Frequently Asked Questions

Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data

The USGS provides the mapping and digital geospatial foundation for the Nation.

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ALASKA IFSAR DEM
1. To request bulk elevation data, please email tnminfo@usgs.gov and provide the following: Your contact information (address, phone number, and email address). Product(s) you are requesting. Requested data format(s). 2. An email will be sent to you containing the following information: Job ID Number. Size estimates for requested data....
Satellite image of Cape Hope, Northern Canada
Graphics showing 3DEP product availability and recent updates can be found on the 3DEP Product Availability Web page. Areas containing recent updates are refreshed monthly. Spatial metadata shapefiles showing the updated areas for each product are also available for download from the 3DEP Product MetadataWeb page. Product updates can be acquired...
3D Rendering of part of Grand Tetons National Park
The Elevation Point Query Service returns elevations from the 1/3 arc-second 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) DEM dataset in The National Map.  Spot elevations are not official and do not represent precisely measured ground surveyed values.  Spot elevations at a specific location might differ from monumented control values published on USGS topographic...
The National Map Logo
Geographic Names contain the same names data that USGS has been publishing on its maps for years, and the metadata was updated in 2013. The GNIS query form is available at the GNIS web site. The only way to identify the source (or bibliographic citation) of a name is to open the record in the GNIS query results as citations are not provided in the...
Image: Cartographers in the Field
Information on the geographic names data product is available at the USGS The National Map Geographic Names website.
U. S. Board On Geographic Names
Information on GNIS is available at the United States Board on Geographic Names website.
Image showing the main page of the Delavan Lake Monitoring Map tool
Submit questions or report issues to the Service Desk at tnm_help@usgs.gov.
Small Scale Collection USA
The online version of the National Atlas (officially known as the 1997-2014 Edition of the National Atlas of the United States) was removed from service in 2014. Some of its previous products and services are available from the following USGS sources: Small-scale datasets have moved to The National Map Download Client and The National Map...
A map of disturbance and reclamation activities on land on the Jonah oil field in NW Wyoming.
Data is currently available in Esri File Geodatabase 10.1 or Shapefile format.
historic topographic map of portland, or
For maps in the Historical Topographic Map Collection (1884-2006): Through time, policies have changed regarding whether or not a full UTM grid would appear on the 7.5-minute map series. Beginning in the mid 1950's, the grid was indicated by blue ticks around the map at 1000 meter spacing. In 1979, the ticks were replaced with a full-line black...
northwest US and southwest Canada elevation
The old coordinates were not wrong, just different. They are based on different earth shapes or ellipsoids and were based on the best technology at the time. Mathematically, NAD83 is a stronger datum because all previously existing horizontal stations and newer GPS surveyed stations were adjusted simultaneously. The positions within NAD27 were...
Watershed Boundary Dataset Map - Mississippi
It's a combination of USGS hydrologic digital line graph files and EPA reach files, version 3.0 (RF3). The USGS files are used for spatial accuracy and the EPA files are used for attribute information.