Wednesday, June 18, 2008 : Download U.S. Maps and Data is a geographic information system (GIS) portal, also known as the Geospatial One-Stop, that serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data under the Geospatial One-Stop e-government initiative. Geospatial One-Stop is one of 24 e-government initiatives sponsored by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to enhance government efficiency and to improve citizen services. Geospatial One-Stop makes it easier, faster, and less expensive for all levels of government and the public to access geospatial information.

The portal is designed to facilitate communication and sharing of geographic data and resources to enhance government efficiency and improve citizen services.

There are a variety of data types available to discover and use on These include:

* Live Data and Maps - GIS users can access "live" data and maps, such as ArcIMS or Web Map Server (WMS) map services, using software tools such as ArcGIS, ArcExplorer-Java Edition, or ArcExplorer Web available on this site.

* Downloadable Data - Data downloads enable you to perform custom downloads of digital data you are viewing to access locally with GIS software. Visit the Free Viewers page for a list of free GIS data viewers.

* Offline Data - Many publishers offer data that can be ordered online and delivered in CD or DVD format or as other shippable media. This data cannot be directly downloaded to your computer.
* Documents - Several types of documents are available on including:
o Map files - digital maps that can be viewed in a GIS mapping application. Map files are typically completed maps that are ready for viewing, publishing, and printing.
o Static Maps - You cannot directly interact with static map images as you can with dynamic data and maps. You can view them and download them to your computer.
o Other Documents - includes geographic information stored in text files, spreadsheets, or other formats and can be used in conjunction with geographic data. In many cases, they can be viewed and downloaded.
* Applications - An online application is built using content, map services, or other Internet-hosted data. The application includes a complete user interface and set of geographic content needed to perform one or more tasks in a Web browser.
* Geographic Services - Geographic services are Internet applications with a geographic focus-using data and related functionality to perform basic geoprocessing tasks such as place name searches, address matching, or routing.
* Clearinghouses - A clearinghouse is a Web site that contains references and links to a variety of free geographic data. Many clearinghouses offer geographic data for download while other sites include metadata references or links to datasets that may be acquired through other mechanisms.
* Geographic Activities - Geographic Activities show what people are doing, what data they need (Marketplace Data Requests) and what data collection activities they have planned (Marketplace Planned Acquisitions).

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