What are the base map services (or URLs) used in The National Map?

The National Map offers a series of composite base maps, which combine layers into tile cache services with the cartographic richness of multiple data sources. The following base maps are available:

USGS Topo  - combines the most current data (boundaries, geographic names, transportation, elevation, hydrography, land cover, and other themes) that make up The National Map. Contours generated for the US Topo product are included and are visible along with other data to 1:9,000 zoom scale.

USGS Shaded Relief - created using data from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), which maintains a seamless dataset of best available raster elevation data for the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Territorial Islands of the U.S.  

USGS Imagery Only - combines imagery from the U.S.; resolution may vary from 6 inches to 1 meter. 

USGS Imagery Topo - combines imagery with contours and other vector themes (boundaries, geographic names, hydrography, structures, and transportation), based on cartographic styling used on US Topo products. 

Hydrography - combines naturally occurring and man-made bodies of surface water, paths through which water flows, and ​related features​ such as stream gages and dams​​, and additional hydrologic information​.

Base Map-Blank - consists of ocean tints and coastlines to provide an outline of the United States as a blank base map for addition of other services.

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What map projections are used in tiled base map services and dynamic overlay services?

The projection used for all tiled base map services is the WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) so base map services can be used in combination with other common viewers, such as Google Maps and Microsoft Bing Maps. For more info : see Spatial Reference SR-ORG:6928 and Spatial Reference SR-ORG:7483/ . Dynamic overlay services are in WGS84 (see...

What is the difference between tiled and dynamic services?

A tiled service contains cached tiles, which render the map in small tile images. This allows the map to perform much faster when panning and zooming, compared to a dynamic service. Dynamic is considered an "older" way of displaying web maps, where each feature is called from the source data and drawn separately for every pan and zoom. Tiled base...

Where can I find a list of URLs for The National Map services?

A complete list of service URLs can be found at The National Map-Service Endpoints website, which contains available REST, WMS, WMTS (cached base maps only), WFS, WCS, and other service links.
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Date published: October 23, 2019

USGS Digital Elevation Models (DEM) Switching to New Distribution Format

In support of ongoing efforts to provide efficient, cloud ready, open data formats, the U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is announcing plans to migrate its 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Digital Elevation Models (DEM) to a new data delivery format called Cloud Optimized Geotiff (COG) during the first half of fiscal year 2020.

Date published: February 7, 2019

USGS 3DEP Lidar Point Cloud Now Available as Amazon Public Dataset

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is excited to announce the availability of a new way to access and process lidar point cloud data from the 3DEP repository.

Date published: October 30, 2018

USGS Topo Base Map Refreshed and Other Updates

The “USGS Topo Base Map” service named “USGS Topo” has been refreshed with new data and design changes. In addition, several of the “Data Availability”, or “Data Index” services have new cloud hosted URLs.

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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)

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Chesapeake Bay 2014 Landsat imagery
December 31, 2014

Chesapeake Bay Landsat mosaic 2014

Chesapeake Bay and surroundings, mosaic of 5 Landsat images taken in October and November 2014.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Northeast
video thumbnail: Elevation
April 30, 2012

Elevation

The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is the primary elevation data product produced and distributed by the USGS National 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The NED provides seamless raster elevation data of the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the island territories. The NED is derived from diverse source data sets that are processed to a specification with a

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video thumbnail: Using bare-earth LiDAR imagery to reveal the Tahoe - Sierra frontal fault zone Lake Tahoe, California.
September 29, 2008

Using bare-earth LiDAR imagery to reveal the Tahoe - Sierra frontal fault zone Lake Tahoe, California.

This video provides a visual example of how airborne LiDAR (Light D
etection And Ranging) imagery penetrates dense forest cover to reveal
an active fault line not detectable with conventional aerial
photography. The video shows an aerial perspective of the range front
Mt. Tallac fault, which is one of five active faults that traverse

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Attribution: Natural Hazards