US Topo - 2 of 32

US Topo FAQs - 32 Found

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

Yes. The following applies to US Topo GeoPDF and the Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) GeoPDF. In bulk deliver requests, please specify which (or both) product series you want.

(As of April, 2015, HTMC maps are also available in GeoTIFF format, through the TopoView application. The GeoTIFF versions of the historic maps are not yet available for bulk delivery. See this FAQ for more on GeoTIFF.) 

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 for individual States 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. Batch download. 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 (approximately) 1,000 or fewer maps. For more details, send a message describing your requirements to 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 State.

2. Portable disk drive. 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

3. CSV database dump. The data needed to create 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. Catalog API. 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 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 to monitor US Topo production and retrieve new maps. 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 for bulk delivery are queued as we receive them and answered as quickly as other work permits.


Dataset sizes as of January, 2016:
US Topo
  • Median file size = 23 MB
  • 55,800 current maps, 1.43 TB total
  • 56,500 non-current (superseded) maps, 1.14 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 between 10,000 and 20,000 additional maps will eventually be added.

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