US Topo - 10 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.

Though we have no point-and-click interface to download multiple maps, bulk delivery by countyStategeographic rectangle (lat/lng bounding box), or the entire product series is possible through four other 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 mechanisms for keeping a private file set current.

1. We can email you a custom script for multiple downloads.  This script 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 script 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 historical topographic 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.

Dataset sizes as of March, 2014:

US Topo

  • Median file size = 23 MB  
  • Number of current maps = 54,400
  • Number of non-current (superseded) maps = 27,000 
  • Total size (all 81,400 files) = 1.8 TB
  • About 70 new maps are added each work day

Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC)

  • Median file size = 11 MB
  • Number of HTMC maps = 179,000
  • Total size = 2.2 TB
  • 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