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Policies

 
  Information, products, and services of The National Atlas of the United States of America® delivered on the World Wide Web are provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Contributions to this Web site come from National Atlas partners. The following statements and disclaimers apply to the National Atlas.

National Atlas Web Policies

down arrowPrivacy
down arrowE-Mail
down arrowSurveys
down arrowMarketing Information
down arrowInformation Release
down arrowCollected Information
down arrowNon-USGS Sites
down arrowNon-Endorsement
down arrowUSGS Software
down arrowUSGS Content
down arrowCopyright
down arrowLiability
down arrowFOIA
down arrowAccessibility
down arrowTo Contact Us
 
 

Privacy

 
  We use Web-server activity logs to handle the information we gather when you visit our Web site.

As part of the normal operation of our Web server, certain information is automatically and continuously collected and stored in "access" and "referrer" log files. The information collected includes the following:

  • the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example, "aol.com" if you are connecting from an America Online account, or "howard.edu" if you are connecting from Howard University's domain)
  • the type of Web browser you use to view our site
  • the type of transaction you engage in (that is, database query, data download, page or image retrieval)
  • the date and time you access our site
  • the Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site
  • your computer operating system
  • the browser you use when you visit nationalatlas.gov™

These data are periodically summarized and analyzed to study site usage over time and to perform other studies to help us improve the site's organization, performance, and usefulness. In January 2013, all Web sites operated by Federal agencies were required to report access and referrer information to the General Services Administration (GSA). The USGS also receives these reports for all Web sites within its domain, including nationalatlas.gov.

 
 

Electronic Mail

 
 

When you send us personally identifying information by E-mail (that is, in a message containing a question or comment, or by filling out a form that E-mails us this information), we use it to respond to your requests. We may forward your E-mail to other Government employees or contract personnel who are better able to answer your questions. We do not retain or distribute lists of E-mail addresses to any parties outside of the USGS except as necessary to conduct official U.S. Government business. In any event, we do not distribute lists of E-mail addresses to non-Government entities or for commercial purposes.

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Online Surveys

 
 

When you voluntarily provide us with personal information as part of an online survey, we use it to perform various quantitative and qualitative analyses to improve customer service and satisfaction. We may forward the information collected to other Government employees or contract personnel to perform the actual analysis. You are under no obligation to participate in such surveys. Non-participation will not inhibit your use of nationalatlas.gov in any way. If you provided the information to us in error, you may request its removal at any time.

 
 

Marketing Information

 
 

We may collect information from you, with your permission, that will allow us to provide customer services, such as subscription notifications. We may forward the information collected to other Government employees or contract personnel to provide specific marketing services. We will remove such information at your request.

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Collection and Release of Gathered Information

 
 

We want to make it clear that we will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our Web sites unless you choose to provide such information to us. Except for officially authorized law enforcement investigations, or in the event of a suspected attempt to deliberately circumvent our system's security with the intent to gain unauthorized access or do physical damage (for example, an attack by hackers), we do not attempt to identify individual users or share any information we receive with any parties outside of the USGS. In the latter case, collected information associated with a suspected intruder might be shared through the USGS's Bureau Information Resources Security Administrator with an incident response service such as the CERT® Coordination Center.

 
 

Retention of Collected Information

 
 

Cookies - Some software programs offered on the Web place a "cookie" on your computer's hard disk to provide a temporary history of actions taken. The National Atlas does not do this. However, the National Atlas Map Maker does use cookies to store the links to any maps that you choose to save. These links are stored on your computer's hard drive. You may delete them at any time.

As noted under the Privacy section of this page, all Web sites operated by Federal agencies are required to report access and referrer information to the GSA and the USGS also requires these reports from us. These agencies use cookies that are stored on your computer to execute these reports. You may delete them at any time.

Web server activity logs - Monthly extracts of the log files are archived and stored offline at our discretion for an indefinite period of time. Some statistical summaries derived from these data may be retained online or offline at our discretion for an indefinite period of time.

E-Mail - Information collected through E-mail will be retained at our discretion in a directly readable form for as long as necessary to complete our response. The E-mail may be retained in an archival form as required by Federal laws and regulations governing the retention of historical records of Government agencies. For more information, refer to the National Archives and Records Administration's Records Management Program.

Online surveys - Information collected through online surveys may be maintained at our discretion for an indefinite period of time.

Marketing information - Such information may be maintained at our discretion for an indefinite period of time.

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Links to Non-USGS Sites

 
 

Links and pointers to non-USGS sites are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement, expressed or implied, by the USGS, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), or U.S. Government, of the referenced organizations, their suitability, content, products, or services, whether they are governmental, educational, commercial, or any other institutions.

 
 

Non-Endorsement of Commercial and Other Non-USGS Products and Services

 
 

Hypertext links and references to non-USGS products and services are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty, expressed or implied, by the USGS, DOI, or U.S. Government, as to their suitability, content, usefulness, functioning, completeness, or accuracy.

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USGS Public-Domain National Atlas Software

 
 

Links are provided to public-domain software developed by the USGS. Although these programs have been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy and functioning of the programs and related program material, nor shall the fact of distribution constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in connection therewith.

 
 

Content Accuracy, Completeness, and Usability of USGS Data and Information

 
 

We make every effort to provide and maintain accurate, complete, usable, and timely information on our Web sites. However, some USGS data and information accessed through these pages may, of necessity, be preliminary in nature and presented prior to final review and approval by the Director of the USGS. These data and information are provided with the understanding that they are not guaranteed to be correct or complete. Users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of these data and information before using them for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences. Conclusions drawn from, or actions undertaken on the basis of, such data and information are the sole responsibility of the user.

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Copyright

 
 

Data and information authored or produced by the USGS are in the public domain. National Atlas of the United States® and The National Atlas of the United States of America® are registered trademarks of the DOI. Although the content of most USGS Web pages is in the public domain, some USGS pages contain material that is copyrighted by others and used by the USGS with permission. You may need to obtain permission from the copyright owner for other uses. Furthermore, some non-USGS data, products, and information linked, or referred to, from this site may be protected under U.S. and foreign copyright laws. You may need to obtain permission from the copyright owner to acquire, use, reproduce, or distribute these materials. It is the sole responsibility of you, the user of this site, to carefully examine the content of USGS and all linked pages for copyright restrictions and to secure all necessary permissions.

 
 

Liability

 
 

Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, nor any of their contractors, subcontractors, nor their employees, make any warranty, express or implied, nor assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, nor represent that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights.

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Freedom of Information

 
 

The USGS maintains a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room on the Web that provides information on how to request USGS records and also provides links to laws and regulations governing USGS activities and other information about the FOIA.

 
 

Section 508 and Accessibility

 
 

The staff of the National Atlas makes every practical attempt to make its products and services as accessible to people with disabilities as possible. However, maps are primarily visual presentation of information and there is no current means to convey the full information contained in maps using today's assistive technologies. If you cannot fully access the information on a particular page, please E-mail us at atlasmail@usgs.gov.

For further information and to learn more about the regulations governing the accessibility of Federal electronic information products, visit the pages listed below:

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To Contact Us

 
 

If you have any questions about these policy notices and disclaimers, please contact us:

E-Mail:  atlasmail@usgs.gov (Please include your return E-mail address in the body of your message.)

Standard Mail:
National Atlas of the United States®
511 National Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Reston, VA 20192 USA

Read more about the principal policies and notices that govern information posted on USGS Web sites.

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