Historical Topographic Maps - Preserving the Past
In 2009, USGS began the release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, and is now complementing them with the release of high-resolution scans of more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States. The topographic map remains an indispensable tool for everyday use in government, science, industry, land management planning, and recreation.
Historic maps are snapshots of the nation's physical and cultural features at a particular time. Maps of the same area can show how an area looked before development and provide a detailed view of changes over time. Historical maps are often useful to scientists, historians, environmentalists, genealogists and others researching a particular geographic location or area.
The goal of The National Map's Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) is to scan all the USGS historic topographic maps published by the USGS since the inception of the topographic mapping program in 1884. The National Geospatial Program (NGP) is accurately cataloging and creating metadata to accompany high-resolution, geo-referenced digital files representing the legacy lithographic maps. These maps are either no longer available for distribution in print or are being replaced by the new generation of US Topo maps
The Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) exists online as a digital collection at http://nationalmap.gov/historical/ and as a physical paper collection of maps in the USGS Clarence King Library in Reston, Virginia.
GeoPDF versions of HTMC maps can be downloaded free of charge from these applications:
The newest generation of USGS topographic maps, US Topo, are also available online for download through these same three applications.
For tutorial information on download and product use, see the US Topo Users Guide.
For more information contact us.