Utah Water Science Center


After the end of the Civil War in 1865, families longed for fresh starts. This desire fueled new studies of the west. Reconnaissance missions by Hayden and Powell would ultimately lead to the establishment of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879. From that time forward, mapping topography, geology, mineral resources, and water became then, and is today, an integral part of the USGS mission.

A Brief History

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Date published: October 18, 2018

The National Map

The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. The National Map is easily accessible for display on the internet, as products and services, and as downloadable data.

Date published: February 23, 2018

Topographic Maps

Topographic maps are a signature product of the USGS. They were essential for integrating and analyzing place-based information, and were widely used by receationalists. After 125-year legacy of topographic mapping (1884-2009), the USGS embarked on an innovative future of integrating historical maps with computer-generated maps from a national geographical information system (GIS) database.