAP-0 is also available in 4 CD set for the FDLP members. GPO can survey members and provide NIMA with a quantity requirement. VMAP-1 is also available on a case by case basis. Certain areas of the world along with the United States are available for public purchase, and as such, available to the FDLP. Again, GPO can survey members for interest.

He closed by displaying a list of printed items that will be made available through FDLP. Many of these were complete sets of 1:50,000 sheets for southeast Asia; others were complete sets of 1:50,000, 1:100,000, and city graphics at scales ranging from 1:12,500-1:25,000 for certain nations.

Tim Trainor

Tim began by giving us an overview of American Fact Finder (AFF) at the Census web site (www.census.gov), which the agency is using to increase product availability. He demonstrated the layout of the AFF introduction page, which has general user information at the top; access to data from their web site is from a link in the lower left. The Census Bureau is getting more requests to download spatial data. Users can create thematic maps online using AFF.

Tim then talked about some of the major changes in Census geography for the 2000 census (many of these changes were things of which we were previously aware). For instance, Census is no longer using the term Block Numbering Area (BNA), but is only using the term "census tract" for this level of geography. There is no minimum population limit for Census Designated Places (CDPs). Block numbers will consist of four digits with no alpha suffix. The redistricting TIGER/Line 2000 files currently are available and have an updated feature network. The Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) is a new level of geography for aggregating data, where each block is assigned one and only one zip code, based on 2000 blocks. Tim asked for feedback on these, especially with how water features are handled by them. The March 28, 2001, Federal Register had a notice regarding new urban and rural area criteria; after public input, there will be a new list of urbanized areas in early 2002. The Office of Management and Budget is working on new Metropolitan Area definitions based on Census 2000 using the concept of Core Based Statistical Areas; these new definitions will likely be used in 2003.

TIGER will continue to be the spatial data source for the Geography Division. In the summer of 2001 they anticipate the latest version of the 2000 TIGER/Line files, which will include the ZCTA boundaries and updated address ranges. These will be available online, on DVD, and on custom CD-ROM.

Products available from Geography include paper maps, plotted on demand on 33 by 36-inch sheets, for five dollars per sheet through the customer services branch at 301-457-1101. These are also available on the Internet and on CD in Adobe Acrobat format. These include several layers needed for redistricting purposes: county-based block maps (over 100,000 sheets), voting district outline maps (23,354 sheets, sometimes including state legislative districts), and census tract outline maps (6,514 sheets). One full set of the maps was plotteded for the Library of Congress. Color is an important component of these maps. You can Click "maps" at the census web site to go to Geographic Products; this will lead to the appropriate web page. An index map will let you determine which sheets you need. These maps are also available in Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HPGL), for output to plotters, but this is scheduled at present for release only on DVD due to the large file sizes. Specifications for plotter configurations are available at the web site. A CD-ROM with Acrobat files will be in depositories this summer.

Tim had a table showing the historical changes in the U.S. center of population, as well as a map depicting the change. These are online, along with a description of the calculations used to determine this point. The 2000 center of population is in Phelps County, Missouri.

Other information available from the web site includes a map of the over 70 Census Information Centers (CICs). The American Community Survey is the proposed replacement for the decennial census long form. If the ACS is approved, the 2010 decennial form will likely be very short- maybe the size of a postcard. At present, the ACS plan involves 250,000 households per month within the survey. Finally, for geographic products, there are relationships files that relate 1990 census geography to 2000 census geography.

More forthcoming products from census will be American Indian Tract Outline maps, a Congressional district atlas for the 106th and 107th Congresses, state-based county subdivision maps, state/county outline map, and state/county metropolitan area outline maps. Other upcoming products include digital cartographic boundary files, generalized from TIGER, available in both low and high-resolution versions. A projected Census Atlas in printed book form will include about 70 thematic maps. It will be distributed through the depository program and will probably eventually be available in Acrobat format.

Tim welcomes feedback using the email address


Roger L. Payne

Roger Payne from the Board on Geographic Names (BGN) gave an enthusiastic overview of its history, functions, and products. The Board was created in 1890 in response to the confusion caused by the variety of names given to physical features in the United States by scientific expeditions. The BGN’s mission is to standardize names, establish principles and policies, and promulgate their decisions. It was established by law and its decisions are legally binding to agencies of the Federal Government. Although legal authority extends to all feature types, by its own decision, the decisions only apply to physical features, not man-made features such as roads, parks, schools, etc. The names established by the BGN cannot be copyrighted.

BGN uses the following rules to make decisions: the names must be in the Romanized alphabet, and used locally, or established by Congress or executive order or other authorities (such as local governments). Of these, "local use" takes priority. The names may be in any language. The BGN does not approve names whimsically; much thought and research go into each decision. The process begins with the submission of a new name to BGN via their Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) (http://geonames.usgs.gov/) website/database or by other means. After submission, if the name is published elsewhere in "official" sources or established by historical resources, and non-controversial, it will be added to GNIS within 30 days. Cultural (man-made) features must be held for at least 30 days in order for a thorough review to take place. Natural features not found in publications are given to state and local governments for a 45-day exam period. Problematic or commemorative names take at least four months. There is currently a moratorium on naming physical features in wilderness areas, except for safety and education reasons.

Some of the issues that BGN deals with include requests by or laws passed by Congress, commemorative names, wilderness areas, and derogatory names. A current controversy surrounds the name "squaw"; it is considered by many to be a derogatory name for a female. Five state governments are requiring that the word "squaw" appearing in a placename be changed. They are taking the initiative, not BGN, but BGN is working in cooperation with the state naming boards to make the changes official (Iowa and Indiana lack such boards).

Names are rarely changed by the BGN. Exceptions do occur. Some of the reasons names are changed include the addition of diacritic marks (as is happening extensively in Hawai’i), the elimination of duplicates and variants, and the shortening of lengthy ones.

The GNIS is the only official list of names recognized by the BGN, and hence the US Government. All updates and additions are made on this web site by authorized personnel. The site receives 30 to 35,000 hits a day. Printed versions were dropped in 1991. The CD-ROM version is still available, but this text version will be replaced by a spatially enabled version in 2002. Since the last edition, more than 350,000 entries have been added to the database. The gazetteers can still be downloaded.

The GNIS database was developed in several phases. During the first phase, the Bureau melded all of the names found on US Geological Survey maps, National Forest Service maps, National Oceanographic Survey charts, and National Park Service maps. This yielded only 20% of the known names in the US. Phase II began in 1982. It used data from all federal, local governments, as well as historical and BGN "approved" documents. Most of Phase II is complete; only Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York have yet to be finished. The database now includes references to a name’s origin if that name was the subject of a controversy since 1982. The names in GNIS do not have to be current; in fact, the database includes over 100,000 entries of places that are no more. Phase III will begin in 5 years and will be more in depth.

Federal Agencies must use the names found in GNIS; they cannot make up new ones. They may choose to leave out names. If the wrong name is used, there are serious repercussions. The least may be embarrassment; the worst could lead to problems with safety and accidents.

GNIS has been incorporated into many government databases including "Gateway to Earth" by USGS, Terraserver, the National Atlas, and Landview. Landview 4 was last updated in July 2000, and contains approximately 90% of the names found on GNIS.

Since 1987, BGN has operated an electronic maintenance program. Recently, Florida and Delaware have entered in an agreement to aid with this process by keeping their respective names up to date, and more importantly, adding delineated boundaries to each name. Ultimately, the latter will allow people to spatially search GNIS. To that end, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing a new version of GNIS, and it is planned for release in October 2001. It is geographical enabled. The new version also includes the source of the names, and the name of every map name at every scale that the place name occurred.

Nancy Haack

Nancy indicated that there are many changes underway at the National Park Service. Many parks have geographic information systems (GIS) in place, and there are national coordinators in regional offices. The Park Service is using digital line graphs (DLG) and GIS to generate their maps.

Nancy stated that Harpers Ferry Center is located in West Virginia and is an interpretive service center for the entire park system. The center creates publications, exhibits, wayside exhibits, and films. Waysides are "up and coming" as a mapping unit in Harpers Ferry Center, creating maps for outdoor exhibits.

Technical Information Center is located in NPS's Denver Service Center and is the library for internal drawings, plans and the like.

The National Park Map and Guide (map of all units of the NPS) is revised and current on the NPS website, ParkNet, at www.nps.gov. The web site includes information on programs and projects. The web site also includes entry to websites of affiliated units.

Nancy also mentioned another web site: http://www.recreation.gov. According to the web site, "Recreation.Gov is a partnership among federal land management agencies aimed at providing a single, easy-to-use web site with information about all federal recreation areas. The site allows you to search for recreation areas by state, by recreational activity, by agency, or by map".

"The message project" is a recent initiative of the NPS. The goal of the initiative is to bring all units together under a NPS arrowhead to create a corporate identity. Another initiative has involved the individual parks recreating maps (in-house) from existing visitor use map digital files and reproducing them as stripped down versions in their park newspapers. An example was a transportation "shuttle map" for Zion National Park. Adobe is used to create the in-house maps.

Printed examples provided were: Volunteers in Parks, the National Park System Map and Guide, National Park Index, Civil War at a Glance, Hawai'i Volcanoes, Grand Canyon, and a Revolutionary War at a Glance (for the 225th anniversary), which is currently being printed.

Most derived products are printed through Park Associations, not the Government Printing Office (GPO), and are not available through the depository program. By law, the Parks have to provide park brochures.

The NPS digital visitor use maps are posted on a website (www.nps.gov/carto) which includes information on data sources and accuracy. New maps are being made with digital line graphs from USGS. Shaded relief maps are created using digital elevation models (DEM) from USGS. An example of a shaded relief map is the national parklands map of Alaska.

The NPS also works closely with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the various State Boards on Geographic Names. The use of diacritical marks on maps by the NPS are now included for the parks in Hawai'i.

Christine Clarke

The Natural Resources Conservation Service presentation was given by Christine Clarke, NRCS Geodata Coordinator. Formerly the Soil Conservation Service, the NRCS's mission is to provide leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, improve, and sustain our natural resources and environment. They oversee conservation programs mandated in farm bills and help put conservation practices on the ground. The Service has 10,000 employees in 2,400 field offices located in almost all counties in the country, in addition to state, regional and national offices. They also maintain a vast network of partners including conservation districts, state and federal agencies, Earth Team volunteers, agricultural and environmental groups and professional societies. These employees help farmers and ranchers develop conservation plans suited to their local situation.

The Service began digitizing soil surveys about 20 years ago. Today they provide information at the state level through the State Soil Geographic Database (STATSGO) and the county level through Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) Data Base. Both are available on the web and designed for use in geographic information systems. Online soil survey manuscripts, generally PDF versions of the printed soil surveys, are available for some counties. In addition they produce a CD with "soil explorer", a graphical interface that allows easy map generation and the raw data files for the more GIS proficient to assist their field operations. The Service is developing an internet access tool allowing map generation on the web. This product is called the Soil Data Viewer.

Other NRCS products include the National Resources Inventory (NRI) which is a statistically based sample of 800,000 points surveyed at 5 year intervals of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. nonfederal lands. The National Soil Information System (NASIS) is the core component of the National Cooperative Soil Survey's vision of providing a dynamic resource of soils information for a wide range of needs and is designed to manage and maintain soil data from collection to dissemination. The PLANTS Database is a single source of standardized information about plants. The National Water and Climate Center provides water and climate information and technology which support natural resource conservation. Many of these products have data available for download and can be found from the NRCS web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/.

The Service is concerned with both data access and archiving. They are a node on the FGDC National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse and develop metadata for their datasets. They are actively archiving soils data, the traditional focus of the NRCS. Other datasets generated on an as-need local basis are not as actively archived or centralized for national use and applications.

Doug Vandegraft

Doug introduced himself as the Chief Cartographer, F&WS. He noted that he had been a F&WS cartographer in Alaska before accepting the job as Chief Cartographer in D.C. one year ago.

His presentation focused on the maps of the National Wildlife Refuges through the years. He began the discussion with a brief history of U.S. Wildlife Refuges. The first was established in 1903 and for a number of years, the maps of Wildlife Refuges were made by the General Land Office. The Fish and Wildlife Service became a unit of the Department of Interior in 1940. Until recently, most maps of Wildlife Refuges were in black and white.

Mapping of wildlife refuges at F&WS has been revolutionized with the introduction of GIS. Among other advantages, this has increased the accuracy of boundaries and land ownership data. Examples of the different types of maps produced through the years were shown. These maps are becoming more valuable as a source of information and to document changes in land ownership and refuge boundaries. A question was raised concerning the distribution of wildlife refuge maps to library depositories. This issue will be investigated.



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