Nationwide geographic data debuts on DVD

Nationwide geographic data debuts on DVD

Geological Survey computer scientist E.J. 'Jerry' McFaul, long known as 'Mr. CD,' said today that the brand-new LandView 5 database on DVD gives emergency responders and planners a spatial reference for all potential U.S. targets.

The $95 pair of public-domain DVDs pulls together multiple data layers collected by the Census Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Transportation Department and USGS. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created the geographic information system search tool, MarPlot.

LandView 5 has georeferenced data about the nation's transportation, housing, population demographics, water supplies, waste sites, and other natural and manmade map features. LandView 3 in 1998 took up 11 CDs, McFaul said. With DVD, the entire 12G database is on two disks, each storing data for half the country.

The new version is Web-connectable, which allows checking for updated online information. Its database, FileMaker from Apple Computer Inc. subsidiary FileMaker Inc., is a middle-ground tool between Oracle database software and Microsoft Access, McFaul said.

Combined with MarPlot, it can search, manipulate and export data in multiple formats, hiding or coloring map features to aid visualization. 'It can't go head to head' with GIS products such as ArcView from ESRI of Redlands, Calif., or MapInfo from MapInfo Corp. of Troy, N.Y., he said, 'but most people can use it.'

McFaul spoke today at a Washington conference on CD and DVD publishing. Visit landview.census.gov/geo/landview/lv5/lv5.html for more information about LandView 5.

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