¤ This page introduces the Vector Map Level 0, and explains some of the ways that you can use this free data in your own mapping projects.
In a world of secrets and closed access to data, it comes as a pleasant surprise to discover that there is a huge quantity of data available to anyone, free of charge. This data has complete word coverage, and an astonishing range of data types all gathered together in one package. Need the national coastlines, elevation contours, roads and railways for any country you can think of ? They are there, of course. Populated places, administrative boundaries, inland waterways ? There too. But how about the more obscure data types - Lighthouse, Fish Farm, Cease-Fire Line, Oasis, Wharf, Communication Tower ? All there as well. You can even find out where the cranberry bogs are located in your area ! Interested ? then read on...
Vector Map (VMap) Level 0 is an updated and improved version of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's (NIMA) Digital Chart of the World (DCW®). The VMap Level 0 database provides worldwide coverage of vector-based geospatial data which can be viewed at 1:1,000,000 scale, i.e. 1cm=10km. It consists of geographic, attribute, and textual data stored on CD-ROM or as downloaded files. The primary source for the database is the 1:1,000,000 scale Operational Navigation Chart (ONC) series co-produced by the military mapping authorities of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States. The complete database is available on a set of four CD-ROM's and contains more than 1,800 megabytes of vector data organized into 10 thematic layers. The download version comes in 4 zipped files, with a total filesize of 925 megabytes. VMap Level 0 includes major road and rail networks, hydrologic drainage systems, utility networks (cross-country pipelines and communication lines), major airports, elevation contours, coastlines, international boundaries and populated places. VMap Level 0 includes an index of geographic names to aid in locating areas of interest. VMap Level 0 is accessible directly from the CD-ROM or can be transferred to a hard drive and used in many geographic information system (GIS) applications, including a number of free ones.