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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National Map Viewer
Yes, direct access is provided via browsable links through our FTP Server and Amazon's Cloud. Navigate to the appropriate theme folders to access staged products for download.
Landsat satellite dish inside radome at USGS EROS
An error that times out the Web browser can sometimes occur after clicking on a download link. You might be able to open the archive (.zip) file by refreshing your screen. In the case of an incomplete download, first clear your browser history to avoid the cache interfering with subsequent future attempts. Then use Ctrl+F5 keys to refresh the...
National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
Download a set of scripts to help in the transition of raster data to different file formats. These scripts require either Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) or ESRI ArcGIS software for raster data file conversions. Documentation is under the 'How_To' folder. Learn more: The National Map Training Videos The National Map Quick Start Guide...
National Elevation Dataset
The USGS has developed a ScienceBase Product Index API that will support calling our catalog of over two million staged data files. This API allows other applications to have download capability inside their own framework and to filter on themes such as Orthoimagery, Elevation, Hydrography, Land Cover, or area of interest. In addition to...
The National Map Viewer Interface
Data from The National Map is free and in the public domain. There are no restrictions on downloaded data; however, we request that the following statement be used when citing, copying, or reprinting data: "Data available from U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial Program." Learn more: USGS Copyrights and Credits Statement
The National Map Viewer Quick Start Guide can be found here.  For information on downloading, please visit the Download and Cart portion of the guide.  Tutorial videos are also available.
1. To request bulk elevation data, please email 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...
Image showing the main page of the Delavan Lake Monitoring Map tool
Submit questions or report issues to The National Map service desk at:
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.
Boundaries, Structures and Transportation data products are currently available in Esri File Geodatabase 10.1 or Shapefile format.