RESTON, VA - July 24, 2012 - A new set of digital cartographic frameworks is now available from The National Atlas of the United States of America. Prepared at one million-scale (where an inch on a map is nearly 16 miles), the dataset has twice the detail of previous versions. Users can now easily find “one” using popular search engines or portals like Data.Gov; get it as documented data or Web map services from and other sources; and use "one" in their geospatial analyses, maps, or map mashups.

This is the first time the Federal government has ever released these basic digital map themes at 1:1,000,000-scale:
•Boundaries (national, state, and county) 
•Transportation (roads, railroad, railroad stations, airports, and ports) 
•Surface waters (coastlines, streams, gaging stations, waterbodies, and wetlands, all fully networked)
•Cities and towns

This new release serves as the foundation for small-scale maps and datasets on the Nation's people, heritage, and resources. The new map data is delivered at no cost and is available online as a web map service

"For more than 130 years the USGS has been the 'go to' source for quality maps and authoritative map content," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "The new million-scale digital series continues this proud tradition, providing users with multi-million uses only limited by their imaginations."

By moving to one million-scale, the National Atlas achieves two goals to better serve national and international audiences.  First, map features have been harmonized at the U.S. borders of Canada and Mexico with data from national mapping programs in those nations for use in the Environmental Atlas of North America.  Also, a second edition of the data that conforms to the specifications of the Global Map is ready.  Global Map is an international effort by government mapping organizations to make a consistent map of the world at one million-scale.                                                                                                             

Future releases are scheduled to include Federal and Native American lands, Congressional Districts, U.S. Statistical areas and more.

The National Atlas of the United States is a cooperative effort to make geographic information collected by the United States government easier to find, get and use. Its development is led by the U.S. Geological Survey.