How do you find U.S. geological survey maps?


Quick Answer

USGS maps are obtained directly from the U.S. Geological Survey website, USGS.com. Select the Download or Buy Maps link located in the Get Printed Maps section. This navigates to a page where an option to download free maps is accessed via the Map Locator & Downloader link. This tool provides a graphical map where points are selected with markers and specific areas are isolated for print. A search bar is also available for targeting cities and states within the map.

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Full Answer

The National Geospacial Program of the USGS produces US Topo topographical maps, where "US Topo" refers to quadrangle maps. These maps are accessed on NationalMap.gov under the US Topo tab. Historical topographic maps are also available. This geographical data is gathered and prepared by a government agency; therefore, the USGS provides a reliable and accurate source for acquiring maps.

A comprehensive description of the USGS standards and specifications for each product are available on USGS.gov in the Find Map Information section by clicking the Map Standards link. Some of these standards are related to the digital production of map imagery and the accurate representation of units of measure. These standards have historically been published in accordance with the Fundamental Science Practices, or FSP, policies set by the USGS. As of December 2015, Archives.org features detailed records of maps and microfilm publications corresponding with the data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, ranging from 1839 to 1994. This information is accessed in the Records of the U.S. Geological Survey subsection of the Guide to Federal Records section.

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