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Explore the Historical Topo Collection
In 2009, USGS began the release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, and in 2011, complemented them with the release of high-resolution scans of more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States. The topographic map remains an indispensable tool for everyday use in government, science, industry, land management planning, and recreation.
Historic maps are snapshots of the nation's physical and cultural features at a particular time. Maps of the same area can show how an area looked before development and provide a detailed view of changes over time. Historical maps are often useful to scientists, historians, environmentalists, genealogists and others researching a particular geographic location or area.
The goal of The National Map’s Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) is to provide a digital repository of USGS 1:250,000 scale and larger maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The National Geospatial Program (NGP) is accurately cataloging and creating metadata to accompany high-resolution, geo-referenced digital files representing the legacy lithographic maps. These maps are either no longer available for distribution in print or are being replaced by the new generation of US Topo maps.
HTMC maps are published in Portable Document Format (PDF) with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF®), patented by TerraGo Technologies. They are available for download free of charge from these applications (see FAQs):
For tutorial information on download and product click here.
The TerraGo Toolbar is available for free download for use with GeoPDF® maps.