US Topo maps now have a crisper, cleaner design - enhancing readability of maps for online and printed use. Map symbols are easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off. Improvements to symbol definitions (color, line thickness, line symbols, area fills), layer order, and annotation fonts are additional features of this latest update. The maps also have transparency for some features and layers to increase visibility of multiple competing layers.
This new design was launched earlier this year and is now part of the new US Topo quadrangles for Arkansas (874 maps) and South Carolina (519 maps), replacing the first edition US Topo maps for those states.
"Users in our state are very excited about the three year revision cycle of the US Topo maps," said Bill Sneed, the Geospatial Liaison for Arkansas and Tennessee. "With the Fayetteville Shale activity, our maps are increasing in popularity outside the normal recreational/hunting community."
US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous states coverage was completed in September of 2012. Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps have recently been added. More than 400 new US Topo maps for Alaska have been added to the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, but will take several years to complete.
Re-design enhancements and new features:
- Crisper, cleaner design improves online and printed readability while retaining the look and feel of traditional USGS topographic maps
- New functional road classification schema has been applied
- A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers
- Updated free fonts that support diacritics
- New PDF Legend attachment
- Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers
- New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain
- Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries
- The railroad dataset is much more complete
The previous versions of US Topo maps for these states, published in 2011, can still be downloaded from USGS web sites. Also, scanned images of older topographic maps from the period 1884-2006 can be downloaded from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection. These scanned images of legacy paper maps are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.
US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps also provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users. The new digital electronic topographic maps are delivered in GeoPDF ® image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.
For more information, go to: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/2014 US Topo map of the North Little Rock, Arkansas, area with image layer turned on (1:24,000 scale). (high resolution image 1.4 MB) Scan of the 1891 USGS topographic map of the Little Rock, Arkansas, area from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection (1:125,000 scale). (high resolution image 1.8 MB)
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Iowa.
Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
ANCHORAGE, AK – Volunteers with the Disciples of Christ have returned home after repairing nine homes in Alaska that were damaged by last year’s spring breakup flooding along the Yukon River. Last summer, the volunteers completed repairs to seven homes in Hughes. This July, a team of 11 volunteers, three of whom returned for a second season, finished construction on two homes in Emmonak.
“It went really well,” said Disciples of Christ Volunteer Team Leader, David Bell. “We were able to get on the ground and start working right away. Before we knew it, everything was completed.”Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Iowa to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of June 26 to July 7, 2014.Language English
Today, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate appointed twelve new members and reappointed two current members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC).Language English
August 4, 2014
FEMA provides federal funds to help fight Snag Canyon Fire
Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Snag Canyon Fire, burning in Kittitas County, Washington.Language English
August 2, 2014
Federal funds authorized to help fight Oregon Gulch Fire
Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Oregon Gulch Fire, burning in Jackson and Klamath Counties, Oregon.Language English
FEMA Public Affairs (626) 431-3843
OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California combat the Day Fire currently burning in Modoc County.Language English
FEMA Public Affairs (626) 431-3843
OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California combat the Bald Fire currently burning in Lassen County.Language English
FEMA Public Affairs (626) 431-3843
OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California combat the Oregon Gulch Fire currently burning in Siskiyou County.Language English
FEMA Public Affairs (626) 431-3843
OAKLAND, Calif. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California combat the Eiler Fire currently burning in Shasta County.Language English
New York, NY -- The fire district of Watkins Glen, New York is 58 square miles. Only some 20 percent of their area – roughly 12 square miles – is equipped with fire hydrants, posing a major challenge to Chief Smith, the department’s fire chief. “We and our mutual aid partners are heavily dependent upon mobile water to execute our firefighting obligations in this rural response area,” he says.Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Federal aid provided to Alabama residents affected by the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding has reached more than $43.6 million.
The following numbers, compiled July 25, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:
Funds approved:Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In 2013, the National Weather Service issued 332 flash flood and flood watches/warnings for the state. The state also reported one tropical storm in the Gulf Coast. More severe weather came this spring with tornadoes and more than two feet of rain.
Between the Gulf Coast’s tropical storms and the numerous rivers and streams, the potential for flooding in Alabama is ever present, according to the National Weather Service Office in Birmingham.Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Community Emergency Response Teams prepare for the worst, then when disaster strikes, they help themselves, their families, their neighborhoods and their communities.
Begun in Los Angeles in 1985, the CERT program consists of specially trained volunteers who are called into action during and immediately following major disasters before first responders can reach the affected areas. They work closely with fire and emergency management departments in their communities.Language English
SEATTLE, Wash. — Nearly forgotten research from decades ago complicates the task of quantifying earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new report from scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Washington, and other universities.
The report focuses on the Cascadia subduction zone—a giant active fault that slants eastward beneath the Pacific coast of southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Geologic studies in the past three decades have provided increasingly specific estimates of Cascadia earthquake sizes and repeat times. The estimates affect public safety through seismic provisions in building design and tsunami limits on evacuation maps.
The new report does not question whether the Cascadia subduction zone repeatedly produces enormous earthquakes. What the report asks instead is how much geologists can say, with confidence, about the history of those earthquake going back thousands of years. How big was each of the earthquakes? Did they occur twice as often along one part of the subduction zone as another? The report concludes that extracting such details from deep-sea sediments is more complicated than was previously thought.
The report reappraises sediment cores that were collected near the foot of the continental slope offshore Washington. A subset of cores from this area underpins influential estimates of Cascadia earthquake size and recurrence that were published in 2012. The new report points to confounding evidence from a much larger suite of cores that were collected and first analyzed by University of Washington and Oregon State University scientists in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Those Nixon-era cores were the work of researchers unconcerned with earthquakes. Plate tectonics was then such a new idea that scientists were just beginning to recognize the Cascadia subduction zone as a tectonic plate boundary. The sediment cores were collected to learn about turbidites—beds of sand and mud laid down by bottom-hugging, sediment-driven currents that infrequently emerged from submarine canyons onto the deep ocean floor. Not until a 1990 report would turbidites be reinterpreted as clues to Cascadia earthquake history.
“Rethinking turbidite paleoseismology along the Cascadia subduction zone” is freely available online in Geology, a leading Earth-science journal. The authors are Brian Atwater (U.S. Geological Survey), Bobb Carson (Lehigh University), Gary Griggs (University of California Santa Cruz), and Paul Johnson and Marie Salmi (University of Washington).
DAVIE, Fla.— Nesting loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico feed among areas that were oiled by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and where human activities occur, several of which are known to pose threats to sea turtles, a new U.S Geological study showed.
The feeding areas for 10 turtles overlapped with an area that experienced surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These sites, and others, also overlapped with areas trawled by commercial fishing operations and used for oil and gas extraction.
The study, which is the largest to date on Northern Gulf loggerheads, examined 59 nesting females, which scientists believe could be 15 percent of the breeding females in the Northern Gulf of Mexico—a small and declining subpopulation of loggerheads that is federally classified as threatened.
“With such a large sample of the nesting females, we’re finally getting the big picture of when, where and how females that nest in the northern Gulf of Mexico rely on off-shore waters to survive. This information is critical for halting and reversing their declines,” said USGS research ecologist Kristen Hart, the lead author of the study.
The study began in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a means to better understand how sea turtles used habitat in the Northern Gulf of Mexico by analyzing the movements of turtles tagged between 2010 and 2013.
All of the turtles tracked in the study remained in the Gulf of Mexico to feed, and a third remained in the northern part of the Gulf. This differs from reports in other parts of the world, where some loggerheads have been shown to migrate across ocean basins after nesting.
“These results show how important the Gulf of Mexico is to this group of loggerheads – they stay here throughout the year, not just during the nesting season,” said USGS research biologist Meg Lamont, a co-author on the study.
The study also revealed specific parts of the Gulf where females feed and spend most of their time. It is believed that an individual turtle will return to these specific feeding areas throughout her life, a trait scientists call “foraging site fidelity.”
“With this study, we essentially discovered their homes – the waters where these loggerheads spend most of the year,” Lamont said. “People think of nesting beaches as their homes, but they don’t really spend much time there. They only migrate to the nesting beaches to lay eggs. The rest of their adult life is spent foraging at sea.”
The next step for USGS scientists Hart and Lamont is to track these nesting Gulf loggerheads long enough to test whether they do indeed re-visit the same feeding areas throughout their life, as they suspect. This would help pinpoint important feeding sites of long-term and high traffic use – in essence, their home ranges.
“Locating long-term feeding areas will really open up new possibilities for the conservation and management of these amazing creatures,” said Hart.
The study, “Migration, foraging, and residency patterns for Northern Gulf of Mexico loggerheads: Implications of local threats and international movements” was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Since August 2013, all 50 states have been available for editing with the USGS The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) volunteered geographic information project. Starting this month, TNMCorps is pleased to add the United States Virgin Islands to that list.
Using crowd-sourcing techniques, TNMCorps encourages citizen volunteers to collect data about manmade structures in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the USGS National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map.
Through an online map editor, volunteers use aerial images and other resources to improve structures data by adding new features, removing obsolete points, and correcting existing data. Points available to edit include schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings. Volunteers may find editing structures in the U.S. Virgin Islands quite challenging, as some source data points shown in the map editor may be out of date, and some structure types are missing entirely.
One of many younger volunteers has found that contributing to The National Map Corps has been a rewarding summer activity. “I’ve only been working for a month and already I’ve discovered interesting facts, like where Sacagawea is buried, and all of the unique names for places around the country,” said user “crazeyme,” who is also one of the top producing participants.
To recognize our volunteers, TNMCorps has instituted a recognition program that awards "virtual" badges" based on the number of points edited. Badges consist of a series of antique surveying instruments ranging from the Surveyor's Chain (25 – 50 points) to the Theodolite Assemblage (2000+ points). Additionally, volunteers are publically recognized (with user permission) via Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.
Volunteers only need access to a computer and the Internet to participate. The National Map Corps’ website explains how volunteers can edit any area, regardless of their familiarity with the selected structures. Registration is simple and requires only an email address and self-selected username.
Participants make a significant addition to the USGS's ability to provide accurate information to the public. Data collected by volunteers become part of The National Map structures dataset which is available to users free of charge.
See for yourself how much fun participating can be. Go to The National Map Corps and give it a try.Screen shot of The National Map Corps editor webpage showing the capitol city of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, St. Thomas. Within this image lies the governmental center, public schools, and more– which is why The National Map Corps needs your help! (high resolution image 3.3 MB) Badges awarded for submitting edits, shown in from first to last: Order of the Surveyor’s Chain (25-49), Society of the Steel Tape 50-99), Pedometer Posse (100-199), Surveyor’s Compass (200-499), Stadia Board Society (500-999), Alidade Alliance (1000-1999), and Theodolite Assemblage (2000+). New awards for volunteers exceeding 2,000 points are under review. (high resolution image 114.7KB)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Repairing damage after a disaster can be expensive. In cases of severe damage, the costs can be staggering.
However, many projects can be done for little or no money. Most can make a big difference in helping minimize damage from the next disaster and provide the extra bonus of lowering utility and home-maintenance costs year-round.
Here are some ideas:Language English
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of South Dakota.
Assistance for the State, Tribal and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English