How do I get a full-scale plot of a 1:24,000-scale (7.5-minute) topographic map?

There are three ways to get full-scale plots of USGS topographic quadrangle maps, including both Historical Topographic maps (produced 1884-2006) and US Topo maps (produced 2009-present).

  1. Order a paper map from the USGS Store. Use the Store’s Map Locator to find the desired map.

  2. Download the GeoPDF map file and send it to a local printing business.

  3. Download the GeoPDF map file and plot it on your own large-format plotter. 

Unlike our Historical topographic maps, US Topo maps contain more data layers than can be clearly printed at the same time (for example, users probably don't want to print contours and the orthoimage together). To take full advantage of the map customization allowed by the US Topo layers, options 2 and 3 are recommended. The US Topo’s orthoimage layer is NOT included on printed maps ordered through the USGS Store, so their printed US Topo maps very closely resemble Historical topographic maps.

The size of printed 1:24,000-scale topographic maps distributed by the USGS can vary slightly, but they are typically 22 x 27 inches (higher latitudes) or 23 x 27 inches (lower latitudes). Those measurements include the map collar (the white margin around the map and the wealth of information in it).

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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...

Do you offer teacher discounts for your maps and other cost products?

Yes. Educational institutions qualify for discounts on purchases made through the online USGS Store . To receive any discounts you must first be set up in their system. Please fax your request on school letterhead (or on a purchase order) to 303-202-4693 and include your Federal Tax ID number ( not to be confused with your Federal Tax Exempt...

There are multiple copies of the same map in your Historical Topographic Map Collection that all have the same date. Is there a difference between those maps?

Yes, these are different maps that typically resulted from revisions and reprints. The differences are often minor. The date used to identify a map can be found in the lower right corner. If there are multiple editions with the same compilation date, look for additional dates in the lower right portion of the map collar that might differentiate...

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...

Are US Topo products available for Alaska?

Yes. Publication of 1:25,000-scale US Topo maps in Alaska began in 2013. The production schedule is determined by availability of IFSAR elevation data and SPOT imagery provided by the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative . To see an index map of publication dates for US Topos in Alaska, go to the National Map Downloader . Put a checkmark...

What is a GeoPDF®?

A GeoPDF is a georeferenced PDF file, meaning that it is a Portable Document Format (PDF) file with added information that relates the image to coordinates on a map. GeoPDF files can be used as plain PDF files but have the added capability of some limited mapping functions (turn any map layers on and off, obtain XY coordinates for a location,...

Are USGS topographic maps copyrighted?

All topographic maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are in the public domain and are not copyrighted except for the following three cases that apply only to US Topo maps (produced 2009-present): Most maps in the period 2010-2016 contain commercially licensed road data (see note below). Orthoimages in Alaska are commercially licensed...

Can I still get the older topographic maps?

Yes. Topographic maps originally published as paper documents between 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection . Download our historical topographic maps and our more current US Topo maps (published 2009-present) free of charge using TopoView (GeoPDF, GeoTIFF, JPEG, and KMZ formats) or using the...

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...

Can I get a bulk order of USGS topographic maps in PDF format for a state or the entire country?

Yes. Bulk delivery is available for maps from the US Topo collection (produced 2009-present) and the Historical Topographic Map Collection (produced 1884-2006). In bulk delivery requests, please specify which of these two product series you want. Only current US Topo maps (not superseded maps) are available for bulk distribution (use topoView to...
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Date published: July 19, 2017

Historical Maps at Your Fingertips

Earlier this month, the USGS launched “TopoView 2.1”, an enhancement to the current popular TopoView mapping service that lets users discover, interact, and download historical USGS topographic maps scans.

Date published: July 5, 2017

Finding Yourself Outdoors

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

Filter Total Items: 5
December 18, 2017

Lesson 8b: Printing US Topos

In this lesson we will demonstrate three options for printing US Topos.
 

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. 
 

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

Updated 2015 version of the Madison West US Topo quadrangle

Updated 2015 version of the Madison West US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned off to better see the improved road network. (1:24,000 scale)