I am trying to retrieve maps, but the download isn't working

The USGS serves topographic maps through several applications. It is possible for these applications to be down independent of each other. In this case, one of the other applications can still be used.

The primary search and download application for data of the USGS National Geospatial Program is The National Map Download Client, which gets data through the ScienceBase catalog. We encourage using this download application and the ScienceBase API. 

Some problems are beyond USGS control. Some government, corporate, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) firewalls block some of our applications and services. We have also seen instances of client-based security software blocking USGS services. We can provide very little help with diagnosing such problems, though if you can give us your IP address, samples of failed download URLs, and approximate time of your download attempt, we can check our web logs for clues.

In general, USGS can confirm that our services, applications, and Internet connections are functioning (or not). If these systems are working, then download failure is probably due to something outside USGS control, most likely configuration of firewalls or security software on other organizations' systems or the client computer.

We offer two workarounds for download problems that cannot be resolved:

  • For small numbers of maps: If you can access the USGS FTP site ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/, and can provide us with a list of the products you need (e.g., map title, state, date), we can put the products in an FTP directory for you to retrieve. 

Send correspondence to tnm_help@usgs.gov. Please describe which application(s) you have tried, if possible include an example of a failed download URL, and error messages. The USGS geospatial program is not a 24/7 operation, so you may not get an immediate response outside normal business hours. For the same reason, systems that go down at night or on weekends may not come back up until the next business day.

This information applies to US Topo and HTMC topographic quadrangle maps and to many other geospatial data products, but not to all USGS products.