Are there geologic maps or publications for where I live?

Detailed geologic mapping has not been completed for the entire United States, but maps are available for most locations. Geologic maps at many scales and from many sources are listed in the National Geologic Map Database.

Some geologic maps can be purchased in hard copy through the USGS Store.

Download digital geologic maps for entire states from the USGS Mineral Resources Online Geospatial Data (MRDATA) website. Scroll down to the "Geologic Data" section.

If you don't find geologic maps for your area in any of these locations, additional information may be available from the Association of American State Geologists, or a major library near you (especially if they can provide inter-library loan service). Many state geological surveys have detailed maps that can be downloaded or purchased.

The best place to look for publications about a specific area is the USGS Publications Warehouse. Try searching on place names, county names, and (if you know it) topographic quadrangle names, as USGS data is often referenced to those locations.

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How can maps be useful in genealogical research?

Once you've gathered as many facts about family history and customs as possible, turn to maps to uncover more specific information or to solve historical mysteries. Old and new maps can help you track down facts about a branch of your family. In the United States, birth, death, property, and some other kinds of records are normally kept by county...

How are U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps named?

A USGS topographic map usually is named for the most prominent feature within the bounds of the map, which is frequently a community. Topographic maps generally are named for the most centrally located, well-known, and/or largest community identified on the map. If the community for which the map should be named falls on two or more maps, a...

What is the National Geologic Map Database?

An exhaustive database ( NGMDB ) that provides bibliographic access to thousands of geologic, geophysical, and other kinds of maps available in USGS publications, Web sites, and in popular science journals.

Do you have prepared page-size maps of the United States or of my State that I can print from my computer?

The National Map small-scale collection , previously accessed through the National Atlas, offers plenty of choices in page-size maps. Please see our Printable Maps page for a list. In addition, the following sites have links to United States maps in formats appropriate for printing. We welcome information on other sites that provide similar maps...

When was the topographic map series for the conterminous 48 States, Hawaii, Alaska and Territories completed?

The USGS completed the primary topographic map series of the conterminous United States at 1:24,000 in 1992. Revisions were made until 2006. Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Trust Territories were completed earlier and were done at other scales. The maps of all these areas are included in the Historical Topographic Map Collection.

How can I obtain historical USGS topographic maps?

Current US Topo maps, and maps of the Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC). are published as PDF documents that can be downloaded free of charge. Download interfaces and procedures . Topo Map Symbols .
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Date published: March 15, 2016

The National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB)

The U.S. National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) serves as the authoritative, comprehensive resource for information about paper and digital geoscience maps and reports on the Nation's geology and stratigraphy, by all publishers. 

Date published: March 15, 2016

Publications Warehouse

Gain access to over 100,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau.

Date published: March 12, 2016

Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Mineral Resources.

Attribution: Rocky Mountain
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Date published: August 21, 2017

Stitching Together the New Digital Geologic Quilt of the United States

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Date published: January 5, 2016

First Ever Digital Geologic Map of Alaska Published

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.

Date published: May 2, 2000

Tapestry of Time and Terrain Not Just Another Map

By combining techniques developed by Leonardo da Vinci with today’s computer applications, an artist and two scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., have produced one of the most dramatic and beautiful maps of the United States, ever published.

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Geologic map of the conterminous United States
April 25, 2016

Geologic map of the conterminous United States

Geologic map of the conterminous United States at 1:2,500,000 scale.

Image: Geologic Map of North America
February 1, 2005

Geologic Map of North America

This map was produced from Geographic Information System (GIS) files prepared by the USGS National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB).  The GMNA Resources Site has the geospatial files, map images, publication documentation, and informational resources.


Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park, Texas
November 30, 2000

Detail of the Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park

Zoomed in detail of the Geologic Map of Big Bend National Park

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock

Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock, from USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3340 - Geologic map of Alaska.