Federal, State, and local government agencies in the United States face a broad range of issues on a daily basis. Among these are natural hazard mitigation, homeland security, emergency response, economic and community development, water supply, and health and safety services. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) helps decision makers address these issues by providing natural hazard assessments, information on energy, mineral, water and biological resources, maps, and other geospatial information.
Increasingly, decision makers at all levels are challenged not by the lack of information, but by the absence of effective tools to synthesize the large volume of data available, and to utilize the data to frame policy options in a straightforward and understandable manner. While geographic information system (GIS) technology has been widely applied to this end, systems with the necessary analytical power have been usable only by trained operators. The USGS is addressing the need for more accessible, manageable data tools by developing a suite of Web-based geospatial applications that will incorporate USGS and cooperating partner data into the decision making process for a variety of critical issues. Examples of Web-based geospatial tools being used to address societal issues follow.
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USGS Numbered Series
Web-Based Geospatial Tools to Address Hazard Mitigation, Natural Resource Management, and Other Societal Issues