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The Environment

Earthquake Hazards Program (USGS)
Find real-time maps and information on earthquakes in the United States and the world. Includes “Latest Quakes,” “EQ Facts & Lists” (with a new section on earthquake photos), “Hazards & Preparedness,” “For Kids Only,” “Regional Websites,” and “Science & Technology.” There is also a section for teachers. “Hazards & Preparedness” includes the “National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project.”

EnviroMapper (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
From the Storefront choose “Window to My Environment,” “Envirofacts,” “Office of Water,” “Superfund,” “EnviroMapper for NYC Response,” “EnviroMapper: Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool,” or “Brownfields.” EnviroMapper is a dynamic way to view and query environmental information. It maps several types of environmental information, including drinking water, toxic and air releases, hazardous waste, water discharge permits, and Superfund sites. EnviroMapper also links to text reports, which provide even more information. Can be used to view and query EPA-regulated facility information stored in the Envirofacts Data Warehouse.

FirstGov for Citizens — Maps
Part of the “Reference Center” this section of FirstGov offers links to sites with environmental maps as well as community, health, historical, space, U.S., weather, and world maps. “Environmental maps” include Antarctic research, crops, earthquakes, geologic, land surface, mineral resources, polar regions and ocean, vegetation condition, water and water resources (by state).

FEMA Map Service Center
The FEMA Flood Map Store ( and the MSC informational website ( have been merged into a single new MSC website: To purchase flood maps, click the “Flood Maps” link in the left navigation bar under “Looking for …”. Retrieve items by searching by state, district, or territory, then county, and community name.

new2.jpgGeospatial Data Sources (USGS)
Discover a small sample of the millions of maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in its mission to map the Nation and survey its resources. The USGS provides a wide variety of maps, from topographic maps showing the geographic relief and thematic maps displaying the geology and water resources of the United States, to special studies of the moon and planets.

National Geographic MapMachine
Browse conservation maps and street-level maps, search US topographic maps and explore the world through “Country Profiles”  to create custom maps. Conservation maps are grouped according to the topics Environmental (terrain, habitat types, soil types, etc.), Land Use (land use, agricultural and environmental threats), Natural Hazards (floods, hailstorms, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.), and Weather (snow cover, annual precipitation, and annual temperature).

Soil surveys. Texas
[The link above is a canned search in RamCat.] The Library has about half of the soil surveys of Texas counties produced by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. They are shelved alphabetically by county name in the U.S. Documents collection under the general call number A 57.38. Some of these soil survey publications are also available online; links to the online versions are included in the records in RamCat.

new2.jpg Texas Soil Surveys (University of North Texas. The Portal to Texas History)
“The Texas Soil Surveys demonstrate early scientific thought regarding soil classification and use. Each survey consists of a soil map and separate book. The maps show many cultural features in the landscape such as businesses, churches, schools, mills, gins, and ferries. The collection embraces all Texas county and reconnaissance soil surveys completed prior to 1950.” The collection is part of the University’s Portal to Texas History, which “offers students and lifelong learners a digital gateway to the rich collections held in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and private collections.”

State of the Land (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service)
“This site provides data and analysis on land use, soil erosion and soil quality, water quality, wetlands, and other issues regarding the conservation and use of natural resources.” Click on “Maps, Facts, & Figures” Find maps covering such topics as Agricultural productivity, Cropland, Soils, Urbanization, Water supply, Wetlands, and Wildlife habitat.

Surf Your Watershed
A service from the EPA web site to help locate, use, and share environmental information.

TNRIS Data Distribution System (Texas Natural Resource Information System) *Digital Data (downloads only)
TNRIS distributes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other geospatial data from a variety of sources, including federal, state and local government agencies. Use this website to download 1 meter resolution DOQQs for the entire state of Texas. You can also download available 2.5 meter DOQQs, DRGs, TxDOT, DEMs, Hill shades, and more. Download data on Base Maps, Land and Biological Resources, Water Resources, Land and Water Quality, Air Resources, Transportation, Administrative Areas, and Elevations. (“Before you begin, note that you are downloading WinZIP archives. Also, you need special software that can open compressed 1 meter DOQQs.”)

*Requires GIS viewer
Download free GIS viewer ArcExplorer by ESRI

Visible Earth (a searchable directory of images, visualizations, and animations of the Earth) (NASA)
Includes over 10,000 images covering such topics as agriculture, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, human dimensions, land surface, locations, oceans, and solid earth.

Watersheds (Environmental Protection Agency)
This site includes links to other “watershed” resources: Watershed Information Network, Adopt Your Watershed, Watershed Academy, After the Storm (a 2004 television special, co-produced by EPA and The Weather Channel), Targeted Watersheds Grants Program, Mississippi River Basin & Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia (In the Spotlight), Surf Your Watershed (including Locate Your Watershed), and Watersheds and TV Weather Reporting.

Wetlands Digital Data (National Wetlands Inventory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Build, search, query, and download custom digital maps and data in the area you choose. Use the Wetlands Data Extraction Tool to download current seamless data as viewed in the Wetlands Mapper. (In June 2006, a new data extraction tool became available. The new tool does not require the use of the Wetlands Mapper to acquire data.)

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Revised: November 2006, Janetta Paschal, Government Documents/Reference Librarian