The Integrated Map of North America: creating, generalizing, and harmonizing data across borders

Authors: Elaine Guidero*, USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Sergio Rodriguez, USGS National Geospatial Program, Josefa Baker, USGS National Geospatial Program, Vanessa Baez, USGS National Geospatial Program
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: GIS, cartography, multi-scale, geospatial data; public sector, topographic mapping, generalization, data integration, data harmonization, national mapping agency, government, transboundary mapping, intergovernmental collaboration, PAIGH, IPGH, INEGI, NRCanada, USGS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Tower Court A, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Integrated Map of North America (IMNA) is an international collaborative project to create a linked, harmonized map at 1:250,000-scale of Mexico, the United States, and Canada, a much larger scale than previous integration projects. The IMNA is directed by the Pan-American Institute for Geography and History (PAIGH), a technical and scientific body of the Organization of American States. PAIGH aims to complete an integrated map of the Americas by 2022. In July 2019, Natural Resources Canada hosted a workshop to kick off the IMNA in Ottawa, Ontario. Delegates from the national mapping agencies of Mexico, the U.S., and Canada met with a PAIGH facilitator and translator to examine data integration procedures and challenges for each country’s suite of geospatial topographic data. Each delegation was asked to bring authoritative, scale-appropriate data for the themes of hydrography, transportation, boundaries, toponyms, and terrain, ready to harmonize across national borders. The authors represented the U.S. delegation, and used existing data from the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies to generate or derive the required datasets. At the workshop, delegates examined data discrepancies, and planned the remaining data creation and integration steps. Future work for the U.S. delegation includes updating data, harmonizing hydrography with Mexico and Canada, and working with PAIGH to handle multiple or variant feature names. This presentation reviews the data derivation and generalization processes, cross-border mismatches, and multilingual communication challenges from the workshop.

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