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Can I donate a map that isn't already in the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection?

The USGS will gladly accept donations of digital, scanned copies of historical topographic maps (published 1884-2006) that are not in our current Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC). We do not accept donations of paper maps.

Donated products must be published USGS topographic maps, 1:250,000 scale or larger, with basic required metadata included.  Before submitting map donations to the USGS, please visit topoView to verify your map(s) do not already exist in our collection. 

For each map, record the basic metadata. Metadata information (typically found in the bottom collar of the map) must be provided in a plain-text, comma-separated (CSV) list that includes:

  1. Quadrangle name
  2. State
  3. Map Date
  4. Imprint Date
  5. Scale
  6. Woodland Tint (Y for yes, N for no)

If ten or fewer maps are being donated, please start by sending the metadata by email to USTopo@usgs.gov. We will review it to determine if the map(s) should be added to the HTMC. If the map(s) should be added, we will send detailed instructions for scanning the map(s) and submitting the file(s) by email.

If more than ten maps are being donated or if you have questions about donating to the USGS HTMC, please contact us at USTopo@usgs.gov.

Examples:

Example of the bottom of a topographic map collar showing map name, state, date, scale, and more
Example of the information shown in the bottom collar of a USGS topographic map including the (1) quadrangle name, (2) state, (3) map date, (4) imprint date, (5) scale, and (6) woodland tint.

Example of that metadata in a spreadsheet that can be saved as a CSV (comma separated) file:

Quadrangle Name State Map Date Imprint Date Scale Woodland Tint
Vienna VA 1982 1982 24000 Y

 

Example of that metadata in a plain-text CSV list:

          Quadrangle Name, State, Map Date, Imprint Date, Scale, Woodland Tint

          Vienna, VA, 1982, 1982, 24000, Y

 

Scans should meet these basic specifications:

  • 500 dpi or 600 dpi resolution
  • RGB TIFF with no compression
  • Reproduce the appearance of the paper map as it exists now; that is, no digital restoration or color correction

 

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