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Fact Sheet 2009–3054

The National Map—Hydrography

By Jeffrey D. Simley and William J. Carswell Jr.

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The National Hydrography Dataset

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is the surface-water component of The National Map. The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that represents the surface water of the United States using common features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, canals, streamgages, and dams. Polygons are used to represent area features such as lakes, ponds, and rivers; lines are used to represent linear features such as streams and smaller rivers; and points are used to represent point features such as streamgages and dams. Lines also are used to show the water flow through area features such as the flow of water through a lake. The combination of lines is used to create a network of water and transported material flow to allow users of the data to trace movement in downstream and upstream directions.

Revised March 2010

First Posted July 10, 2009

For additional information contact:
National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Simley, J.D., Carswell Jr., W.J., 2009, The National Map—Hydrography: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3054, 4 p.

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