Maps Overview

American FactFinder has two types of maps: reference maps and thematic maps. A reference map is used to select geographies to add to your selections. Once you have found data, you can view your data on a thematic map to compare results geographically. Both maps share zooming, panning, scaling and print functions which are described in the basic map tools.

See the Create a Map tutorial for more information



Reference Map

Thematic Map

Example of a reference map of the United States

Example of a thematic map of total number of people per state.




Map Projection Systems and Coordinates

American FactFinder uses two different map projection systems depending on what level of map you are viewing. The two map projection systems are the Albers and Mercator. The Albers projection system is used for maps at the farthest distance. For example, the full US map shown in the reference map example above uses the Albers method. The Mercator projection system is used any map below the farthest distance. For example, the thematic map example above uses the Mercator projection system.


Below are the details of the two coordinate systems:


Continental Equal Area Albers Coordinate System

Web Mercator Coordinate System

Projection: Albers

False_Easting: 0.000000

False_Northing: 0.000000

Central_Meridian: -96.000000

Standard_Parallel_1: 29.500000

Standard_Parallel_2: 45.500000

Latitude_Of_Origin: 24.395833

Linear Unit: Foot


Datum: D_North_American_1983

Projection: Mercator

False_Easting: 0.000000

False_Northing: 0.000000

Central_Meridian: 0.000000

Standard_Parallel_1: 0.000000

Linear Unit: Meter


Datum: D_WGS_1984_Major_Auxiliary_Sphere


Datum: D_WGS_1984



See Also

Basic Map Tools

Reference Maps

Thematic Maps

Finding a Location and Repositioning a Map

Changing Map Boundaries and Features

Placing Map Markers