As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other federal, state, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. The National Map is easily accessible for display on the Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data. The geographic information available from The National Map includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover. Other types of geographic information can be added within the viewer or brought in with The National Map data into a Geographic Information System to create specific types of maps or map views. The National Map is a significant contribution to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and currently is being transformed to better serve the geospatial community by providing high quality, integrated geospatial data and improved products and services including new generation digital topographic maps.
In addition to being an important contribution to the NSDI, The National Map is foundational to implementation of the Department of the Interior (DOI) Geospatial Modernization Blueprint and meeting the DOI mission to protect America's treasures for future generations, provide access to our nation's natural and cultural heritage, offer recreation opportunities, honor our trust responsibilities, conduct scientific research, provide wise stewardship of energy and mineral resources, foster sound use of land and water resources, and conserve and protect fish and wildlife. The National Map also underpins the USGS Science Strategy which is based on a systems approach to help address multi-faceted issues, provide better understanding of earth processes and evaluate broad causes and consequences of the use and management of natural resources.
US Topo is the next generation of digital topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Arranged in the traditional 7.5-minute quadrangle format, digital US Topo maps are designed to look and feel like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. At the same time, US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and enable basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users.
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, 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. Additional analytical tools are available free for download. File size for each digital 7.5-minute quadrangle is about 15-20 megabytes.
The prototype of US Topo, "Digital Map–Beta," has been available since June 2009 and currently covers 17 states. US Topo maps include 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 versions of earlier edition topographic quadrangle maps and will incorporate additional geographic data layers from The National Map.
USGS-authored or produced data and information are considered to be in the U.S. public domain. While the content of most USGS Web pages is in the U.S. public domain, not all information, illustrations, or photographs on our site are. Some non USGS photographs, images, and/or graphics that appear on USGS Web sites are used by the USGS with permission from the copyright holder. These materials are generally marked as being copyrighted. To use these copyrighted materials, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder under the copyright law.
When using information from USGS information products, publications, or Web sites, we ask that proper credit be given. Credit can be provided by including a citation such as the following:
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS
U.S. Geological Survey/photo by Jane Doe (if the photographer/artist is known)
Additional information on Acknowledging or Crediting USGS as Information Source is available.
Policy - For relevant USGS policy on copyrights and trademarks, refer to the Survey Manual chapter entitled, “Use of Copyrighted Material in USGS Information Products.”
Contact - If you have questions concerning the use of USGS information, contact the Office of Communications.
September 13, 2010