The 5th Ocean Atlas is the official publication of the United States Department of State. The tome includes a history of the development of State Department Geographic Information System, which is in turn the basis for a number of other State Department publications. The publication is comprehensive and covers all aspects of United States Geography. It contains maps of all national boundaries and islands as well as all coastal areas and bodies of water in the US. The volume consists of one volume covering the whole country, another volume concentrating on the States and another volume covering the District of Columbia. Maps of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are also included.
In general, a coastline is a defined border between two countries. This definition has been expanded since the introduction of the 5th Ocean Atlas since cartographers no longer regard the coastline as bounded by internal or external lines. The Fifth Ocean Atlas treats a coastline as a continuous strip along which international relations can be well understood. A boundary will only be indicated if it can be shown from an aerial perspective. This is especially true with oceanic boundaries.