Information Resources and Technology Management


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

FWS Web Map Standards for Internet Map Server (IMS) Applications

This standard identifies and defines the required map elements when developing Web Map Applications on USFWS 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. Many elements are categorized as “If Applicable”. This means that if a software package enables the creator to add specified elements, it is required in the application. As with any standards document, these standards will evolve over time and it is reasonable to expect that changes in web and geospatial technology and future development efforts will contribute to the evolution of this document.

Division of Information Technology Management, USFWS
Historical Data For information on past versions of this standard, contact the Chief Data Officer

USFWS Web Standards Handbook

Use Instructions

At a minimum,  Service’s Web Map Applications should include the following set of map elements:

  1. FWS logo and/or FWS Title bar; division or office if applicable
  2. Privacy, Disclaimer (access and use constraints), and Copyright Statement(s)
  3. Contact information (technical contact and/or project contact, phone numbers and e-mail addresses if applicable, and Agency name.
  4. Legend (if applicable)
  5. List of data (operational) layers (Is the data downloadable or only available as a service, what is the data quality, public vs private accessibility)
  6. Basemap (if applicable)
  7. Scale bar (if applicable)
  8. Site title or application name (if applicable)
  9. Application description/abstract: Include information on why the application was designed, what the applications intended uses are, and what audience it is geared for.
  10. HELP for tools and functions within the site (if applicable)
  11. Tools for map navigation (e.g. pan, zoom in, zoom out, etc...)
  12. Links to 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.
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, zoom out, etc...)
Initial Approval Date
Validation Date
Data Steward  
Point of Contact Chief Data Officer


Last updated: May 9, 2019