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Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data

The USGS provides the mapping and digital geospatial foundation for the Nation.

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How accurate are US Topo maps, and why don't they have an accuracy statement?

US Topo maps are as accurate as the data sources used to make them, but because these sources are many and varied, it is not possible to make a single simple statement that the map as a whole meets a particular level of accuracy. US Topo maps, therefore, do not have a traditional accuracy statement in the map collar. Accuracy information for individual data sources is included in the metadata file...

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How accurate are US Topo maps, and why don't they have an accuracy statement?

US Topo maps are as accurate as the data sources used to make them, but because these sources are many and varied, it is not possible to make a single simple statement that the map as a whole meets a particular level of accuracy. US Topo maps, therefore, do not have a traditional accuracy statement in the map collar. Accuracy information for individual data sources is included in the metadata file...

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Are the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) section lines on US Topo maps a legal record?

No, US Topo maps are not legal documents and the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) representation is not legally authoritative.The sections, townships, and ranges of the PLSS that are shown on US Topo maps are derived from GIS data from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in cooperation with the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). Learn more:FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee (information and links...

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Are the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) section lines on US Topo maps a legal record?

No, US Topo maps are not legal documents and the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) representation is not legally authoritative.The sections, townships, and ranges of the PLSS that are shown on US Topo maps are derived from GIS data from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in cooperation with the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). Learn more:FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee (information and links...

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Your map has road/address errors and people can't find my house

This issue is usually about maps on GPS devices, smart phone applications, or commercial online maps. The USGS does not provide road or address information for those products, almost all of which use road data from commercial sources. The USGS has no relationship with those companies.The USGS mission does not include the collection and maintenance of road data or addresses. Roads and other...

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Your map has road/address errors and people can't find my house

This issue is usually about maps on GPS devices, smart phone applications, or commercial online maps. The USGS does not provide road or address information for those products, almost all of which use road data from commercial sources. The USGS has no relationship with those companies.The USGS mission does not include the collection and maintenance of road data or addresses. Roads and other...

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I found an error on a map. How can I report it and when will you fix it?

There are different answers to this question for different products. In all cases, we must know what product you are addressing. Please read the following guidelines and email error reports to tnm_help@usgs.gov:US Topo maps (topographic maps published 2009-present)Please include the following information:The map title, state, and date (from the title block in the lower right corner).Description of...

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I found an error on a map. How can I report it and when will you fix it?

There are different answers to this question for different products. In all cases, we must know what product you are addressing. Please read the following guidelines and email error reports to tnm_help@usgs.gov:US Topo maps (topographic maps published 2009-present)Please include the following information:The map title, state, and date (from the title block in the lower right corner).Description of...

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Why are there no power lines, pipelines, libraries, trails, etc. on US Topo maps?

The original USGS 7.5-minute (1:24,000 scale) Historical Topographic Maps (produced 1945-1992) included feature classes that are not yet shown on US Topo maps (produced 2009-present). Examples include recreational trails, pipelines, power lines, survey markers, many types of boundaries, and many types of buildings. The USGS no longer does field verification or other primary data collection for...

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Why are there no power lines, pipelines, libraries, trails, etc. on US Topo maps?

The original USGS 7.5-minute (1:24,000 scale) Historical Topographic Maps (produced 1945-1992) included feature classes that are not yet shown on US Topo maps (produced 2009-present). Examples include recreational trails, pipelines, power lines, survey markers, many types of boundaries, and many types of buildings. The USGS no longer does field verification or other primary data collection for...

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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 USGS Store’s Map Locator (GeoPDF format).Order paper...

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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 USGS Store’s Map Locator (GeoPDF format).Order paper...

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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 was launched in 2009 and branded "US Topo." Though...

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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 was launched in 2009 and branded "US Topo." Though...

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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 download individual superseded maps). Bulk delivery...

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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 download individual superseded maps). Bulk delivery...

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How often is orthoimagery in The National Map updated and what are the acquisition dates?

Orthoimagery (georectified aerial photography) available through The National Map Downloader and The National Map Services is from the USDA Farm Service Agency's National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), which is 1-meter resolution. Generally, NAIP imagery is refreshed on a 3-year cycle with approximately one third of the continental U.S. flown each year. The month and year of imagery...

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How often is orthoimagery in The National Map updated and what are the acquisition dates?

Orthoimagery (georectified aerial photography) available through The National Map Downloader and The National Map Services is from the USDA Farm Service Agency's National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP), which is 1-meter resolution. Generally, NAIP imagery is refreshed on a 3-year cycle with approximately one third of the continental U.S. flown each year. The month and year of imagery...

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What projection are the imagery services in The National Map viewer?

Imagery services in The National Map (TNM) use WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere). The USGS ImageryOnly Service (under Base Maps) is cached (pre-generated) at this projection. Imagery services can be easily reprojected to many other popular projections for use in GIS desktop applications as background services.Learn more: Training videos for using The National Map Products and Services

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What projection are the imagery services in The National Map viewer?

Imagery services in The National Map (TNM) use WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere). The USGS ImageryOnly Service (under Base Maps) is cached (pre-generated) at this projection. Imagery services can be easily reprojected to many other popular projections for use in GIS desktop applications as background services.Learn more: Training videos for using The National Map Products and Services

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What are the URLs for imagery services in The National Map, and are they cached or dynamic?

There are several imagery services for The National Map. Some imagery services are cached and some are dynamic:USGSImageryOnly (under Base Maps), for example, is a tile cache base map service of orthoimagery. It has different imagery data sources depending on view scale. The USGSImageryOnly service uses cache tiles of 256x256 pixels in size and 96 dots per inch (dpi) resolution with 75%...

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What are the URLs for imagery services in The National Map, and are they cached or dynamic?

There are several imagery services for The National Map. Some imagery services are cached and some are dynamic:USGSImageryOnly (under Base Maps), for example, is a tile cache base map service of orthoimagery. It has different imagery data sources depending on view scale. The USGSImageryOnly service uses cache tiles of 256x256 pixels in size and 96 dots per inch (dpi) resolution with 75%...

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What sources were used for imagery in The National Map services?

Sources for orthoimagery in The National Map services:World view to 1:2,300,000 - NASA Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG)1:1,150,000 to 1:289,000 - A subset of the Global Land Survey 2000 (Landsat)Scales larger than 1:289,000 - primarily the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The data is 1-meter pixel resolution flown during "leaf-on" conditions. Collection of NAIP imagery is...

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What sources were used for imagery in The National Map services?

Sources for orthoimagery in The National Map services:World view to 1:2,300,000 - NASA Blue Marble Next Generation (BMNG)1:1,150,000 to 1:289,000 - A subset of the Global Land Survey 2000 (Landsat)Scales larger than 1:289,000 - primarily the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The data is 1-meter pixel resolution flown during "leaf-on" conditions. Collection of NAIP imagery is...

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