link to main US Geological Survey website
U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2006-1112

Colonia Development and Land Use Change in Ambos Nogales, United States–Mexican Border

By Laura M. Norman, Angela Donelson, Edwin Pfeifer, and Alven H. Lam


photo; view looking down at the town form a hilltop
Aerial photograph of Nogales, Ariz. (lower left), the United States-Mexican border (diagonally from left to right), and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico (upper right).
Photograph by Pamela L. Nagler, 2004 (from figure 3).

This report outlines a planning approach taken by a Federal Government partnership that is meant to promote sustainable development in the future, integrating both sides of the United States-Mexican border. The twin-city area of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, known collectively as Ambos (both) Nogales, has a common borderland history of urban growth presumably based on changes in policy and economic incentives. We document changes over time in an attempt to identify colonia development and settlement patterns along the border, combining a community-participation approach with a remote-sensing analysis, to create an online mapping service.

This report contains information describing geospatial data for the twin city area of Ambos Nogales, located along the Arizona-Sonora portion of the US-Mexico border. Shapefiles and accompanying metadata are available in the folder contained in the "" linked below.

Download this publication as a 121-page PDF file (of2006-1112.pdf; 5.8 MB)

View the readme file for the geospatial data as an ASCII text file (of2006-1112_readme.txt; 1 page, 48 KB)

Download geospatial data as a .zip file (; compressed file containing 74 items; 352 KB compressed, 1.1 MB unzipped)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Laura Norman

Version history

Download a current version of Adobe Reader for free

| Help | PDF help | USGS Publications main page | Western Open-File Reports for 2006 |
| Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Accessibility | Geography Discipline |

This report is only available on the Web

| Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey |
URL of this page:
Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Date created: April 19, 2006
Last modified: April 19, 2006 (mfd)