Information Resources and Technology Management


You are invited to read the definitions of terms used in this data standard.

Minimum Map Elements for Internet Map Server (IMS) Applications

This standard identifies and defines the minimum set of map elements required for an IMS application on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Internet and Intranet sites. These map elements are not specific to a particular software package or project type and should not hinder creativity in developing new tools or improving site functionality. The purpose of these map elements is to provide a consistent set of core elements for all mapping applications in the Service.

Division of Information Technology Management, FWS Region 1
Historical Data For information on past versions of this standard, contact the National Data Administrator, Branch of Data and Systems Services, Division of Information Resources and Technology Management.

USFWS Web Standards Handbook

Use Instructions

At a minimum, Service personnel will include the following set of map elements in all mapping applications developed with Internet mapping software and deployed for use on FWS Internet and Intranet sites:

  • FWS Emblem or FWS Title bar; division or office if applicable
  • Privacy, Disclaimer, and Copyright Statement(s)
  • Contact information (technical contact and/or project contact)
  • Legend
  • List of data layers
  • Scale bar
  • North arrow
  • Site title
  • Site description: intended site use(s)
  • HELP for tools and functions within the site
  • Back button that returns users to the IMS home page
  • Tools for user interaction including, but not limited to: pan, zoom in, zoom out, print, full extent, back (zoom to previous), identify and/or selection, index/location map
  • Printable maps must contain a north arrow, scale, title, disclaimer, and date/time stamp (date and time the map was printed).
  • Metadata for data layers that complies with the FWS Geospatial Metadata Standard and includes data identification, data quality, spatial data organization, spatial reference, entities and attributes, distribution, and metadata reference.
  • Metadata records and projection files for all data sets that are available for downloading.

The listed map elements should be contained within, or available from, the browser window of the mapping application.  Existing Service guidelines for web page design are not addressed in this standard.  See Reference section for link to FWS web guidelines on design standards for official home pages.

In Review
Initial Approval Date
Validation Date
March 13, 2010
Data Steward Pending Assignment
Point of Contact Chris Lett, National FWS GIS Coordinator, Branch of Data and System Services, Division of Information Resources and Technology Management.


Last updated: April 29, 2013