Public-private partnership develops digital atlas for the Greater Yellowstone area

November 17, 1999

In the digital information age, new technologies and analytical tools make it easier to access and organize geographic information in a way that is useful to citizens, industry, and the government. Today, a state- of-the-art digital atlas of the Greater Yellowstone area is being released that will serve as a powerful information resource for many users in the Yellowstone ecosystem and nationwide.

The Digital Atlas is designed to assist managers, planners, scientists, teachers and the public in making effective use of the vast amount of information about the Greater Yellowstone area in order to guide resource management and to better understand the region as a whole. Available to the public at no charge on dual compact discs (CDs), the atlas contains 275 unique mapped information layers of the Greater Yellowstone area, an area that includes parts of the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Mapped information includes the region's topography, geology, water resources, wildlife species and their habitats, roads and trails, demographic and economic information, aerial photography and many other layers of thematic information.

In addition to broad regional coverage, the CD features selected data from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Gallatin County, and the City of Bozeman. The CD also includes special features, such as an animation of the spread of the 1988 Yellowstone Fire.

The Atlas also includes ArcViewTM Data Publisher Software (a limited use version of ArcView 3.1), a Geographic Information System (GIS) software tool that enables users to create new views of the region based on the mapped thematic data layers selected.

The CD is the result of collaborative efforts among a number of interagency and public-private partnerships:

Free copies of the Atlas are available from: Greater Yellowstone Area Data Clearinghouse c/o Geographic Information and Analysis Center, Room 209, AJM Johnson Hall, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3495 (Tel: 406-994-2374). Information about the Atlas can be obtained and individual data layers may be downloaded at the Clearinghouse web site:

Some selected statements by partners who contributed to the development of the Digital Atlas:
Note to editors: The Digital Atlas is being released on November 19, 1999, in conjunction with the GIS Day celebration at Montana State University, the location of the Greater Yellowstone Area Data Clearinghouse. The Atlas will be used to help introduce more than 1.8 million children and adults to the power of GIS when the National Geographic Society highlights the Atlas during its live web broadcast on GIS Day.

US Geological Survey

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