U.S. Topo – New Generation of USGS Maps

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As part of the 125th celebration of the topographic mapping program at the USGS, digital topo maps were promoted.  In a press release by the USGS, the new maps were described:

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.

The new digital maps are available in GeoPDF format but are still arranged in the traditional 7.5 minute quadrangle which allows for consistency when comparing the maps to the older Digital Raster Graphics (the scanned versions of the paper USGS topo maps).

“Everyone who learns about this new kind of USGS topographic map immediately wants to know how it compares to other electronic maps available on the Internet,” said Mark DeMulder, Chief of the USGS National Geospatial Program.  “Here is how US Topo differs from most 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.”

More information about US Topo can be found online at: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/.  The new National Map beta viewer was also released where data can be viewed and accessed for US Topo products.


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1 thought on “U.S. Topo – New Generation of USGS Maps”

  1. I’ve seen these previously, and was aware of the geoPDF format. I notice the bullet about a Google Maps mash-up. I’m wondering if anyone has developed something that allows you to view the geoPDF on a smartphone, for example a Blackberry or iPhone. Here’s the trick – can you use the phone’s GPS chip to locate yourself on the topo? I’m off to try to Google the answer my own question…

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