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New Web Site, "Maps of America's Submerged Lands," Provides Map-Based Link to USGS Map Publications with Digital Data

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces fundamental geologic and environmental information about submerged lands of the United States and its territories, including maps, geospatial data, and interpretations that portray the physical characteristics of the continental shelf, estuaries, and lakes. The information addresses a wide range of scientific and management issues that are important to the environment and economy of coastal communities and the entire Nation.

Map from the new Web site 'Maps of America's Submerged Lands'
Above: Map from the new Web site "Maps of America's Submerged Lands," which provides links to maps and data published by the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. [larger version]

A new Web site, "Maps of America's Submerged Lands," is a simple, map-based portal to maps with digital data produced by the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. The site provides links to published USGS maps, reports, and digital data that depict the bathymetry, surficial geology, and (or) subsurface structure of submerged areas over a wide range of scales. The digital data are available as shape files, images, or grids in geographic-information-system (GIS) format.

A map on the home page shows the outlines of maps currently available. Clicking on an outline opens a small window that displays the report title and provides links to the report and to the data catalog. Users can navigate around the map by using the pan tool and can zoom in by double-clicking anywhere on the map; these actions can also be performed by using the control bar on the left of the image. Links below the map on the home page provide a bibliography of the map publications by region. Rather than creating a separate database, the Web site uses the USGS publications to serve the data. For the most part, only maps with digital data are included, and maps in progress are not shown. Maps will be added as they are published. This site provides a single location for linking to USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program offshore maps and data, and complements the Program's Internet Map Server.

The need for comprehensive scientific information about America's submerged lands is increasingly recognized by researchers, policy makers, and resource managers at all levels. Reports by the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (2009; http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans/interimreport), the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (2004; http://oceancommission.gov/documents/full_color_rpt/welcome.html), and the National Research Council (2004; http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309091764) all stress the need for scientific information to inform decision making, and the importance of regional, State, and local engagement in developing and applying science products.

Related Web Sites
Maps of America's Submerged Lands
Coastal and Marine Geology Program Internet Map Server
Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force: Interim Report
Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force
An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century - Final Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
A Geospatial Framework for the Coastal Zone - National Needs for Coastal Mapping and Charting
National Research Council

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cover story:
New Study of Pacific Sea Otter Populations and Nearshore Ecosystems

Investigators Calibrate Tripod-Mounted Underwater Sonars

Meetings USGS and U.S. Department of State Assist in the Mekong Delta

Publications New Web Site Provides Map-Based Links to USGS Map Publications with Digital Data

One-Stop Online Source for Biogeographic Information About U.S. Oceans and Waters

Journal of Coastal Research Highlights Lidar Applications in Coastal Settings

March 2010 Publications

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