Managing Your Geography Profile(s)

At least one defined geography is required information for your GIS Inventory Profile. This jurisdictional definition feeds into the GIS Inventory Status Maps and metadata records. The first geography profile you create will be considered your default geography that best represents the geographic extent for the majority of your GIS data.

You can create as many geographies as you need and associate different geographies with individual GIS data layers that you document.

Step 1) Chose a name for your geography. This name should be something you can use to easily recognize this geography later.
Step 2) Select if the geographic extent of your data is typically nationwide.
Step 3) If not nationwide, then select the state(s) that best represent the geographic extent of your data.
Step 4) Indicate if your data is typically statewide. If yes, this section is complete. If not, in the next step you will refine the extent of your data.
Step 5: If your geography is not statewide, further refine the extent by selecting single or multiple counties/parishes, cities/towns/villages, tribal lands, and coastal waters that best describe the overarching extent.

It is not necessary to select smaller geographies within an area that is completely covered (i.e. municipalities within a county-wide geography.) It is assumed your data cover these areas - if they do not you can note it in the optional free-text description when you inventory individual data sets (see next step). If your state does not have any nationally recognized Tribal Governments, no entries will appear in "Tribal Lands." Similarly, if you are not in a Coastal state, nothing will appear in "Coastal Waters."

BEST PRACTICE: If your data cover a watershed or other irregular (non-political) boundary, select the state(s), counties(s), etc. that most closely represent the extent of your data and qualify this in the free text Description field for this data layer.

The GIS Inventory includes coastal waters to facilitate inventorying data sets for off-shore phenomena. Coastal water polygons are created from a combination of NOAA contiguous off-shore zones and Census political boundaries. You can now choose the coastal area(s) that most closely represent your area of coverage.