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Cities and Towns of the United States

Metadata also available as - [Outline] - [Parseable text] - [XML] - [DIF]

Frequently-anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title: Cities and Towns of the United States
Abstract:
This map layer includes cities in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These cities were collected from the 1970 National Atlas of the United States. Where applicable, U.S. Census Bureau codes for named populated places were associated with each name to allow additional information to be attached. The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) was also used as a source for additional information. This is a revised version of the December 2003 map layer.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    National Atlas of the United States, 200402, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: 172.0
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -64.0
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 72.0
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 17.0

  3. What does it look like?

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

    Beginning_Date: 1972
    Ending_Date: 2004
    Currentness_Reference: Ground condition

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

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

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

      Indirect_Spatial_Reference:
      U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987, Codes for the Identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the Outlying areas of the United States, and Associated Areas (FIPS 5-2): Washington, DC, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

      U.S. Department of Commerce, 1990, Counties and Equivalent Entities of the United States, Its Possessions, and Associated Areas (FIPS 6-4): Washington, DC, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • Point (35432)

    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 0.000278. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.000278. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is GRS1980.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Cities and Towns (described by Citiesx020.dbf)
    Populated places in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Shape
    The representation of the entity in the data. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    ValueDefinition
    Point0-dimensional element

    Citiesx020
    Internal feature number. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Range of values
    Minimum:1
    Maximum:35432

    Feature
    The type of city or town. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    ValueDefinition
    County SeatA populated place that serves as the seat of the county government.
    National CapitalA populated place that serves as the seat of the national government of the United States of America.
    Populated PlaceA populated place that is neither a county seat, a State capital, nor the capital of the United States of America.
    State CapitalA populated place that serves as the seat of the State government.
    State Capital County SeatA populated place that serves as the seat of the State government and the county government.

    Name
    The name of the city or town. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

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

    Pop_range
    The population range of the city or town based on 2000 U.S. Census Bureau data. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    ValueDefinition
    0 - 9,999The population is less than 10,000.
    10,000 - 49,999The population is between 10,000 and 49,999.
    50,000 - 99,999The population is between 50,000 and 99,999.
    100,000 - 249,999The population is between 100,000 and 249,999.
    250,000 - 499,999The population is between 250,000 and 499,999.
    500,000 - 999,999The population is between 500,000 and 999,999.
    1,000,000 - 9,999,999The population is between 1,000,000 and 9,999,999.
    UndeterminedThe population is not known.

    Pop_2000
    The 2000 population of the city or town. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

    ValueDefinition
    -99999The population is not known.

    Range of values
    Minimum:1
    Maximum:8008278

    Fips55
    The 5-digit FIPS code of the named populated place, primary county division, or other locational entity of the United States. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Codes for Named Populated Places, Primary County Divisions, and Other Locational Entities of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas, FIPS 55-DC3.
    Codeset Source:U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    County
    The name of the county or county equivalent. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Counties and Equivalent Entities of the United States, Its Possessions, and Associated Areas, FIPS 6-4, 1990.
    Codeset Source:U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Fips
    The 5-digit FIPS code of the county or county equivalent. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Counties and Equivalent Entities of the United States, Its Possessions, and Associated Areas, FIPS 6-4, 1990.
    Codeset Source:U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    State
    The 2-character FIPS code of the State or State equivalent. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Codes for the Identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas of the United States, and Associated Areas, FIPS 5-2.
    Codeset Source:U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    State_fips
    The 2-digit FIPS code of the State or State equivalent. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    Formal codeset
    Codeset Name:Codes for the Identification of the States, the District of Columbia and the Outlying Areas of the United States, and Associated Areas, FIPS 5-2.
    Codeset Source:U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Display
    A value used to specify whether a place name text label will be shown at the most detailed display scale in the National Atlas Map Maker. This attribute applies only to cities and towns where the attribute Feature has a value of Populated Place; all other cities and towns will have Display = 0 but will still be labeled at the most detailed display scale. This attribute value is determined by a ratio based on population size and distance to nearest town and was set by the following steps:
    1. Distance to the nearest neighbor was calculated for each populated
       place.
    2. Population density was calculated by adding the 1990 population
       values for each county and then dividing the total by the area of
       the county. The 1990 population values of -99999 were set to 1.
    3. A display ratio was calculated using the formula 1990 Population x
       Distance / Population Density.
    4. Display was set to 1 for all points with a minimum result of 15000,
       and set to 0 for the remainder of points.
    
    This attribute was not updated in the February 2004 version of this map layer. (Source: National Atlas of the United States)

    ValueDefinition
    0The place name will not be shown, or the place is a major city, national capital, State capital, or county seat.
    1The place name will be shown.


Who produced the data set?

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

    • National Atlas of the United States

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

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

    Woodley Chu
    National Atlas of the United States
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    Reston, VA 20192

    703-648-6375 (voice)
    atlasmail@usgs.gov


Why was the data set created?

These data are intended for geographic display and analysis at the national level, and for large regional areas. The data should be displayed and analyzed at scales appropriate for 1:2,000,000-scale data. No responsibility is assumed by the National Atlas of the United States in the use of these data.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    2MILMM (source 1 of 17)
    U.S. Geological Survey, 1995, 1:2,000,000-Scale Digital Line Graph Data - Manmade Features: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: CD-ROM
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    GNIS98 (source 2 of 17)
    U.S. Geological Survey, 1998, Geographic Names Information System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    FIPS55-3_98 (source 3 of 17)
    National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1998, FIPS 55-DC3 Index - Guideline: Codes for Named Populated Places, Primary County Divisions, and Other Locational Entities of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Outlying Areas: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    ATLAS-CITIES98 (source 4 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 1998, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    ATLAS-CITIES00 (source 5 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 200002, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    GAZETTEER (source 6 of 17)
    U.S. Census Bureau, 1990, U.S. Gazetteer Place File: U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    FIPS55-3_99 (source 7 of 17)
    National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1999, FIPS 55-DC3 Index - Guideline: Codes for Named Populated Places, Primary County Divisions, and Other Locational Entities of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Outlying Areas: National Institute of Science and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    POP_PL (source 8 of 17)
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2000, Geographic Names Information System - Populated Places (Pop_places_deci.zip): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    GNIS00 (source 9 of 17)
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2000, Geographic Names Information System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    POP_ESTIMATE (source 10 of 17)
    U.S. Census Bureau, 1998, Population Estimates for Places: July 1, 1998, and Population Change: April 1, 1990 to July 1, 1998: U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    ATLAS-HY (source 11 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 1999, Hydrography Features of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    ATLAS-CNTY (source 12 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 1999, County Boundaries of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    ATLAS-CITIES00A (source 13 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 20001106, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    ATLAS-CITIES2002 (source 14 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 20021010, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    NACO (source 15 of 17)
    National Association of Counties, 2003, United States Counties - Find a County: National Association of Counties, Washington, DC.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

    ATLAS-CITIES2003 (source 16 of 17)
    National Atlas of the United States, 200312, Cities and Towns of the United States: National Atlas of the United States, Reston, VA.

    Type_of_Source_Media: Online
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 2000000
    Source_Contribution: Spatial and attribute information

    GNIS04 (source 17 of 17)
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2004, Geographic Names Information System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: online
    Source_Contribution: Attribute information

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

    Date: 1998 (process 1 of 6)
    Digitized place names from the 1970 National Atlas of the United States were compared with U.S. Census Bureau place names from FIPS55-3_98. Where there were discrepancies, names from the GNIS were used. A small number of places could not be assigned FIPS55 codes and were removed from the map layer. Minor positional corrections were also made.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • 2MILMM
    • GNIS98
    • FIPS55-3_98

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES98

    Date: Feb-2000 (process 2 of 6)
    No spatial data was changed in ATLAS-CITIES98. The following edits were made to the attribute data base file. In the Feature field, inconsistencies were removed and the population ranges were corrected as necessary to match the 1990 population information in the Pop field. Unnecessary fields were deleted (Idnum, Capcode, Stid). Fields were added for State, State_Fips, and County. Lakewood Center, Washington was changed to Lakewood, Washington with a population of 58412. Incorrect population information for Lakewood, Snohomish County was deleted. Boise City, Idaho was changed to Boise, Idaho.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES98

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES00

    Date: Nov-2000 (process 3 of 6)
    Points generated from the GAZETTEER text file were added; points with duplicate FIPS55 codes were removed. County, State, and FIPS data were compared and corrected, if necessary, with data from FIPS55-3_99, and with POP_PL. Remaining incorporated and Census Designated Places (CDP's) from GNIS00 were added; all unincorporated and non-CDP places were then removed. A few populated places in high density areas were filtered out. Population data from the POP_ESTIMATE and GAZETTEER files were added, and a population value of -99999 was used where population data was not available. Some places were updated with new FIPS55 codes. Minor positional corrections were made using ATLAS-HY and ATLAS-CNTY as references. A display attribute, based on population size and distance to nearest town, was added to determine which place names will be shown at the most detailed scale on the National Atlas interactive map browser.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES00
    • GAZETTEER
    • FIPS55-3_99
    • POP_PL
    • GNIS00
    • POP_ESTIMATE
    • ATLAS-HY
    • ATLAS-CNTY

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES00A

    Date: 10-Oct-2002 (process 4 of 6)
    1990 and 1998 population figures for Newtown, Connecticut were updated.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES00A

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES2002

    Date: 15-Dec-2003 (process 5 of 6)
    County and county FIPS fields for the town of Bloomfield, CO were updated and it was listed as the county seat for Bloomfield county. County seats were added for counties where they were missing. These include:
       Plumas County, CA-Quincy
       Towns County, GA-Hiawassee
       Kauai County, HI-Lihue
       Hardin County, IL-Elizabethtown
       Saginaw County, MI-Saginaw
       Koochiching County, MN-International Falls
       Holt County, NE-O'Neill
       Cass County, ND-Fargo
       Price County, WI-Phillips
    
    Please note that Shannon County, SD; Todd County, SD; Kings, NY; Bronx, NY; Queens, NY; and Richmond, NY do not have official county seats.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES2002
    • NACO

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES03

    Date: Feb-2004 (process 6 of 6)
    Incorporated place names in ATLAS-CITIES03 were compared with those from the GNIS database. GNIS names were used where there were discrepancies. New incorporated places were added; duplicate points and places no longer incorporated were removed. Positions of all incorporated places were adjusted to match GNIS coordinates. Minor positional corrections of incorporated places were made using ATLAS-HY and ATLAS-CNTY as references. The population range values were adjusted to reflect 2000 population figures and the POP_2000 attribute was added; earlier population figures were dropped.

    Data sources used in this process:

    • ATLAS-CITIES03
    • ATLAS-CNTY
    • ATLAS-HY
    • GNIS04

  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?

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

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

    This map layer includes built-up areas and populated places for all fifty of the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Capitals and county seats are identified as well as population ranges where known.

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

    The map layer was checked for topological consistency using the Arc/INFO command BUILD. No other checks for logical consistency were performed on this map layer.


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:
None. Acknowledgment of the National Atlas of the United States of America would be appreciated in products derived from these data.

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

    Earth Science Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey
    507 National Center
    Reston, VA 20192

    1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747) (voice)

    Contact_Instructions:
    In addition to the address above, there are other ESIC offices throughout the country. A full list of these offices is at <http://geography.usgs.gov/esic/esic_index.html>.
  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 a computer system at the U.S. Geological Survey, no warranty expressed or implied is made by the U.S. Geological Survey 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 the U.S. Geological Survey in the use of these data.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

    • Availability in digital form:

      Data format: ESRI Shapefile
      Network links: <http://nationalatlas.gov/atlasftp.html>
      Media you can order: CD-ROM (format tar)

      Data format: SDTS
      Network links: <http://nationalatlas.gov/atlasftp.html>
      Media you can order: CD-ROM (format tar)

    • Cost to order the data:

      There is no charge for the online option. For National Atlas files ordered on CD-ROM there is a base price of $45.00 per disc, a handling fee of $5.00, and a per-file charge based on file size. The charge for files less than 10 megabytes in size is $1.00. The charge for files that range in size from 10 to 150 megabytes is $7.50. The charge for files of 150 megabytes or larger is $15.00. The charge is $1.00 for the Cities and Towns of the United States map layer.

    • Special instructions:

      To order files on CD-ROM, please see <http://nationalatlas.gov/atlasftp.html#q12>.


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 03-Jan-2005
Metadata author:
Gita Urban-Mathieux
National Atlas of the United States
561 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

703-648-5175 (voice)
atlasmail@usgs.gov

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



 


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