Q: Why would I download data versus using a map service?
A: You can use a data download to do analysis, such as combining with other layers, calculating areas or length, or to change the map symbology.
Q: What is a map service?
A: A web service that gives various clients access to the map and its underlying data over the network.
Clients communicate with the service via various protocols: REST, SOAP, KML, OGC WMS, etc. So you can take the map service and use it in virtually all ESRI produced clients. You can also use Google Earth and Google Map to display an ESRI map service. You can also use the service in a client application that understands the OGC WMS standard.
The map service allows you to get a map image with a predefined symbology, labeling, scale dependency, etc. You can find and identify information in the data exposed in the map service.
Q: Some files are extremely large and take too long to download. What should I do?
A: You have a few options:
if you need a data download file, you might try downloading at a different time of day when there is less traffic on the server;
The USDA Forest Service makes no warranty, expressed or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, completeness or utility of these geospatial data, or for the improper or incorrect use of these geospatial data. These geospatial data and related maps or graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such. The data and maps may not be used to determine title, ownership, legal descriptions or boundaries, legal jurisdiction, or restrictions that may be in place on either public or private land. Natural hazards may or may not be depicted on the data and maps, and land users should exercise due caution. The data are dynamic and may change over time. The user is responsible to verify the limitations of the geospatial data and to use the data accordingly.