How can I find the source and vintage of each US Topo data layer?

The credit legend in the lower left-hand corner of the collar on a US Topo map includes a short summary of data sources and data currency. 

 More detailed source information is in an XML metadata file attached to each GeoPDF file. This file contains series-level, quad-level, and layer-level metadata, but US Topo does not preserve or track feature-level metadata. Open the GeoPDF map file in Acrobat Reader and click on the paperclip icon to access the metadata file (a US Topo Map Symbols file is also attached). 

Two metadata XML documents—one for the map and one for the orthoimage—are included with GeoTIFF files downloaded from TopoView.

 Learn more: US Topo Map and Historical Topographic Map Users Guide

Related Content

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How do I find, download, or order topographic maps?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States since 1879. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. Download all dates and scales of USGS topographic maps free of charge from the following applications or order paper copies of all...

Will US Topo maps become part of the Historical Topographic Map Collection when a newer version is published?

Superseded US Topo maps will remain available for download, but will not become part of the Historical Topographic Map Collection , which is scans of USGS topographic quadrangles originally published as paper documents between 1884-2006. The first US Topo maps were published in 2009. They are updated and superseded every 3 years (maps for one...

How current are US Topo maps?

US Topo maps are updated on a three-year production cycle (maps covering one third of the country are updated each year). The US Topo production schedule follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) collection schedule. This does not include US Topos for Alaska, which are on a different schedule . The...

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

Most 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...

How accurate are US Topo maps, and why don't they have an accuracy statement?

US Topo maps are as accurate as the data sources used to make them, but because these sources are many and varied, it is not possible to make a single simple statement that the map as a whole meets a particular level of accuracy. US Topo maps, therefore, do not have a traditional accuracy statement in the map collar. Accuracy information for...

How do US Topo maps differ from historical USGS topographic maps?

Historically, USGS topographic maps were made using data from primary sources including direct field observations. Those maps were compiled, drawn, and edited by hand. By today's standards, those traditional methods are very expensive and time-consuming, and the USGS no longer has funding to make maps that way. A new USGS topographic map series...
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Date published: July 5, 2017

Finding Yourself Outdoors

Updated USGS digital topographic maps feature more trails and other recreation points of interest

Date published: August 18, 2016

Story Map - Topographic Maps for the Nation

The USGS National Geospatial Program has released an interactive Story Map giving viewers an overview of the US Topo map program

Date published: November 19, 2015

US Topo Maps Reach Milestone

With the release of new US Topo maps for Illinois and South Dakota, the USGS has completed the second, three-year cycle of revising and updating electronic US Topo quadrangles. This means that since late 2009, the USGS has published nearly every map in the conterminous U.S., twice.

Date published: March 23, 2015

More Than 18 Million Served

The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Geospatial Program, has delivered more than 18 million US Topo quadrangles and Historic Topographic Maps in the past six years. 

Filter Total Items: 7
December 18, 2017

Lesson 8a: US Topos Created after June 2017

In this lesson we will demonstrate how to open and manipulate data layers using Adobe Reader DC and Adobe Acrobat Pro. We will also learn how to use basic tools like panning, zooming and making measurements.
 

December 18, 2017

Lesson 9a: Accessing US Topo and Historical USGS Topographic Maps

In this lesson, we will discuss the USGS Store and how it can be used to access the US Topo and historical USGS Topographic maps. Specifically, this lesson will talk about the USGS Store, both where it’s accessed and what’s available at the store, as well as how you can locate and download free topographic maps through the store. 
 

June 1, 2017

TopoView - A look at version 2.1

A tutorial by USGS scientist and topoView developer Chris Garrity demonstrating how to use topoView version 2.1. TopoView let's you access and download maps free of charge from the USGS's Historical Topographic Map Collection, published between 1884 and 2006. 

Resources:
An Introduction to TopoView (version 1.0)

GIS data layers visualization
August 24, 2016

GIS data layers visualization

Temporal and spatial inputs are necessary to conduct the proposed modeling.Potential model covariates could include land cover, temperature, precipitation, etc. Image Credit Ontario County, NY

Screen shot of US Topo Story Map
August 18, 2016

US Topo Story Map – Topographic Maps for the Nation

US Topo Story Map – Topographic Maps for the Nation

video thumbnail: US Topo
February 29, 2012

US Topo

US Topo is the next generation of topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Arranged in the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle format, digital US Topo maps are designed to look and feel (and perform) like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. In contrast to paper-based maps, US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages

2015 version of the Spring Creek US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage

2015 version of the Spring Creek US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage

Updated 2015 version of the Spring Creek US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned on. (1:24,000 scale)