There is a new and powerful cartographic tool available to all.  The Geospatial Platform is the joint product of geospatial platformthe federal government and its geospatial partners.  You can build your own maps – at your own scale, from local to regional to nationwide -  using base maps and thematic data.  The Platform provides 12 base maps, ranging from aerial-satellite imagery to topo base to road maps.  Forty-nine thematic layers are now available with more to come later.

Examples of available themes: 

NOAA Nautical Charts, Housing Affordability Index, US-FWS Critical Habitat, World Topographic Map, PLSS, Landsat 7 Orthoimagery, Surface management, and dozens more.

You can add your own data, too.

In the space of a minute, I build a critical habitat map for the Coronado National Forest.

In the hands of teachers, the Geospatial Platform could be a powerful tool to combat the growing problem of map illiteracy in the U.S.

For more information see yesterday’s Dept. of the Interior press release .

Mike Conway (10 November 2011).