The discipline of cartography is undergoing a number of profound changesthat center on the emerging influence ofdigital manipulation and analysis ofdata for the preparation of cartographic materials and for use in geographic information systems. Operational requirements have led to the development by the USGS National Mapping Division of several documents that establish in-house digital cartographic standards. In an effort to fulfill lead agency requirements for promulgation of Federal standards in the earth sciences, the documents have been edited and assembled with explanatory text into a USGS Circular. This Circular describes some of the pertinent issues relative to digital cartographic data standards, documents the digital cartographic data standards currently in use within the USGS, and details the efforts of the USGS related to the definition of national digital cartographic data standards. It consists of several chapters; the first is a general overview, and each succeeding chapter is made up from documents that establish in-house standards for one of the various types of digital cartographic data currently produced. This chapter 895-E, describes the Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System that is used in conjunction with the USGS land use and land cover classification system to encode, edit, manipuate, and analyze land use and land cover digital data.