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North American Atlas - Political Boundaries

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Frequently-anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title: North American Atlas - Political Boundaries
Abstract:
A joint venture involving the National Atlas programs in Canada (Natural Resources Canada), Mexico (Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática), and the United States (U.S. Geological Survey), as well as the North American Commission for Environmental Co-operation, has led to the release (June 2004) of several new products: an updated paper map of North America, and its associated geospatial data sets and their metadata. These data sets are available online from each of the partner countries both for visualization and download.

The North American Atlas data are standardized geospatial data sets at 1:10,000,000 scale. A variety of basic data layers (e.g. roads, railroads, populated places, political boundaries, hydrography, bathymetry, sea ice and glaciers) have been integrated so that their relative positions are correct. This collection of data sets forms a base with which other North American thematic data may be integrated. Any data outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America included in the North American Atlas data sets is strictly to complete the context of the data.

The North American Atlas - Political Boundaries data set shows political entities in North America as polygons representing jurisdictional areas, and as lines representing political boundaries, including International boundaries, Provincial boundaries, State or territory boundaries, and the International Date Line.

This data set was produced using digital files supplied by Natural Resources Canada, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Supplemental_Information:
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement complements the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Further information on the CEC is available from <http://www.cec.org/> or from
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
393, rue St-Jacques Ouest
Bureau 200
Montréal (Québec)
H2Y 1N9 Canada

Telephone: 514 350 4300
Facsimile: 514 350 4314
Electronic mail: info@ccemtl.org

All North American Atlas data sets are available in four data formats: Arc/INFO Export format (e00), ArcView Shapefile, Geography Markup Language (GML) and Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS).

Although these data are distributed in geographic coordinates, the North American Atlas Map uses a Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection. The following parameters were used for the map:

Longitude_of_Projection_Center: -100.00
Latitude_of_Projection_Center: 45.00
False_Easting (metres): 0.0
False_Northing (metres): 0.0
Semi-major_Axis: 6370997.0
Denominator_of_Flattening_Ratio: 1.0
Ellipsoid_Name: Sphere
Units: metres

State boundaries in Mexico are included for illustration purposes. They were obtained from diverse sources and INEGI does not guarantee and takes no responsibility for their legal validity and/or accuracy.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre, and U.S. Geological Survey, 200406, North American Atlas - Political Boundaries: Government of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: 152.0
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: 4.0
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 90.0
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: -5.0

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Calendar_Date: Jun-2004
    Currentness_Reference: Publication date

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Vector digital data

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • Complete chain (320)
      • GT-polygon composed of chains (1817)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Boundary line
    The limiting line of jurisdictional authority for various levels of government, or the International Date Line. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    UIDENT
    The unique identifier. A unique number that is assigned to each feature in the North American Atlas data. The last two digits of the identifier are a suffix indicating the map layer. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    Range of values
    Minimum:103
    Maximum:32003

    Type
    The type of boundary line (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    ValueDefinition
    10The line represents the boundary between Mexico and the United States of America.
    11The line represents the boundary between Mexico and Guatemala, or between Mexico and Belize.
    12The line represents the boundary between Canada and the United States of America.
    35The line represents an international boundary between non-NAFTA countries.
    36The line represents a Provincial, State, or Territorial boundary.
    39The line represents the boundary between Canada and Greenland.
    42The line represents the International Date Line.

    Country
    The country in which the jurisdictional boundary line exists. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    ValueDefinition
    CANThe boundary line is in Canada.
    MEXThe boundary line is in Mexico.
    USAThe boundary line is in the United States of America.
    FNThe boundary line is outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America.

    Jurisdictional area
    An area for which one level of government has jurisdictional authority. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    UIDENT
    The unique identifier. A unique number that is assigned to each feature in the North American Atlas data. The last two digits of the identifier are a suffix indicating the map layer. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    Range of values
    Minimum:104
    Maximum:181704

    Name
    The official name of the area. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base
    Codeset Source:The Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Toponymic data set 1:4,000,000
    Codeset Source:Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática (INEGI)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Geographic Names Information System
    Codeset Source:U.S. Board on Geographic Names

    Country
    The country in which the jurisdictional area exists. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    ValueDefinition
    CANThe area is in Canada.
    MEXThe area is in Mexico.
    USAThe area is in the United States of America.
    FNThe area is outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America.

    StateAbb
    The International Organization for Standards (ISO) code for the State, Province,or Territory. The code consists of a two-character country code followed by a two or three character State, Province, or Territory code. (Source: North American Atlas GIS Group)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:ISO 3166-2 codes for Canada
    Codeset Source:<http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ISO%203166-2%20codes%20for%20Canada>

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:ISO 3166-2 codes for Mexico
    Codeset Source:<http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ISO%203166-2%20codes%20for%20Mexico>

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:ISO 3166-2 codes for the United States
    Codeset Source:<http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ISO%203166>- 2%20codes%20for%20the%20United%20States


Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

    • Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática
    • Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote
    • U.S. Geological Survey

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for
    Atlas of Canada Client Services
    Room 650-615 Booth Street
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E9
    Canada

    +01 613 947 2410 (FAX)
    info@atlas.gc.ca


Why was the data set created?

The North American Atlas data are intended for geographic display and analysis at the national and continental level. These data should be displayed and analyzed at scales appropriate for 1:10,000,000-scale data. No responsibility is assumed by Natural Resources Canada, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, or the U.S. Geological Survey in the use of these data.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    6M CA Bdy (source 1 of 5)
    Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre, 2002, 1:6,000,000 National Atlas Reference Map Series - Boundaries: Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, The Atlas of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 6,000,000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    North America Reference (source 2 of 5)
    Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre, 2000, North America, National Atlas of Canada Reference Map Series: Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, The Atlas of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 10,000,000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial information

    4M Mexico (source 3 of 5)
    Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, 200407, Conjunto de Datos Vectoriales Topográficos escala 1:4,000,000: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI), Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico.

    Type_of_Source_Media: CD-ROM
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 4000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    5M USA Bdy (source 4 of 5)
    U.S. Geological Survey, Unpublished material, 1:5,000,000 General Reference Map - Boundaries: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Internal file
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 5000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    NAA Hydro (source 5 of 5)
    Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre, and U.S. Geological Survey, 200406, North American Atlas – Hydrography: Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, The Atlas of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 10,000,000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial information

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: 2003 (process 1 of 6)
    Linework from the 1:6,000,000 Atlas of Canada boundary file was fitted to the North America Atlas - Hydrography layer. The attribute for the country was added to the data.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • 6M CA Bdy
    • NAA Hydro

    Date: 2003 (process 2 of 6)
    Linework from the 1:5,000,000 United States General Reference Map was fitted to the North America Atlas - Hydrography layer. The attribute for the country was added to the data.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • 5M USA Bdy
    • NAA Hydro

    Date: 2003 (process 3 of 6)
    Linework from the 1:4,000,000 Topographical Dataset for Mexico was fitted to the North America Atlas - Hydrography layer. The attribute for the country was added to the data.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • 4M Mexico
    • NAA Hydro

    Date: 2004 (process 4 of 6)
    Boundaries for regions outside Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America were compiled from the 1:10,000,000 North America, National Atlas of Canada Reference Map Series data set. Linework was fitted to the North America Atlas - Hydrograph y layer. The attribute for foreign country was added to the data.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • North America Reference
    • NAA Hydro

    Date: 2004 (process 5 of 6)
    Linework was cartographically adjusted along country boundaries to ensure correct connection of adjacent boundaries and attributes were added.

    Date: 2004 (process 6 of 6)
    Because the linework came from four different sources and scales, a final cartographic review was done to the full boundary file to ensure cartographic compatibility at 1:10,000,000 scale. Each country then performed a final cartographic check to verify the selection and position of the linework. The attributes were also verified.

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?


How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    Where possible, attribute data were quality controlled by creating symbolized digital displays or hard copy plots, which were visually verified with digital or hard copy reference data. Attribute data that could not be verified in such a manner were interactively queried to check for anomalies such as duplication of data in fields requiring unique values and incorrect feature coding. Data for areas outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America are only provided for context; Natural Resources Canada, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, and the U.S. Geological Survey assume no responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or presentation of this data.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    Positional accuracy of the data is unknown. Positions are dependent on the accuracy of the source data and on the result of the generalization and integration processes. Data for areas outside of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America are only provided for context; Natural Resources Canada, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, and the U.S. Geological Survey assume no responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or presentation of this data.

    State boundaries in Mexico are included for illustration purposes. They were obtained from diverse sources and INEGI does not guarantee and takes no responsibility for their legal validity and/or accuracy.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    This data set includes political boundaries for all of North America, as shown at 1:10,000,000 scale. The data completeness reflects the content of the source data, the integration done by the cartographers, and the quality control of the content performed by each country.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    Topology was built and a quality control of the political boundaries polygon data was done in order to ensure topological polygon structure. A quality control of the linear boundary file was done to ensure logical consistency with the corresponding polygon data.


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints: None
Use_Constraints:
All data for Canada and other areas outside of Mexico and the United States of America are covered by the Geogratis User Agreement for Digital Data; see <http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/e_license.html>.

No use constraints are applied to data for Mexico and the United States of America. Acknowledgment of the North American Atlas, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, Natural Resources Canada, and (or) the U.S. Geological Survey would be appreciated in products derived from these data.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 3)

    Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote
    Room 650-615 Booth Street
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E9
    Canada

    +01 613 947 2410 (FAX)
    info@GeoGratis.cgdi.gc.ca

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

  4. How can I download or order the data?


  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 2 of 3)

    INEGI
    c/o Jose Luis Ornelas de Anda
    Avenida Héroe de Nacozari Sur 2301
    Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20270
    Mexico

    52 449 910 5300 ext 5856 (voice)
    jornelas@antares.inegi.gob.mx

    Hours_of_Service: 8:30 - 16:00 (CST)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

  4. How can I download or order the data?


  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 3 of 3)

    EROS Data Center, U.S. Geological Survey
    47914 252nd Street
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198-0001
    USA

    800 252 4547 (voice)
    605 594 6589 (FAX)
    custserv@usgs.gov

    Hours_of_Service:
    Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    Although these data have been processed successfully on computer systems at Natural Resources Canada, Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática, and the U.S. Geological Survey, no warranty expressed or implied is made by these agencies regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. No responsibility is assumed by these agencies in the use of these data.

  4. How can I download or order the data?


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 09-Jul-2004
Metadata author:
Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for
Atlas of Canada Client Services
Room 650-615 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E9
Canada

+01 613 947 2410 (FAX)
info@atlas.gc.ca

Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)



 


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