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What's going to happen to the products and services of the National Atlas?

The National Atlas of the United States will be removed from service on September 30, 2014. Some of its products and services will continue to be available from The National Map (nationalmap.gov) while others will not. Everything currently available from the National Atlas will remain accessible until the end of September. We encourage you to explore nationalatlas.gov and to retrieve any products of lasting use to you.

What follows is more information about the future availability of the nine products and services currently delivered by nationalatlas.gov. We will update this information as the year progresses.

National Atlas products and services:

  1. nationalatlas.gov (updated June 24, 2014)
  2. Map Maker (updated March 11, 2014)
  3. National Atlas Data (updated July 7, 2014)
  4. National Atlas Data Documentation (updated May 1, 2014)
  5. National Atlas Web Services (updated May 1, 2014)
  6. Printable Maps (updated May 1, 2014)
  7. Wall Maps (updated March 11, 2014)
  8. Dynamic Maps (updated April 15, 2014)
  9. Articles

1. nationalatlas.gov (updated June 24, 2014)
The Web site that delivers the products and services of the National Atlas will be shut down on September 30, 2014. The National Map (nationalmap.gov) will deliver the products and services that continue. The U.S. Geological Survey ended support for the Google Custom Search capability used. We replaced the Google solution with USASearch. Support pages for new or revised frameworks data were posted to nationalatlas.gov. Download and support pages for Global Map data were added.

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2. Map Maker (updated March 11, 2014)
The Map Maker will also be shut down on September 30, 2014. The National Map Viewer at nationalmap.gov will be your source for data visualization after that date. Thematic map layers currently viewable in the Map Maker will not be ported to The National Map Viewer. Also, please note that emailing a custom map sends a link to a Map Maker map; it does not send a map image. This means that these maps will no longer be available after September 30th.

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3. National Atlas Data (updated July 7, 2014)
The National Atlas provides two types of data: framework and thematic. Framework data include the layers of information that are fundamental to any map making endeavor, such as boundaries, geographic names, transportation, and surface waters. The National Map will continue to develop and offer small-scale framework data.

This spring we are delivering new and updated framework map layers at one million-scale, including:

This spring we also released Global Map editions of many of these datasets (June 24, 2014).

Later this year we will deliver other new small-scale framework datasets at one million scale, including Federal Lands, Indian Lands, and Wilderness Areas. We will not produce an urban areas dataset as originally planned.

Here is a list of framework datasets (PDF 178 KB) that will be delivered by The National Map.

Thematic data spans all chapters of the National Atlas. These topical areas include agriculture, biology, climate, environment, geology, government, history, mapping, people, transportation, and water. No new thematic datasets will be produced. Those that are available from the National Atlas now will continue to be available for download at no cost from Earth Explorer. National Atlas thematic datasets are also catalogued in other systems such as the Geospatial Platform and Data.Gov to facilitate discovery.

This is the current page for downloading all National Atlas Data. It will be removed on September 30, 2014.

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4. National Atlas Data Documentation (updated May 1, 2014)
All small-scale datasets are delivered with detailed documentation that adheres to the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata.This includes new and revised framework datasets being delivered this year. All small-scale framework data will also be documented for inclusion in the National Geospatial Program's Digital Product Standards and Specifications.

This is the current page for viewing all National Atlas Data Documentation. It will be removed on September 30, 2014.

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5. National Atlas Web Services (updated May 1, 2014)
The National Atlas currently offers these two types of Web services that comply with the latest specifications of the Open Geospatial Consortium:

  • Web Map Service (WMS) for all thematic and framework map layers.
  • Web Feature Service (WFS) for framework data at one million-scale.

Web services for small-scale thematic data will be discontinued on September 30, 2014. Existing Web services for small-scale framework data will continue to be offered until new services are developed for delivery through The National Map.

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6. Printable Maps (updated May 1, 2014)
Our final two maps in the Presidential Election Results series were released. No new page-sized Printable Maps will be prepared. The Printable Maps that are currently available from nationalatlas.gov will be available from nationalmap.gov after September 30, 2014.

This is the current page for previewing and downloading all Printable Maps.

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7. Wall Maps (updated March 11, 2014)
No new wall maps will be made. The existing National Atlas Wall Maps will continue to be available for purchase through the USGS Store until supplies are exhausted. Our Geology map will be made available in several formats (PDF, JPEG, TIFF) in the USGS Geologic Map Database. You will find them here when the files are ready.

This is the current page for previewing and ordering all Wall Maps.

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8. Dynamic Maps (updated April 15, 2014)
Most dynamic maps will be abandoned on September 30, 2014. The exceptions are: Streamer and the Set of Topographic Maps Illustrating Physical Features.

Streamer will continue to be developed within The National Map and will be delivered by nationalmap.gov. An updated release occurred on April 15. This is the current link to Streamer.

The Set of Topographic Maps Illustrating Physical Features will also be delivered via nationalmap.gov. There are no plans to update this Dynamic Map. This is the current link to the Set of Topographic Maps Illustrating Physical Features.

Regarding the Tapestry of Time and Terrain, a redesigned Web site was in development, but was not finished. Working files were provided to USGS National Geologic Map Database project members, who may complete this development. This is the current link to the Tapestry of Time and Terrain.

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9. Articles
Most articles will be abandoned on September 30, 2014. However, some articles related to mapping may be ported to nationalmap.gov. Any articles that are retained will be reported here. This is the current link to National Atlas Articles.

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