STATE_BOUNDS: internal US state boundaries

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Frequently-anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: STATE_BOUNDS: internal US state boundaries
This ArcView shapefile represents the internal boundaries of the United States and the political boundaries between the US, Canada and Mexico.
This dataset was created to be used with the NOS80K coastline (allus80k.shp) to provide state bounds without redrawing the coastline. In creating the data layer, some issues of the NOS80K coastline became apparent. One example, is the US/Mexico boundary. The NOS80K coastline closes and draws a straight line well below the Texas border. The same type of problem can be seen around the US/Canada boundary of the Great Lakes. The state_bounds.shp will draw the political boundaries while the allus80k.shp file will display the US beyond the political boundaries. If this is unacceptable to the user, they should consider masking the annexed US possession.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Paskevich, Valerie, 2005, STATE_BOUNDS: internal US state boundaries:.

    Online Links:

    This is part of the following larger work.

    Poppe, L.J., Williams, S.J., and Paskevich, V.F., 2005, U.S. Geological Survey East-Coast Sediment Analysis: Procedures, Database, and GIS Data: Open-File Report 2005-1001, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.

    Online Links:

    Publication and data are released via DVD-ROM media. This digital publication may also be available via the web at

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -124.211606
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -67.158958
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 49.384359
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 25.837377

  3. What does it look like?

    <> (GIF)
    Image showing extent and coverage of the state_bounds shapefile with large US lakes.
    <> (GIF)
    Image showing extent and coverage of the state_bounds shapefile with large US lakes.

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

    Calendar_Date: 04-Oct-2002
    Currentness_Reference: publication date

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

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

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

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

      • String (19)

    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 0.000001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.000001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Shapefile Attribute Table (Source: ESRI)

    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI)

    Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI)

    Coordinates defining the features.

    Assigned feature id and has no applicable relevenace to the data. (Source: User Defined)

    Length of line in native units (Source: User Defined)

Who produced the data set?

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

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    The true origin of this dataset is compiled from ESRI's 50 individual state 'trct' files. Please view the Source Information for more details

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

    Valerie Paskevich
    U. S. Geological Survey
    Computer Specialist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598

    (508) 548-8700 x2281 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)

Why was the data set created?

This data layer includes the internal boundaries for the United States and the political boundaries of the US, Canada and Mexico. The state boundaries are drawn to the US coastline and does not include any coastline or islands. This data layer may be used with the high resolution NOS80K coastline (allus80k.shp) which does not include any internal boundaries.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    usa.shp (source 1 of 1)
    Paskevich, Valerie, Unpublished Material, USA: United States basemap data layer.

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media: disc
    The compiled usa.shp file was used as the source for this new data layer.

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

    Date: 03-Oct-2002 (process 1 of 1)
    The usa.shp file was copied and edited to remove the coastline and islands. Because the file contained shapes for the individual states, duplicate common boundaries were numerous. The file was edited further to remove these duplicate shapes and remove the original table information. A final clean-up was done to combine (UNION) line segments and reduce the number of individual shapes.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Valerie Paskevich
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Computer Specialist
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598

    (508) 548-8700 x2281 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)

    Data sources used in this process:
    • usa.shp

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • state_bounds.shp

  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 data set contains the internal boundaries for the continental US and the US/Canada and US/Mexico political boundaries.

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

    No additional checks for topological consistency were performed on this data set.

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

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

    U.S. Geological Survey
    384 Woods Hole Road
    Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598

    (508) 548-8700 (voice)
    (508) 457-2310 (FAX)

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    Although this derived data set and it's lineage dataset have been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy of the data and/or related materials. The act of distribution shall not constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in the use of these data or related materials.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?

    The base map overlay is available as an ArcView shapefile format. The user must have ESRI's ArcView 3.0 or greater software to read and process the data file. In lieu of ArcView, the user may utilize another GIS application package capable of importing the data.

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 12-May-2005
Metadata author:
Valerie Paskevich
U.S. Geological Survey
Information Specialist, GIS Coordinator
384 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598

(508) 548-8700 x2281 (voice)
(508) 457-2310 (FAX)

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

Generated by mp version 2.8.6 on Thu May 12 15:08:15 2005