US Topo - 2 of 29

US Topo FAQs - 29 Found

Is it possible to obtain USGS PDF topographic maps in bulk -- say, for a State or even the entire country?

Yes. The following applies to both US Topo maps and the Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC).
 
The Map Locator and Downloader application has a download cart feature that will deliver multiple maps in a single .zip file. This feature is useful for retrieving up to a few dozen maps. It requires interactive selection of each map, so is not practical for larger numbers.
 
We have no point-and-click interface to download large numbers of maps, but bulk delivery by county, State, geographic rectangle (lat/lng bounding box), or the entire product series is offered through the following mechanisms. There is no charge for these services, though the customer bears the portable drive and shipping costs of option 2. Options 3 and 4 provide ways to keep a private file set current.
 
1. We can email you a custom batch file for multiple downloads.  This batch requires your computer to have the wget utility, which is open source and free. We recommend this option for 1,000 or fewer maps, though it will work for any number of maps given enough time. For more details, send a message describing your requirements to ustopo@usgs.gov. Please include which product(s) (US Topo or HTMC) you want, and your area of interest. This is not general-purpose software, but is a batch file for a specific area such as a State, county, or geographic rectangle.
 
2. If you ship us a portable disk drive with prepaid return shipping, we will load the drive with maps and return it to you. We recommend this option for more than 1,000 files, up to the entire map collection. For more details, send a message describing your requirements (including product type and area of interest) to ustopo@usgs.gov
 
3. Information needed to write download scripts is available at US Topo and Historical Topographic Map Collection. This application allows searching for subsets of US Topo and HTMC maps. Search results can be saved to a CSV file, which includes a download URL for each map. In addition, a complete CSV dump of the database is refreshed nightly and posted to the same page. The information in this complete file can be used for more sophisticated filtering, version control, and to keep private collections of maps up to date. This option is for advanced users; we do not provide tutorial assistance.
 
4. USGS product databases can be monitored through the API of the ScienceBase catalog. This is similar to option 3, but is more elegant and powerful. See https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/sciencebase/ScienceBase for documentation. This option is for skilled web programmers.

 

Options 1 and 2 are intended for one-time or infrequent deliveries. Users who wish to keep a private collection continuously current are encouraged to use options 3 or 4. The current state of US Topo production can also be monitored visually with the Map Locator and Downloader application by clicking the "Show US Topo Availability" button. We do not have a subscription service for notification of new maps, nor do we coordinate data deliveries with production milestones; requests are queued as we receive them and answered as quickly as other work permits.

 

Dataset sizes as of December, 2014:
 
US Topo
  • Median file size = 22 MB
  • 55,200 current maps, 1.33 TB total
  • 39,700 non-current (superseded) maps, 0.78 TB total
  • About 75 new maps are added each work day
 
Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC)
  • Median file size = 11 MB
  • 178,800 files, 2.15 TB total
  • This collection is relatively complete and stable, though we estimate that several thousand maps remain to be found and scanned

Tags: Maps, Topographic, Recreation, Quadrangle, GeoPDF, Scale