National Geospatial Program

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The National Geospatial Program provides a foundation of digital geospatial data representing the topography, natural landscape, and built environment of the United States. These data and derived products and services can be accessed through The National Map Data Download and Visualization Services.

Topographic Maps

Topographic Maps

US Topo topographic maps are produced by the National Geospatial Program of the USGS. The project was launched in late 2009, and the term “US Topo” refers specifically to quadrangle topographic maps published in 2009 and later.

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3D Elevation (3DEP)

3D Elevation (3DEP)

3DEP is a cooperative program that is accelerating the rate and quality of 3D elevation data collection to address a wide range of critical needs. The goal of 3DEP is to complete national data coverage in 8 years.

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News

Date published: July 13, 2018

North American National Mapping Meeting, May 9-10, 2018

Meet and better communicate with North American counterparts to improve mapping efforts across the continent

Date published: July 9, 2018

2018 Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award

Calling for nominations to honor outstanding accomplishments to the spatial data infrastructure mission of the Department of Interior

Date published: June 26, 2018

The 3D Elevation Program Distributing Lidar Data in LAZ Format

In support of ongoing efforts to provide efficient, cloud ready, open data formats for the use of lidar data, the USGS National Geospatial Program and its associated 3D Elevation Program is transitioning all of its lidar data distribution files to LAZ format by September 30, 2018.

Filter Total Items: 15
Date published: April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

Date published: April 19, 2016

3D Elevation Program (3DEP) - Your Source for 3D Elevation Data

High quality 3D elevation data are critical to flood risk management, resource management, conservation, alternative energy, agriculture, infrastructure management, and a broad range of other nationally significant applications. 3DEP is a cooperative program, managed by the USGS on behalf of the community, with the goal to complete national coverage of 3D elevation data in 8 years.

Date published: April 19, 2016

National Geospatial Program User Engagement Office

Would you like to learn more about USGS National Map products and services? Then welcome to the National Geospatial Program User Engagement office. We can help you leverage NGP products and services through The National Map and other venues. Connect with us through our network of National Map Liaisons. There's a liaison for every state!

Date published: April 11, 2016

USGS Topographic Maps

The USGS took over responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. More than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous States.

Date published: April 11, 2016

The National Map - Your Source for Topographic Information

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 Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data.

Date published: April 11, 2016

Regional Assessments of Land-Use Change in the Delaware River Basin

This U.S. Geological Survey project consists of two primary studies about long-term land-cover change in the Delaware River Basin, particularly in Pennsylvania. The objectives for these projects were to address and quantify predominant affects and outcomes of land-surface change in urbanizing areas.

Date published: April 11, 2016

National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC)

The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) provides leadership and world-class technical expertise in the acquisition and management of trusted geospatial data, services, and map products for the Nation. NGTOC supports The National Map as part of the National Geospatial Program.

Date published: April 8, 2016

125 Years of Topographic Mapping

U.S. Geological Survey: a History of the National Program for Topographic Mapping (1884–2009) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS because the public found them - then and now - to be a critical and versatile tool for viewing the nation's vast landscape.

Date published: April 7, 2016

National Geospatial Program Standards and Specifictions

Standards and specifications are essential to facilitate the development and sharing of geospatial data and products. The USGS standards and specifications define the requirements to ensure that all products and data prepared by the USGS under the National Geospatial Program are consistent in accuracy, structure, format, style, and content.

Date published: April 7, 2016

U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal standard for geographic names. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names for the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.

Date published: April 7, 2016

USGS Geospatial Data Contracts

The National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) of the USGS administers a set of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts through a competitive process, that provide a mechanism to obtain geospatial data services throughout the United States. The contracts primarily support The National Map, but are flexible to be used by other Federal, State, and local agencies.

Date published: April 7, 2016

Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC)

USGS topographic maps originally published on paper in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as PDF documents. This collection is of topographic quadrangle maps with scales between 1:10,000 and 1:250,000. These historic documents are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

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Date published: February 22, 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 Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data.

Date published: April 22, 2016

Alaska IfSAR Elevation Data

Radar data is being collected statewide for Alaska under direction of the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The new data is vastly improving the accuracy and resolution of elevation data for the state, and is being collected using an airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) sensor. USGS and the State of Alaska maintain web-based status maps and download services.

Date published: April 20, 2016

Transportation Data

The transportation data theme consists of roads, airports, railroads, and features associated with the transport of people or commerce. The data includes the location, classification, name/route designator, for most roads, and address ranges. The data supports mapping and geographic analysis for applications for routing, traffic safety, congestion mitigation, and disaster planning and response...

Date published: April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations....

Date published: April 20, 2016

Landcover Data

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation.

Date published: April 19, 2016

Boundaries Data

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Date published: April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

Date published: April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

Date published: April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Date published: April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Date published: April 7, 2016

The National Map Data Download and Visualization Access

The National Map, managed by the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP), provides free visualization, inspection, and download access to our most current US Topo and Historical Topographic Map products as well as GIS data for our primary data themes including: Elevation, Orthoimagery, Hydrography, Geographic Names, Boundaries, Transportation, Structures, and Land Cover. 

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Date published: April 2, 2018

1-Meter DEM - Availability

1-Meter DEM Availability.

Date published: April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Date published: April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Date published: April 7, 2016

US Topo - the Current Generation of USGS Topographic Maps

US Topo maps are modeled on the familiar 7.5-minute, 1:24,000-scale quadrangle maps of the period 1947-1992, but are mass-produced from national GIS databases on a 3-year cycle.The maps are layered PDF documents with geospatial extensions. They are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

Date published: April 7, 2016

Download Topographic Maps from the National Map

This is the primary search and download application for USGS topographic maps and base-layer GIS data. The same topographic maps are also downloadable through other interfaces.

Date published: April 6, 2016

Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC)

USGS topographic maps originally published on paper in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as PDF documents. This collection is of topographic quadrangle maps with scales between 1:10,000 and 1:250,000. These historic documents are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

Date published: March 31, 2016

The National Map Viewer

The National Geospatial Program satisfies the needs of customers by providing geospatial products and services that customers incorporate into their decisionmaking and operational activities.

Date published: March 10, 2016

Alaska Mapping

New US Topo maps for Alaska are being produced statewide, with digital 7.5 minute 1:25,000-scale maps providing a comprehensive update to the 15-minute 1:63,360-scale printed maps produced nearly fifty years ago. You can view a status map showing where the new maps are available, and link to a site to download the maps.

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Year Published: 2018

A comparison of synthetic flowpaths derived from light detection and ranging topobathymetric data and National Hydrography Dataset High Resolution Flowlines

Bathymetric and topobathymetric light detection and ranging (lidar) digital elevation models created for the Delaware River were provided to the National Geospatial Program and used to evaluate synthetic flowpath extraction from bathymetric/topobathymetric lidar survey data as a data source for improving the density, distribution, and connectivity...

Miller-Corbett, Cynthia
Miller-Corbett, C., 2018, A comparison of synthetic flowpaths derived from light detection and ranging topobathymetric data and National Hydrography Dataset high resolution flowlines: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1058, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181058.

Year Published: 2018

Understanding map projections: Chapter 15

It has probably never been more important in the history of cartography than now that people understand how maps work. With increasing globalization, for example, world maps provide a key format for the transmission of information, but are often poorly used. Examples of poor understanding and use of projections and the resultant maps are many; for...

Kent, Alexander J.; Vujakovic, Peter; Usery, E. Lynn

Year Published: 2018

The 3D Elevation Program—Flood risk management

Flood-damage reduction in the United States has been a longstanding but elusive societal goal. The national strategy for reducing flood damage has shifted over recent decades from a focus on construction of flood-control dams and levee systems to a three-pronged strategy to (1) improve the design and operation of such structures, (2) provide more...

Carswell, William J.; Lukas, Vicki
Carswell, W.J., Jr., and Lukas, Vicki, 2018, The 3D Elevation Program—Flood risk management: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3081, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173081.

Year Published: 2017

The 3D Elevation Program national indexing scheme

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) acquires high-resolution elevation data for the Nation. This program has been operating under an opportunity-oriented approach, acquiring light detection and ranging (lidar) projects of varying sizes scattered across the United States. As a result, the national 3DEP elevation...

Thatcher, Cindy A.; Heidemann, Hans Karl; Stoker, Jason M.; Eldridge, Diane F.
Thatcher, C.A., Heidemann, H.K., Stoker, J.M., and Eldridge, D.F., 2017, The 3D Elevation Program national indexing scheme: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3073, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173073.

Year Published: 2017

The National Map seamless digital elevation model specifications

This specification documents the requirements and standards used to produce the seamless elevation layers for The National Map of the United States. Seamless elevation data are available for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and the U.S. territories, in three different resolutions—1/3-arc-second, 1-arc-second, and 2-arc-second. These...

Archuleta, Christy-Ann M.; Constance, Eric W.; Arundel, Samantha T.; Lowe, Amanda J.; Mantey, Kimberly S.; Phillips, Lori A.
Archuleta, C.M., Constance, E.W., Arundel, S.T., Lowe, A.J., Mantey, K.S., and Phillips, L.A., 2017, The National Map seamless digital elevation model specifications: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. B9, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm11B9.

Year Published: 2017

Historical Topographic Map Collection bookmark

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program is scanning published USGS 1:250,000-scale and larger topographic maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The goal of this project, which began publishing the historical scanned maps in 2011, is to provide a digital repository of USGS...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Allord, Gregory J.
Fishburn, K.A., and Allord, G.J., 2017, Historical Topographic Map Collection bookmark: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 179, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/gip179.

Year Published: 2017

Scanning and georeferencing historical USGS quadrangles

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program is scanning published USGS 1:250,000-scale and larger topographic maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The goal of this project, which began publishing the Historical Topographic Map Collection in 2011, is to provide access to a digital...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Davis, Larry R.; Allord, Gregory J.
Fishburn, K.A., Davis, L.R., and Allord, G.J., 2017, Scanning and georeferencing historical USGS quadrangles: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3048, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173048.

Year Published: 2017

US Topo—Topographic maps for the Nation

Building on the success of 125 years of mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey created US Topo, a georeferenced digital map produced from The National Map data. US Topo maps are designed to be used like the traditional 7.5-minute quadrangle paper topographic maps for which the U.S. Geological Survey is so well known. However, in contrast to paper-...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Carswell, William J.
Fishburn, K.A., and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2017, US Topo—Topographic maps for the Nation: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3045, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173045.

Year Published: 2017

The 3D Elevation Program—Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landslide Hazards Program conducts landslide hazard assessments, pursues landslide investigations and forecasts, provides technical assistance to respond to landslide emergencies, and engages in outreach. All of these activities benefit from the availability of high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) elevation...

Lukas, Vicki; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Lukas, Vicki, and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2017, The 3D Elevation Program—Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3094, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20163094.

Year Published: 2017

Status of the 3D Elevation Program, 2015

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is a cooperative activity to collect light detection and ranging (lidar) data for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and U.S. territories; and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) elevation data for Alaska during an 8-year period. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and partner organizations acquire...

Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Eldridge, Diane F.; Jason, Allyson L. ; Lukas, Vicki; Saghy, David L.; Stoker, Jason M.; Thunen, Diana R.
Sugarbaker, L.J., Eldridge, D.F., Jason, A.L., Lukas, Vicki, Saghy, D.L., Stoker, J.M., and Thunen, D.R., 2017, Status of the 3D Elevation Program, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1196, 13 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161196.

Year Published: 2016

The 3D elevation program - Precision agriculture and other farm practices

A founding motto of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), originally the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), explains that “If we take care of the land, it will take care of us.” Digital elevation models (DEMs; see fig. 1) are derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data and can be processed to derive values such as slope angle...

Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Sugarbaker, L.J., and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2016, The 3D Elevation Program—Precision agriculture and other farm practices: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3088, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163088.

Year Published: 2016

The 3D Elevation Program and America's infrastructure

Infrastructure—the physical framework of transportation, energy, communications, water supply, and other systems—and construction management—the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from beginning to end—are critical to the Nation’s prosperity. The American Society of Civil Engineers has warned that, despite the importance of...

Lukas, Vicki; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Lukas, Vicki, and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2016, The 3D Elevation Program and America's infrastructure: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3093, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163093.

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Group Photo of the participants who attended The Meeting in Reston VA
May 9, 2018

Group Photo of the Members of North American National Mapping meeting

This is a group shot of the North American National Mapping Meeting more information can be found at the website on the meeting

Meeting collaboration going on in Reston VA
May 9, 2018

Meeting collaboration going on in Reston VA

This is a wide panarama shot of the North American National Mapping Meeting more information can be found at the website on the meeting

NGP Director leads discussions at The Meeting in Reston VA
May 9, 2018

The NGP Director at North American National Mapping meeting

This is a group shot of the North American National Mapping Meeting more information can be found at the website on the meeting

NGP Collaboration Working Together
April 30, 2018

NGP Working Together

Two NGP staff members working together

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Keystone, South Dakota
April 25, 2018

Mount Rushmore National Memorial - Keystone, South Dakota

USGS, Classified point cloud displayed by intensity. Created April 25, 2018 from lidar acquired August 2012.

Alaska US Topo Map Production Status March 2018
March 20, 2018

Alaska US Topo Map Production Status March 2018

This graphic depicts the status of USGS US Topo map production as of March 20, 2018, showing maps published from 2013 to 2017, and maps planned to be published in fiscal year 2018, under the Alaska Mapping Initiative.

Simulated flooding, Denver, CO
February 9, 2018

Simulated flooding, Denver, CO

A 3D Elevation Program lidar point cloud colored by RGB color from imagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program and showing simulated flooding (in blue) of an area in Denver, Colorado.

January 24, 2018

Lesson 3c The National Map Viewer: Adding Data

This lesson shows how to add data to the map view in the National Map Viewer from URLs or files.
 

Lidar point cloud over Tacoma WA bridge
December 31, 2017

Lidar point cloud over Tacoma WA bridge

Lidar point cloud over Tacoma WA bridge

A perspective view of Mount hood
December 31, 2017

A perspective view of Mount hood

A perspective view of Mount hood, made from the OR_Sandy_River_2007 lidar data

Lidar point cloud showing structures
December 31, 2017

Lidar point cloud showing structures

An example of a lidar point cloud showing structures

3D Rendering of part of Grand Tetons National Park
December 31, 2017

3D Rendering of part of Grand Tetons National Park

3D view of USGS_LPC_WY_GrandTetonElkRefuge_2014 data

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Date published: July 13, 2018

North American National Mapping Meeting, May 9-10, 2018

Meet and better communicate with North American counterparts to improve mapping efforts across the continent

Date published: July 9, 2018

2018 Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award

Calling for nominations to honor outstanding accomplishments to the spatial data infrastructure mission of the Department of Interior

Date published: June 26, 2018

The 3D Elevation Program Distributing Lidar Data in LAZ Format

In support of ongoing efforts to provide efficient, cloud ready, open data formats for the use of lidar data, the USGS National Geospatial Program and its associated 3D Elevation Program is transitioning all of its lidar data distribution files to LAZ format by September 30, 2018.

Date published: June 19, 2018

geo163 Takes Off

A prolific map editor and longtime volunteer with The National Map Corps has reached the top program award.

Date published: May 23, 2018

Keeping Current with Map Services Made Easier

The National Map provides a new Simple Notification Service and has new URLs for some of its thematic cartographic map services.

Date published: May 8, 2018

Senior Cartographer Earns Prestigious Mapping Award

Larry Moore is honored by USGS peers with Henry Gannett award for exceptional contributions to topographic mapping.

Date published: April 12, 2018

2018 Lidar Partnership Awards Announced

Collaboration continues to move the 3D Elevation Program forward.

Date published: March 28, 2018

The 3D Elevation Program – Flood Risk Management

Flooding is the leading cause of Presidential disaster declarations. On average, the water hazard has resulted in more than 80 fatalities and cost the U.S. nearly $8 billion annually.

Date published: March 13, 2018

Lidar Base Specification Version 1.3 Released

The US Geological Survey National Geospatial Program has released a new version of the USGS Lidar Base Specification that defines deliverables for nationally consistent lidar data acquisitions.

Date published: March 2, 2018

CMGP Lidar Coordinator selected to serve as USGS Federal Point of Contact/Coordinator for 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program and Chair of the USGS Lidar Points of Contact Working Group, was selected by the USGS National Geospatial Program to serve as the USGS Federal Point of Contact for the national 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, coordinating survey nominations across Mission Areas and Regions and compiling responses...

Date published: February 27, 2018

Making your Mark on a Map: Volunteer map editors contribute more than 300,000 map points

The USGS citizen science project, The National Map Corps, has reached another major milestone.

Date published: February 8, 2018

National Geospatial Program Garners Elevation Award

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) team has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 “LIDAR Leader Award”, presented February 5 at the International LIDAR Mapping Forum in Denver.