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Northern Plains Data Improved
New US Topo maps for Wyoming and South Dakota are available, with the introduction of Public Land Survey and other new data
Released: 8/16/2012 8:00:00 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192
Mark Newell, APR 1-click interview
Phone: 573-308-3850

Mike  Cooley 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-5528



The ongoing US Topo map project, as part of the U.S. Geological Survey national map series, recently released new maps for Wyoming and South Dakota. The more than 3,230 revised digital quadrangles increase the collection in the lower 48 states to nearly 53,000 US Topo maps. The maps are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Store website.

Wyoming is the first state to have Public Land Survey System (PLSS) data added to US Topo maps. The PLSS is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. South Dakota and other selected states will begin getting PLSS map data during the next respective revision cycle.  

"The addition of the new digital data is just one example of how the USGS is constantly improving the usefulness and functionality of its map series as it systematically updates the basic underlying topographic information," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "We hope that these new maps for South Dakota and Wyoming will be freely and often downloaded by everyone from county planners to outdoor enthusiasts to natural resource managers." 

Other new feature additions and improvements on the updated US Topo maps include:

  • Contours  
  • Rivers, lakes steams and other hydrography  
  • Woodland tint derived from the National Land Cover Dataset 
  • Fire Stations 
  • Hospitals  
  • State and County boundaries 
  • Forest service boundaries  
  • Commercial roads in lieu of Census roads
  • Forest Service roads and road numbers

US Topos are derived from key layers of geographic data found in The National Map which delivers visible content such as high resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.

Future enhancements to the US Topo are scheduled to include additional tools and map content such as a shaded relief layer, updated structures, enhanced transportation, additional federal boundaries, and Forest Service trails. The USGS expects to produce more than 18,500 revised quadrangles annually. US Topo maps are updated every three years. 

The new digital electronic topographic maps for these new states– along with

44 other completed states - are delivered in GeoPDF image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, also available as a no cost download.

For more information, visit the The National Map, A New Generation of Maps website


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