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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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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 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 these feature classes...

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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 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 these feature classes...

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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?

Bulk delivery is available for US Topo maps (produced 2009-present) and the Historical Topographic Map Collection (produced 1884-2006). Only current US Topo maps (not superseded maps) are available for bulk distribution (use topoView to download individual superseded maps). Bulk delivery options are currently only available for maps in GeoPDF file format. Options for bulk delivery: 1. Batch...

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Can I get a bulk order of USGS topographic maps in PDF format for a state or the entire country?

Bulk delivery is available for US Topo maps (produced 2009-present) and the Historical Topographic Map Collection (produced 1884-2006). Only current US Topo maps (not superseded maps) are available for bulk distribution (use topoView to download individual superseded maps). Bulk delivery options are currently only available for maps in GeoPDF file format. Options for bulk delivery: 1. Batch...

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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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How can I download orthoimagery in bulk?

Download orthoimagery in bulk through a Bulk Download Application (BDA). Free registration is required. Start by clicking on the Help link in EarthExplorer and selecting the Bulk Download Tutorial. To receive bulk data via external hard drive, you must supply the hard drive(s) within our specifications, pay for shipping the drive(s), and provide a paid return label or a carrier account number...

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How can I download orthoimagery in bulk?

Download orthoimagery in bulk through a Bulk Download Application (BDA). Free registration is required. Start by clicking on the Help link in EarthExplorer and selecting the Bulk Download Tutorial. To receive bulk data via external hard drive, you must supply the hard drive(s) within our specifications, pay for shipping the drive(s), and provide a paid return label or a carrier account number...

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Why does my orthoimagery search on The National Map return multiple tiles for downloading?

Orthoimagery is usually very large in file size, so we stage the data in "tiles" that can be reasonably transported over the Internet. Orthoimagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) that is distributed via The National Map Data Download is in compressed 10:1, JPEG2000 format in 3.75 minute x 3.75 minute tile extents. A larger catalog of orthoimagery can also be downloaded using...

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Why does my orthoimagery search on The National Map return multiple tiles for downloading?

Orthoimagery is usually very large in file size, so we stage the data in "tiles" that can be reasonably transported over the Internet. Orthoimagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) that is distributed via The National Map Data Download is in compressed 10:1, JPEG2000 format in 3.75 minute x 3.75 minute tile extents. A larger catalog of orthoimagery can also be downloaded using...

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How do I download orthoimagery products and what are the available formats?

Download orthoimagery (georectified aerial photographs) using EarthExplorer, which has the full catalog of USGS orthoimagery and aerial photography, or The National Map downloader, which has NAIP orthoimagery only. EarthExplorer: Products Overview Format varies by type of orthoimagery: Native format, Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF), or compressed 10:1 JPEG2000 The National Map...

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How do I download orthoimagery products and what are the available formats?

Download orthoimagery (georectified aerial photographs) using EarthExplorer, which has the full catalog of USGS orthoimagery and aerial photography, or The National Map downloader, which has NAIP orthoimagery only. EarthExplorer: Products Overview Format varies by type of orthoimagery: Native format, Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF), or compressed 10:1 JPEG2000 The National Map...

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Do US Topos and The National Map have a layer that shows the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)?

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. PLSS surveys, which are available for portions of land in 30 southern and western states, are made by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The PLSS typically divides land into 6-mile-square townships. Townships are subdivided into 36 one-mile-square sections. Sections can be further subdivided...

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Do US Topos and The National Map have a layer that shows the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)?

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. PLSS surveys, which are available for portions of land in 30 southern and western states, are made by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The PLSS typically divides land into 6-mile-square townships. Townships are subdivided into 36 one-mile-square sections. Sections can be further subdivided...

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