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The USGS Gap Analysis Program maintains four primary data sets – land cover, protected areas, species and aquatic, with details below. Web services and other data are also available on this site. In addition, information on past applications of GAP data to wide range of planning and analysis projects can be found in the GAP Applications Index.

The USGS GAP Land Cover Data Set includes detailed vegetation and land use patterns for the continental United States. The data set incorporates the Ecological System classification system developed by NatureServe to represent natural and semi-natural land cover. The 590 land use classes in the data set can be displayed at three levels of detail, from general (8 classes) to most detailed. The Land Cover Data Set can be used to identify those places in the country with sufficient good quality habitat to support wildlife, a key step in developing sound conservation plans. Learn more about GAP Land Cover >>

The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is a national geodatabase, created by USGS GAP, that represents public land ownership and conservation lands, including voluntarily provided privately protected areas, for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The lands included in PAD-US are assigned conservation status codes that both denote the level of biodiversity preservation and indicate other natural, recreational and cultural uses.  Learn more about PAD-US >>

GAP is delineating species range and predicted distribution maps for more than 2,000 species that occur within the continental US as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We will make these maps and datasets available as they are completed. Our goal is to build species range maps and distribution models with the best available data for assessing conservation status, conservation planning, and research (e.g., climate change impacts). These ranges and models represent a base on which we will build upon as new data become available. Learn more about GAP Species data >>

The Aquatic Gap Program is an element of the overall USGS Gap Analysis Program, focusing on species found in coastal and inland waters. The goal of the National Aquatic GAP is to evaluate aquatic biological diversity and aquatic habitats using spatial analysis and habitat suitability models to identify gaps in species distribution and work toward more effective conservation prioritization. Learn more about Aquatic GAP data >>