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US Topo Maps for Alaska

US Topo quadrangles are digital topographic maps produced by the National Geospatial Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). They are created in the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle format similar to the legacy paper maps, with the addition of an aerial photo or satellite image as a visual base layer. Each map is delivered in PDF format with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF®) for free download and viewing on a computer or mobile device, including layers that can be controlled by the user and basic, on-screen geographic analysis.

AK sample US Topo
     Fairbanks D-2 SW, Alaska
  AK sample orthophotoquad
     Anchorage B-3 NW, Alaska

        (Click either image to locate and download available Alaska US Topo Maps)

Availability:  Download new Alaska US Topo Maps


US Topo maps are accessible for free download from The National Map Viewer and for download and order from the USGS Store. The maps will be available as they are produced and posted over the next few years. A 'quickstart' user's quide is available for The National Map Viewer with instructions on how to locate and download maps and/or data.

Background
The US Topo program started in 2009 and has completed a first round of maps completely covering the conterminous Unites States. Prior to the start of the US Topo map program in Alaska, statewide USGS topographic maps were 15-minute 1:63,360-scale printed maps produced nearly 50 years ago. Starting in 2013, the USGS National Geospatial Program began creating US Topo maps in Alaska, providing a new map series for the state. The new 7.5-minute digital maps are created at 1:25,000 map scale, and will show greatly increased topographic detail when compared to the older maps. The map scale and data specifications were selected based on significant outreach to various map user groups in Alaska.

Schedule
Over the next 6 to 8 years, over 11,000 US Topo maps will be created to cover all of Alaska at a 1:25,000 map scale. Over 400 maps were created in 2013, and an additional 600 maps expected by fall of 2014 (click map below for more information). Maps can only be created where satellite imagery and highly detailed elevation data exists. The USGS is coordinating with the State of Alaska and multiple Federal agencies to acquire these data through partnerships such as the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative and the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee.

Thumbnail and link to US Topo Alaska Plan of Work graphic
US Topo Alaska Plan of Work (click for larger version)

Data
Much of the data on US Topo maps comes from key layers of digital map data found in The National Map, with many of the Alaska digital map data being specifically tailored to the unique needs of the state. Data layers include imagery, transportation, geographic names, topographic contours, boundaries, hydrography, structures, and woodlands, plus additional layers such as the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and United States National Grid (USNG). Efforts are underway through State and Federal partnerships to acquire digital map data necessary to create US Topo maps.


Animation demonstrating the properties and features of an Alaska US Topo GeoPDF; Fairbanks, AK

Benefits
This multi-year mapping initiative vastly improves the base topographic maps for the state as well as Alaska digital map data to benefit high priority applications in safety, planning, research and resource management.


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Page Last Modified: Friday, 11-Apr-2014 11:36:50 EDT