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Can I import a US Topo map into my Geographic Information System (GIS)?

Most Geographic Information System (GIS) vendors do not yet provide geospatial PDF import capabilities. US Topo maps are derived from GIS data sets and are formatted as PDF for the benefit of non-specialist users. We consider the product to be primarily an output of—rather than an input to—GIS.

However, we recognize the demand for symbolized maps in GIS, and we are working on a companion product that will provide most US Topo content and presentation in GIS-friendly packages. The basic concept is to provide a file geodatabase of vector data covering a standard 7.5-minute cell, along with a Topo TNM Style Template that can be used in ArcGIS to apply symbols, fonts, and other map enhancements. This solution is Arc-dependent because the primary objective is to satisfy requirements of USGS Earth scientists and research programs.

Another partial work-around for the GIS load problem is to download a US Topo in GeoTIFF format from TopoView