) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS

Because the public found them – then and now – to be a critical and versatile tool for viewing the nation’s vast landscape.

NEW Limited-Time Pilot: Create an OnDemand Topo

Build a USGS-style topographic map with choice of format, area of interest, and contour smoothness

Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS

Launch topo Builder

Current and Historical US Topo Maps

b)Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS

The USGS was entrusted with the responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. From approximately 1947 to 1992, more than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous states. Similar maps at varying scales were produced during the same time period for Alaska, Hawaii, and US Territories. The 7.5-minute series was declared complete in 1992, and at that time was the only uniform map series that covered the United States in considerable detail.

Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS 2023
Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS 2023

Map revision continued, though in decreasing quantities, through the 1990s. The last printed USGS topographic maps were published in 2006.

c) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS

Topographic maps became

In 2009, a new USGS quadrangle topographic map series was defined. Named “US Topo,” these maps are modeled on the 7.5-minute series, but are derived from GIS data. At about the same time, a separate project was started to scan the entire historic library of traditional topographic maps.

Today, USGS topographic quadrangle maps are divided into two product types:

Both US Topo and HTMC maps can be downloaded free of charge through .

C) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS

Topographic maps became

In addition to topographic quadrangles, the USGS publishes many other kinds of geospatial data and imagery. For further information, see The National Map home page

Download Free KML for Google Earth:

KABOOM! Crater to Bay (Yellowstone Volcano Update — September 2023)

GIS Data Download

See also:

Earthtopomaps earth and maps to topographic with Google Earth



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These changes are in part because of climate change amplifying environmental disturbances.
Historically, it’s been difficult to access detailed, up-to-date land cover data which documents how much of a region is covered with different land and water types such as wetlands. Google Earth a more detailed understanding of earth’s land than ever before.

( Google Earth Pro ): So current datasets might classify a satellite image of a city as ‘built-up,’.

But visit any city and you’ll see our world is far more dynamic. While you might see lots of buildings. You’ll also see trees or even snow on the ground from a recent storm.
Manage and restore land and monitor the effectiveness of those plans using alert systems to notify when unforeseen land changes are taking place.
Not only is our world more dynamic than individual land types it’s also constantly changing.
This means that not only is the land cover information in Dynamic World more detailed. But it’s also more timely within any given day. Week or month than existing datasets. This level of detail allows scientists and policymakers to detect and quantify the extent of recent events anywhere on the globe such as snowstorms, wildfires or volcanic eruptions within days.


Revised September 22, 2023

Published by earthtopomaps

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