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National Atlas Gains Partner to Shoulder Development
Released: 8/26/1999

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
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Phone: 703-648-5395 | FAX: 703-648-5939

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New electronic format will allow users to produce customized maps

Through a cooperative research and development agreement, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Chicago Map Corporation (CMC) have formed a partnership to further the development of the National Atlas of the United StatesTM. The electronically based Atlas not only provides a complete range of traditional maps, but also enables citizens to experiment with their own individually created maps in order to explore the social, environmental, and historical dimensions of American life. With the National Atlas, children and adults can better understand the complex relationships between the places and people of the United States.

New products resulting from this business and government enterprise will include electronic CD ROM and DVD formats, plus World Wide Web-based programs and references. CMC, a division of LEXON Technologies, Inc., will also develop software toolkits that will allow program developers to make use of the vast array of data being made available through the National Atlas Project.

Begun in 1997 under the direction of the U.S. Geological Survey and its federal partners, the National Atlas makes authoritative, reliable geographic information more readily accessible to the public. The USGS and CMC have agreed to pool their resources to design National Atlas products that encourage all Americans to understand the geographic nature of national conditions and trends.

"We are very pleased to announce this agreement," said Dr. Charles Groat, the director of the USGS. "The National Atlas is an extremely ambitious undertaking. Without expert assistance from a partner such as CMC with specialized skills in information technologies and marketing, the USGS and its many partners in the federal government would not be able to realize the full promise of the National Atlas."

"The Atlas will become a pivotal feature of the ‘Gateway to the Earth,’ a digital portal now being developed that will allow citizens to have easy access to information and data on processes occurring in, on, and around the earth," Groat said.

"We’re proud to be part of this historic undertaking," stated Steven Peskaitis, President and CEO of Chicago Map. "This comprehensive research and development effort will bring new products to market designed to allow unequaled access to geographic, historical, economic, social, environmental, and other data about our country."

Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, LEXON Technologies, Inc., is a leading Internet-based provider of innovative geo-referenceable content and data, and offers specific content solutions to institutional, governmental, corporate and public consumers through advanced software applications. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Chicago Map Corporation, the company creates geographic digital map technology, including digital data integration and referencing, GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation systems, and mobile asset monitoring/tracking for a variety of markets. The company has offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Dallas, Texas. Visit www.lexontech.com/atlas for more information.

The National Atlas of the United States of AmericaTM and National Atlas of the United StatesTM are trademarks of the U.S. Geological Survey. The address of the National Atlas of the United States on the World Wide Web is http://www.nationalatlas.gov.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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