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Downloadable Hydrography Products Folder Structure – Upcoming Changes

September 21, 2021

USGS is changing the folder structure of NHD and NHDPlus HR products that are available as downloadable products. Changes to the Staged Products folder structure are necessary to support additional hydrography products and product versions for NHDPlus HR and a future GeoPackage file format that’s currently in development. 

This change will affect users who access NHD and NHDPlus HR products through scripting processes. Here is a summary of changes that will occur to the hydrography downloadable products folder hierarchy: 

  1. For NHD, the High Resolution folder will be removed from the folder hierarchy. 
  2. For NHDPlus HR: 
    • The BETA folder will be replaced by a VPU folder that contains a Current and an Archive folder. 
    • Existing BETA products will be migrated to the Current folder and later moved to the Archive folder as new versions are released. 
    • Raster datasets will be migrated to a new Raster folder. 
  3. Future Geopackage products will be written to the GPKG folder as they are published. 
Upcoming Changes for Downloadable Hydrography Products Folder Structure
USGS is changing the folder structure of NHD and NHDPlus HR products that are available as downloadable products.

These changes will take place over the next few months. There will be little change to the user experience for those interactively accessing shapefile and geodatabase downloadable products. 

To access downloadable products, please see the Download Datasets by Direct Link section at, or visit the file location directly at

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