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Next Generation of Topographic Maps

Coffeyville East, Kansas quad US Topo is the next generation of topographic maps from the USGS. Digital US Topo maps are designed to look, feel, and perform like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. However, in contrast to paper-based maps, US Topo maps provide technical advantages that support faster, wider public distribution and enable basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users.

Arranged in the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle format, US Topo maps are available free on the Web. Each map quadrangle is constructed in GeoPDF® format from key layers of geographic data – orthoimagery, roads, geographic names, topographic contours, and hydrographic features – found in The National Map, which is a nationwide collection of integrated data from local, State, Federal, and other sources.

US Topo users can turn geographic data layers on and off as needed, zoom in and out to highlight specific features or see a broader context, and print the maps — in their entirety or in customized sections — on a wide variety of printing devices. File size for each digital US Topo 7.5-minute quadrangle, about 15–20 megabytes, is convenient for most computer users. Electronic analytical tools are also available for free download.

What Makes the USGS US Topo Different from Other Electronic Maps?
  • Nationally consistent data quality assured to high standards
  • Looks and feels like legacy paper USGS topographic maps but has technical advantages
  • Can be used on the computer or printed to scale
  • Downloadable free from the on-line USGS Store
  • Users can select from various reference systems, e.g lat-long, UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)
  • Direct "mash-up" capabilities with Google Maps®
  • Continuous evolution and incorporation of additional data layers.

Further information about how to download and use US Topo, currently available coverage, and the timetable for production of US Topo maps can be found on the US Topo Web site

The prototype of US Topo, "Digital Map–Beta", has been available since June 2009. A US Topo map includes all of the content of the earlier "Digital Map–Beta" plus integrated contours and hydrographic features. As the US Topo product evolves, the USGS will provide digital, historical versions of USGS topographic map quadrangles and will incorporate additional geographic data layers from The National Map.


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Page Last Modified: Monday, 14-Jan-2013 17:56:50 EST