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Map Maker
Index to Topographic Maps - 1:24,000 and Other Large Scales
Index to Topographic Maps - 1:100,000 Scale
Index to Digital Aerial Photographs
Map Layers
Index to Topographic Maps - 1:24,000 and Other Large Scales
Index to Topographic Maps - 1:100,000 Scale
Index to Digital Aerial Photographs

Dynamic Map




  The National Map

downThe National Map Online Data
downMap Products and Services

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  The National Map


The National Map comprises a variety of products and services that provide the Nation with access to base geospatial information to describe the landscape of the United States and its territories. The National Map supports data download, digital and print versions of topographic maps, geospatial data services, and online viewing. Customers can use geospatial data and maps to enhance their recreational experience, make life-saving decisions, support their scientific missions, and for countless other activities. Nationally consistent geospatial data from The National Map enable better policy and land management decisions and the effective enforcement of regulatory responsibilities.

The National Geospatial Program (NGP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) manages The National Map and The National Atlas of the United States of America®. Partners and other organizations produce and maintain a vast array of high-quality geospatial data. A significant objective of the NGP is to leverage these assets through mutually beneficial partnerships that ensure the ongoing availability of current data.

National Geospatial Program Mission

The National Geospatial Program:

  • Organizes, maintains, publishes, and disseminates the geospatial baseline of the Nation's topography, natural landscape, and built environment through The National Map, a set of basic geospatial information provided as a variety of products and services.

  • Fosters a richer understanding of America's places and people through the National Atlas of the United States®.

  • Increases the efficiency of the Nation's geospatial community by improving communications about geospatial data, products, services, projects, needs, standards, and best practices.

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The National Map Online Data

The National Map includes eight datasets and three products and services. The geospatial data available from The National Map include boundaries, elevation, geographic names, hydrography, land cover, orthoimagery, structures, and transportation.

Boundaries Dataset - The boundary data layer represents major civil areas including States, counties, Federal and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.   Boundary image
  Sample boundaries data.

National Elevation Dataset - The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is a seamless raster image dataset at multiple resolutions. NED data can be used to portray landscape elevation and shape.

  National Elevation Data
   Color shaded relief from elevation data.

Geographic Names Dataset - The USGS maintains the Geographic Names Information System, which is the authoritative database of official U.S. geographic names and is developed in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

  Geographic names image
  Sample of geographic names data.

National Hydrography Dataset - The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) provides mapping coverage of the surface waters of the United States consisting of 7.5 million miles of rivers and streams and 6.5 million lakes and ponds. The NHD provides a complete network that supports the analysis of any type of movement by surface waters.

  Hydrography Map
  Sample hydrography data.

The National Land Cover Database - The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides consistent land cover data for all 50 States from the Landsat satellite for 2001 and 2006. Sixteen classes of land cover are included, such as imperviousness and percent tree canopy.

  Landcover map
  Sample land cover data.

Orthoimagery Dataset - Through cooperative partnerships, the USGS acquires and disseminates high-resolution digital aerial photography data that have the accuracy and reliability of a base map. The resolution of the imagery in the USGS digital orthoimagery dataset varies from one meter to one foot or finer.

  Orthoimage map
  Sample orthoimagery data.

Structures Dataset - USGS data portray selected structures (buildings) data, including the function, name, location, and physical form from best available sources including citizen volunteers.

  Strcture Dataset Graphic
  Sample structures data.

Transportation Dataset - Transportation data consist of airports, railroads, roads, and other features associated with the transportation of people or commerce.   Transportation image
  Sample transportation data.

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Map Products and Online Services

In 1879, the USGS was entrusted with the responsibility for mapping the country and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. More than 200,000 USGS topographic maps have been published in paper form in scales primarily ranging from 1:20,000 to 1:250,000. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. The 7.5-minute map series was officially completed in 1992, and only minor revisions have been made to the printed product in recent years. While the NGP is converting all the historic topographic map products to a digital format, hard copy maps are available for sale through the online and business partner retailers. The NGP began releasing digital topographic (US Topo) maps in October 2009.

Digital Topographic Maps - US Topo maps can be downloaded for free from the USGS Store or The National Map Viewer. The output of US Topo is a georeferenced map in GeoPDF format that has the look and feel of the historic 1:24,000-scale topographic map but includes slightly different content in digital format. US Topo maps include elevation contours, geographic names, hydrography, orthoimagery, and roads. As many as 100 US Topo maps are produced daily.   Portion of 2010 US Topo Map of  Renovo West, Pennsylvania, without orthoimagery
Portion of 2010 US Topo Map of Renovo West, Pennsylvania, without orthoimagery.
Source: USGS

Historic Topographic Maps - All scales and editions of the maps published by the USGS since the inception of the topographic mapping program in 1884 are being scanned and made available in GeoPDF format. As physical and cultural features changed over time, the topographic maps were updated and revised, and new editions were printed. These maps are often useful to environmentalists, genealogists, historians, scientists, and others researching a particular geographic location.

  Engraving Stone
Engraving for U.S. Topgraphic Maps.
Source: USGS
National Map Viewer - The online user interface of The National Map is the Viewer which allows a user to interactively view National Map data as a map, customize the view, print a map, and download the data for use in geographic information systems (GIS). The Viewer allows geospatial data to be downloaded directly or viewed with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web mapping services (WMS) and keyhole markup language (KML).   The National Map Viewer
The National Map viewer.



  Adapted from The National Map Fact Sheet, USGS Fact Sheet 2011-3042, by Larry J. Sugarbaker and William J. Carswell.

More information about The National Map.

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