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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. USGS topographic maps have been published at many scales, but 1:24,000 (also referred to as a 7.5-minute quadrangle) has been the standard topographic map scale since 1947. For Alaska the standard scale is 1:25,000.  

All dates and all scales of our topographic maps can be freely downloaded or ordered at cost as paper prints. This includes both current US Topo maps (computer-generated every 3 years since 2009) and Historical topographic maps. 

Free and Immediate Downloads  

Most applications have an option for toggling on map indexes that show an outline of all the maps, though you must zoom in to see the outlines:  

  • TopoView -- The largest selection of digital options. File formats include GeoPDF, GeoTIFF, JPG, and KMZ.  
  • The National Map Download Client -- Download digital Historical topographic maps (GeoPDF and GeoTIFF formats) and US Topos (GeoPDF format).
  • Map Locator on the USGS Store -- Search and download free digital maps in GeoPDF format or order paper maps. This is the only USGS site for ordering paper maps.  

Free Custom Topographic Maps  

Request OnDemand Topos using the topoBuilder application. OnDemand Topos resemble US Topos and utilize the best available data from The National Map at the time of request. Exclusive to topoBuilder is the ability to center the map wherever you choose. Additional customization such as choice of file format and level of contour detail are also available. Maps are digitally delivered free of charge within five days of request.  

Printed Maps 

The online USGS Store is the only site for ordering paper topographic maps. Use the Store’s Map Locator, the “Find a Map” search function on the Store homepage, or the Keyword Search box at the top right of the Store homepage. 

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