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Alaska Mapping Initiative

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Alaska Mapping Initiative: US Topo Advanced Production Copies

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Geospatial Program (NGP) is launching a multi-year initiative to improve statewide mapping for Alaska to be commensurate with the quality of mapping across the rest of the Nation, and to improve the Alaska data holdings within The National Map to better meet the needs of high priority applications in safety, planning, research and resource management.

The goal of the Alaska Mapping Initiative is to produce 1:25,000-scale US Topo maps statewide to replace the 1:63,360-scale maps produced nearly fifty years ago. In 2012, USGS demonstrated several prototype maps and gathered user input to guide the design of the new product. New maps will be produced as new satellite imagery and new radar elevation data are collected. Availability of these two layers determines the number of maps that can be produced during any one year.

Surface water features collected for the previous 1:63,360 series of maps will be updated based on minimum correction specifications that are used in the conterminous United States (CONUS), and therefore may not align with the new elevation contours in some areas. Local partners are working to improve the hydrography data to an even higher standard over some areas in Alaska. Glacier information will be updated using Randolph Glacier Inventory data. USGS is partnering with multiple state and federal agencies in Alaska to improve boundary data for the maps. Primary structures data, including police stations, fire stations, post offices, schools, and prisons, have been reviewed and updated using publicly available source information. Roads on the maps will initially come from a commercial source. Names for the maps will come from the USGS Geospatial Names Information System (GNIS) database, which was updated for Alaska within the past decade. Alaska maps will debut a shaded relief layer, not yet shown in CONUS maps, and will include protracted Public Land Survey System data from the Bureau of Land Management, also generally not yet shown in CONUS.

Each map quadrangle will be constructed in digital PDF format with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF™) for viewing on a computer or mobile device. The new satellite image forms a visual base. Users can turn this and other data layers on or 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 plotting devices.

Alaska Mapping Initiative pop-up  

Advanced Production Copies

The six advanced production maps offered here were created using semi-automated production processes developed to generate the 11,273 new maps that will cover Alaska. NGP anticipates producing the first 400 maps during the summer of 2013. Once produced, these maps will be available through the USGS Store. Please download copies of these six advanced production maps for your personal use and testing, to become familiar with the look, feel and capabilities of this new map product for Alaska from USGS. More information about the US Topo project can be found at, and comments can be posted at the same site.

(These are 'browse' images. The full-resolution copies are linked below.)
Orthoimagery only
Thumbnail and link to US Topo sample image
(click map for larger version; 136kb)
Geographic layers only
Thumbnail and link to US Topo sample image
(click map for larger version; 243kb)
Grid, hydrography, and orthoimagery
Thumbnail and link to US Topo sample image
(click map for larger version; 173kb)

US Topo advanced production copies available for download and examination (requires Adobe Reader):

Anchorage B-3 NW, AK (14.8Mb)
Fairbanks D-2 SW, AK (22.3Mb)
Mount McKinley C-2 SE, AK (20.7Mb)
                  Anchorage B-3 NE, AK (13.7Mb)
Fairbanks D-3 SE, AK (23.1Mb)
Mount McKinley C-2 SW, AK (20.6Mb)

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Page Last Modified: Friday, 08-Feb-2013 14:24:38 EST