Visioning a Nationwide Infrastructure for Community Statistics Community Statistical Systems Network May 27, 2004    (5TU)

Participant Profile    (5TV)

Name(s):    (5TW)

	Billy Tolar    (5TX)

Organization:    (5TY)

	USGS (National Atlas Team)    (5TZ)

Title or Subject of Initiative, Project, Program, or Other Effort Relevant to Meeting:    (5U0)

	National Atlas of the United States of America®    (5U1)

Nature of Effort:    (5U2)

_X__ system for on-line delivery of nationwide local area data to individual users ___ tabular data _X__ mapped data geographic units (e.g., states, counties, places) include: primary data sets include:    (5U3)

___ tool to assist national and local data intermediaries in accessing and organizing data sets for inclusion in on-line statistical systems    (5U4)

___ development of applications, technologies, or standards to aid in the above    (5U5)

___ other:    (5U6)

Current Status: _X__ in operation ___ under construction ___ in planning, in conceptual development, under consideration    (5U7)

URL (if relevant):    (5U8)

Purpose and Audience (Ends): Audiences include the general public, educators, and mapping professionals.    (5U9)

Brief Description (Means):    (5UA)

Work on a new National Atlas of the United States® began in 1997. This Atlas updates a broad collection of paper maps that was published in 1970. The new Atlas delivers easy-to-use digital and paper maps that portray natural and socio-cultural landscapes of the United States of America. Although it cannot provide detailed information, the online National Atlas directs users to other sources, such as information produced by its many partners. Development of The National Atlas of the United States of America® is led by the U.S. Geological Survey, with headquarters in Reston, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.).    (5UB)

Brief Narrative of History, Current Status, Plans:    (5UC)

Introduction In 1970, The National Atlas of the United States of America® was published. It was a 400-page, oversized, 12-pound collection of maps that portrayed national conditions of the mid-1960's. In 1997, work began on a new and innovative National Atlas. This new edition includes both electronic and paper map products and it exploits information presentation, access,and delivery technologies that didn't exist in 1970.    (5UD)

A New National View The National Atlas of the United States® is intended to provide a comprehensive, map-like view into the enormous wealth of data collected by the Federal Government. The new National Atlas:    (5UE)

- delivers authoritative views of scientific, societal, and historical information, - provides easy-to-use tools to display, manipulate, and query National Atlas data so that customers can produce their own relevant information, - makes this information more accessible to individual Americans, - provides a showcase for the geospatial data collected by Federal agencies, - includes links to current and real-time events and to other Federal producers of geospatial information, and - furnishes a national framework of well-maintained and documented base cartographic data for use by others.    (5UF)

A Different and Improved National Atlas How does the new National Atlas differ from the earlier edition? There are many dissimilarities between the two, but three are noteworthy. First, though high-quality maps will continue to be a product of the Atlas, this effort is concentrated on producing compelling and useful digital products. Second, the audience for this Atlas is quite different. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners are cooperatively producing an Atlas that is intended as an essential reference for all computer users - not just the scientists and decisionmakers who are our traditional customers. And finally, the new National Atlas uses technologies that didn't exist in 1970. These technologies include desktop mapping, multimedia, geographic information systems, and the World Wide Web.    (5UG)

New Products The National Atlas of the United States includes five distinct products and services. In addition to providing high-quality, small-scale maps, the Atlas includes authoritative national geospatial and geostatistical data sets. Examples of digital geospatial data include soils, county boundaries, volcanoes, and watersheds. Crime patterns, population distribution, and incidence of disease are examples of geostatistical data. This information is tied to specific geographic areas and is categorized and indexed using different methods, such as county, State, and zip code boundaries or geographic coordinates like latitude and longitude. These data are collected and integrated to a consistent set of standards for reliability.    (5UH)

The Atlas includes easy-to use online interactive maps. You can use your favorite Web browser to display, print, and query custom-made maps. These maps include links to related sites on the Internet for more up-to-date, real-time, and regional data information. The new Atlas also includes dynamic multimedia maps designed to animate and illustrate our changing Nation. Finally, the National Atlas includes both documentation for the each map layer and articles that describe why the data were collected and how they have been used.    (5UI)

New Customers In the early 1970's, The National Atlas of the United States of America was typically found in the reference collections of libraries across the United States. Educators and government organizations were also primary customers for the original publication. Because the sales price was $100, not many Americans were adding the Atlas to their home libraries. The new National Atlas is designed for individuals and organizations who own powerful home computers. This is not a group of customers that is typically addressed by Federal mapping programs and products. Therefore, we have formed strategic alliances with commercial partners to assess customer expectations of a National Atlas. New products and services will result from these innovative partnerships between industry and government.    (5UJ)

For more information, please contact:    (5UK)

National Atlas U.S. Geological Survey 508 National Center 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Virginia 20192 For information on USGS products and services, call 1-888-ASK-USGS.    (5UL)

Relevant Background Documents (with URLs, if available): The Library of Congress has an online repository of the maps from the 1970 National Atlas at:    (5UM)

Contact information: Address: The National Atlas of the United States® 561 National Center Reston VA 20192    (5UN)

Telephone: 703-648-7759 E-mail:    (5UO)