In June 2004, a small-scale map of North America was released
at the 11th regular session of the Commission
for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in Puebla, Mexico. This
accurate and authoritative view of North America was made using
a set of basic map information provided by national atlas programs
in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Now the framework data that was used to produce this map is available from nationalatlas.gov.
North America map showing framework layers along the Mexico
and United States border.
"Frameworks" are the basic foundation "layers"
found in any map. North American framework map layers include populated
places, political boundaries, hydrography, roads,
railroads, ocean depths (bathymetry), glaciers, and sea ice.
The staff of the National Atlas has worked in partnership with
the Mexican National
Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Geomatics (Instituto
Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática
- INEGI) and the Atlas
of Canada to produce these accurate and reliable map layers
that cover all of North America. All map layers have been "harmonized"
at international borders so that their attributes are consistent
and so that geometric accuracy is ensured at a scale of 1:10,000,000.
They are designed for those who need to visualize and analyze continental
phenomena and issues such as air quality, energy management, transportation,
trade, and biodiversity conservation. Any map information outside
of Canada, Mexico, and the United States contained in these map
layers is included solely to provide geographic context.
Map layers along the Canadian and United States border.The North American
framework data are designed to form the foundation for new integrated thematic
maps that illustrate cross-border conditions, challenges, and opportunities.
The CEC has already used these framework data to produce a continental-scale
map that identifies 28 high-priority West Coast protection areas, mapped by marine
ecoregions. A copy of this map is included in the CEC publication,
"Marine Priority Conservation Areas, Baja California to the Bering
Sea." A map layer that depicts North American watersheds
will be jointly published later in 2006.
North America map showing Glaciers and Bathymetry near Baffin Bay.Each
nation is maintaining its own data and these map layers are also available from
INEGI and the Atlas of Canada. All map layers are documented in compliance with
national and international standards for geospatial metadata. All frameworks
data and documentation are available to you at no cost. Follow these links
to our Data Download table.
Boundaries: Political Boundaries
Map Reference: Populated
Sea Ice, Hydrography (this last map layer includes