USGS


GIS Data

How LiDAR is Being Used to Help With Natural Disaster Mapping and Management

Michael Shillenn, vice president and program manager with Quantum Spatial outlines three projects where LiDAR data from the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) has been used to assist in planning, disaster response and recovery, and emergency preparedness.  

GIS Data

Mapping the California Drought with Open Data

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Center for Integrated Data Analytics (CIDA) has created an open source visual description of California’s ongoing drought using free and publicly accessible GIS data sources.  Noting that many state, federal, and tribal agencies make routine observations of the water cycle, the USGS developed this graphic to visualize […]

GIS Data

This image is a portion of the first Landsat 8 scene acquired May 12, 2013 (Path 107, Rows 70-71) in Western Australia. Geoscience Australia, a Landsat International Cooperator and a Landsat Science Team Member, produced this enhanced image. Water and land were masked, separately enhanced, and then reassembled. The water patterns are the result of an RGB display of the Landsat 8 red, blue, and ultra-blue bands (bands 4, 2, 1) and the land is shown using SWIR, NIR, and green (bands 6, 5, 3). The resulting image displays impressive sediment and nutrient patterns in the tropical estuary area, and the complex patterns and conditions in the vegetated areas.

First Landsat Spacecraft Launched – Today in Geospatial – July 23

On July 23, 1972, the first Landsat spacecraft was launched.  At the time it was known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite and it was the first satellite launched to study the earth’s landmasses.  In 1975, the name was changed to Landsat.  Since then, this program has been continuously monitoring changes […]

GIS Data

USGS Report on the Uses and Benefits of Landsat Imagery in Water Resources

The USGS recently published a report looking at case studies of Landsat Imagery use in water resource management within public and private entities. The Landsat satellite imagery program has been collecting data since 1972 and is available for free to the public. Entitled, “Landsat and Water—Case Studies of the Uses […]

Maps and Cartography

Explore Maps of the United States from 1884 to 2006

The U.S. Geological Survey and Esri are working together to make over 178,000 maps of the United States available to the public via an online map explorer.  The USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer lets users browse the extensive collection of scanned maps.  Since its official launch in September of 2011, the USGS has led an effort […]

GIS Data

A portion of an engraving (top) used to print the black ink for a USGS topographic map (bottom) . (Photo courtesy of Bruce Geyman.)

USGS Map Engravings for Sale This Summer

Between the 1880s and the 1950s, the USGS produces engravings used to reproduce topographic and geologic maps within the agency.  Many of the excess engravings are being readied for sale or donation by the USGS.  The metal engravings are mostly copper alloy with a few made of zinc.  Most of […]

GIS Data

Alternatives to GIS Data During the U.S. Government Shutdown

Alternatives to GIS Data During the U.S. Government Shutdown

The U.S. Government shutdown has led to the unfortunate darkening of many of its sites.  Many sites that offer sources of GIS data have been shuttered.  Many of these government sites like the USGS, Census Bureau, NASA, NOAA, USDA, and Data.gov are invaluable sources of geospatial information. Only sites like weather.gov from […]