The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) is a compilation of GIS data that comprises a nationwide digital Flood Insurance Rate Map. The GIS data and services are designed to provide the user with the ability to determine the flood zone, base flood elevation, and floodway status for a particular location. It also has information about the NFIP communities, map panels, cross sections, hydraulic structures, Coastal Barrier Resource System, and base maps such as road, stream, and public land survey data. Through flood studies, FEMA produces Flood Insurance Study Reports, FIRM Panels, and FIRM Databases. FIRM Databases that become effective are incorporated into the NFHL. Updates to the NFHL are issued through Letters of Map Revision (LOMRs) and Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs). Continuously updated, the NFHL serves as a Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map representing the current effective flood data for those communities where maps have been digitized. NFHL data can be viewed with widely available GIS software, including freely available programs that work with GIS shapefiles.