|100-Meter Resolution Natural Earth of the United States
What this map layer shows:
The shape of the land surface of the United States, in natural-color at a resolution of 100 meters. Its images were produced in the style of natural-color maps made by cartographer Hal Shelton.
This map layer is composed of four separate images for the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Elevation, Color-Sliced Elevation, Gray Shaded Relief, and Color Shaded Relief map layers are also available.
Physical maps that use the colors we see in nature are easy to understand and use by
those who are color-sighted. They associate colors on maps with the colors of nature;
for example, green with vegetation or brown with deserts. These Natural Earth images
combine land cover in natural colors with shaded relief at differing levels of vertical
exaggeration. They have a natural realism not found in other National Atlas map layers.
The images were made using several other National Atlas map layers.
Land Cover, Tree Canopy, and
Satellite View map layers were re-colorized and blended
to create land cover with natural colors and terrain textures. Inland water bodies
were removed, as were small urban areas. The National Atlas Elevation
map layer was smoothed and rendered to produce shaded relief.
Natural Earth does not portray elevation values. There is no way to tell
from the images how high or low an area is and precise measurements of slope
or aspect cannot be made. The original Elevation map layer must be used for
determining elevation values. Similarly, for more complete representations
of America's land cover and landforms, use the National Atlas Land Cover
and Satellite View map layers. Natural Earth images are best suited for
making small-scale maps and reference maps where the portrayal
of the natural
environment – rather than the built environment – is most
The 100-Meter Resolution Natural Earth of the United States map layer was prepared
by Tom Patterson of the National
Park Service and is delivered in the Albers Equal-Area
Conic map projection.
This map layer is part of our collection of fundamental digital
cartographic data known as 1. This
collection includes base map data in vector format at 1:1,000,000-scale
and in image format at 100-meter ground resolution.
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