Mission Areas

National Geospatial Program

Programs L2 Landing Page

The National Geospatial Program provides a foundation of digital geospatial data representing the topography, natural landscape, and built environment of the United States. These data and derived products and services can be accessed through The National Map Data Download and Visualization Services.

The National Map

The National Map

The NGP’s digital geospatial foundation, representing the topography, natural landscape, and built environment, is accessed through The National Map - an interactive, map-based application from which the world can download geospatial data.

Data Download

US Topo Maps

US Topo Maps

US Topo topographic maps are produced by the National Geospatial Program of the USGS. The project was launched in late 2009, and the term “US Topo” refers specifically to quadrangle topographic maps published in 2009 and later.

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3D Elevation Program (3DEP)

3D Elevation Program (3DEP)

3DEP is a cooperative program that is accelerating the rate and quality of 3D elevation data collection to address a wide range of critical needs. The goal of 3DEP is to complete national data coverage in 8 years.

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News

International Lidar Mapping Forum logo
February 8, 2018

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) team has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 “LIDAR Leader Award”, presented February 5 at the International LIDAR Mapping Forum in Denver.

Screenshot of topo map imagery from My Map web service
November 7, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort to improve performance and reliability for the suite of USGS Hydrography web-based map services, the USGS is migrating the National Hydrography Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset services to a Cloud location.

A view of selected feature types in the Governmental Units dynamic service around Albuquerque, New Mexico
October 3, 2017

Many of The National Map dynamic overlay services have new schemas and updated cartography to provide a better user experience in The National Map viewer and other applications. 

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3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
Date Published: April 19, 2016

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

3D Lidar Point Cloud of the United States Capitol Building
Date Published: April 19, 2016

High quality 3D elevation data are critical to flood risk management, resource management, conservation, alternative energy, agriculture, infrastructure management, and a broad range of other nationally significant applications. 3DEP is a cooperative program, managed by the USGS on behalf of the community, with the goal to complete national coverage of 3D elevation data in 8 years.

Alaska Mapping Executive Committee Logo
Date Published: April 19, 2016

The Alaska Mapping Executive Committee (AMEC) meets regularly to coordinate on critical Alaska topographic mapping activities. Executives from 15 Federal agencies and the State of Alaska are combining efforts to acquire new digital elevation, hydrography, transportation, shoreline and geopositional data for Alaska, and create a new digital topographic map series for the State.

The National Map
Date Published: April 19, 2016

Would you like to learn more about USGS National Map products and services? Then welcome to the National Geospatial Program User Engagement office. We can help you leverage NGP products and services through The National Map and other venues. Connect with us through our network of National Map Liaisons. There's a liaison for every state!

Alaska Fairbanks US Topo Map Sample
Date Published: April 18, 2016

The Alaska Mapping Initiative is a U.S. Geological Survey effort to generate new topographic maps of Alaska. The USGS is coordinating with the State of Alaska and multiple Federal agencies to acquire updated digital map layers such as elevation, surface water, roads, and boundaries, and to create a modern series of digital maps for Alaska using these updated layers.

USGS Topographic Maps
Date Published: April 11, 2016

The USGS took over responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles. More than 55,000 7.5-minute maps were made to cover the 48 conterminous States.

The National Map Logo
Date Published: April 11, 2016

The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. The National Map is easily accessible for display on the Web, as products and services, and as downloadable data.

USGS
Date Published: April 11, 2016

This U.S. Geological Survey project consists of two primary studies about long-term land-cover change in the Delaware River Basin, particularly in Pennsylvania. The objectives for these projects were to address and quantify predominant affects and outcomes of land-surface change in urbanizing areas.

NGTOC pic
Date Published: April 11, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) provides leadership and world-class technical expertise in the acquisition and management of trusted geospatial data, services, and map products for the Nation. NGTOC supports The National Map as part of the National Geospatial Program.

125 Years
Date Published: April 8, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey: a History of the National Program for Topographic Mapping (1884–2009) Topographic maps became a signature product of the USGS because the public found them - then and now - to be a critical and versatile tool for viewing the nation's vast landscape.

Standards and Specs
Date Published: April 7, 2016

Standards and specifications are essential to facilitate the development and sharing of geospatial data and products. The USGS standards and specifications define the requirements to ensure that all products and data prepared by the USGS under the National Geospatial Program are consistent in accuracy, structure, format, style, and content.

BGN logo
Date Published: April 7, 2016

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal standard for geographic names. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names for the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.

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Alaska IfSAR Elevation Image
April 22, 2016

Alaska IfSAR Elevation Data

Radar data is being collected statewide for Alaska under direction of the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). The new data is vastly improving the accuracy and resolution of elevation data for the state, and is being collected using an airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) sensor. USGS and the State of Alaska maintain web-based status maps and download services.

Transportation datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 20, 2016

Transportation Data

The transportation data theme consists of roads, airports, railroads, and features associated with the transport of people or commerce. The data includes the location, classification, name/route designator, for most roads, and address ranges. The data supports mapping and geographic analysis for applications for routing, traffic safety, congestion mitigation, and disaster planning and response.

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

Landcover datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 20, 2016

Landcover Data

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries Data

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Orthoimagery of Augusta Ga
April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Small Scale Collection USA
April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

National Map Viewer
April 7, 2016

The National Map Data Download and Visualization Access

The National Map, managed by the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP), provides free visualization, inspection, and download access to our most current US Topo and Historical Topographic Map products as well as GIS data for our primary data themes including: Elevation, Orthoimagery, Hydrography, Geographic Names, Boundaries, Transportation, Structures, and Land Cover. 

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Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Small Scale Collection USA
April 12, 2016

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

UStopo.png
April 7, 2016

US Topo maps are modeled on the familiar 7.5-minute, 1:24,000-scale quadrangle maps of the period 1947-1992, but are mass-produced from national GIS databases on a 3-year cycle.The maps are layered PDF documents with geospatial extensions. They are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

Download client.jpg
April 7, 2016

This is the primary search and download application for USGS topographic maps and base-layer GIS data. The same topographic maps are also downloadable through other interfaces.

Boston.jpg
April 6, 2016

USGS topographic maps originally published on paper in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and published as PDF documents. This collection is of topographic quadrangle maps with scales between 1:10,000 and 1:250,000. These historic documents are downloadable free of charge through several interfaces.

National Map Viewer
March 31, 2016

The National Geospatial Program satisfies the needs of customers by providing geospatial products and services that customers incorporate into their decisionmaking and operational activities.

Alaska Topographic Map Contours on Glacier
March 10, 2016

New US Topo maps for Alaska are being produced statewide, with digital 7.5 minute 1:25,000-scale maps providing a comprehensive update to the 15-minute 1:63,360-scale printed maps produced nearly fifty years ago. You can view a status map showing where the new maps are available, and link to a site to download the maps.

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Year Published: 2018

The 3D Elevation Program—Flood risk management

Flood-damage reduction in the United States has been a longstanding but elusive societal goal. The national strategy for reducing flood damage has shifted over recent decades from a focus on construction of flood-control dams and levee systems to a three-pronged strategy to (1) improve the design and operation of such structures, (2) provide more...

Carswell, William J.; Lukas, Vicki
Carswell, W.J., Jr., and Lukas, Vicki, 2018, The 3D Elevation Program—Flood risk management: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3081, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173081.

Year Published: 2017

The 3D Elevation Program national indexing scheme

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) acquires high-resolution elevation data for the Nation. This program has been operating under an opportunity-oriented approach, acquiring light detection and ranging (lidar) projects of varying sizes scattered across the United States. As a result, the national 3DEP elevation...

Thatcher, Cindy A.; Heidemann, Hans Karl; Stoker, Jason M.; Eldridge, Diane F.
Thatcher, C.A., Heidemann, H.K., Stoker, J.M., and Eldridge, D.F., 2017, The 3D Elevation Program national indexing scheme: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017-3073, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173073.

Year Published: 2017

The National Map seamless digital elevation model specifications

This specification documents the requirements and standards used to produce the seamless elevation layers for The National Map of the United States. Seamless elevation data are available for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and the U.S. territories, in three different resolutions—1/3-arc-second, 1-arc-second, and 2-arc-second. These...

Archuleta, Christy-Ann M.; Constance, Eric W.; Arundel, Samantha T.; Lowe, Amanda J.; Mantey, Kimberly S.; Phillips, Lori A.
Archuleta, C.M., Constance, E.W., Arundel, S.T., Lowe, A.J., Mantey, K.S., and Phillips, L.A., 2017, The National Map seamless digital elevation model specifications: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. B9, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm11B9.

Year Published: 2017

Historical Topographic Map Collection bookmark

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program is scanning published USGS 1:250,000-scale and larger topographic maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The goal of this project, which began publishing the historical scanned maps in 2011, is to provide a digital repository of USGS...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Allord, Gregory J.
Fishburn, K.A., and Allord, G.J., 2017, Historical Topographic Map Collection bookmark: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 179, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/gip179.

Year Published: 2017

Scanning and georeferencing historical USGS quadrangles

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program is scanning published USGS 1:250,000-scale and larger topographic maps printed between 1884, the inception of the topographic mapping program, and 2006. The goal of this project, which began publishing the Historical Topographic Map Collection in 2011, is to provide access to a digital...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Davis, Larry R.; Allord, Gregory J.
Fishburn, K.A., Davis, L.R., and Allord, G.J., 2017, Scanning and georeferencing historical USGS quadrangles: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3048, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173048.

Year Published: 2017

US Topo—Topographic maps for the Nation

Building on the success of 125 years of mapping, the U.S. Geological Survey created US Topo, a georeferenced digital map produced from The National Map data. US Topo maps are designed to be used like the traditional 7.5-minute quadrangle paper topographic maps for which the U.S. Geological Survey is so well known. However, in contrast to paper-...

Fishburn, Kristin A.; Carswell, William J.
Fishburn, K.A., and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2017, US Topo—Topographic maps for the Nation: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3045, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173045.

Year Published: 2017

The 3D Elevation Program—Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landslide Hazards Program conducts landslide hazard assessments, pursues landslide investigations and forecasts, provides technical assistance to respond to landslide emergencies, and engages in outreach. All of these activities benefit from the availability of high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) elevation...

Lukas, Vicki; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Lukas, Vicki, and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2017, The 3D Elevation Program—Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3094, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20163094.

Year Published: 2017

Status of the 3D Elevation Program, 2015

The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) is a cooperative activity to collect light detection and ranging (lidar) data for the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and U.S. territories; and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) elevation data for Alaska during an 8-year period. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and partner organizations acquire...

Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Eldridge, Diane F.; Jason, Allyson L. ; Lukas, Vicki; Saghy, David L.; Stoker, Jason M.; Thunen, Diana R.
Sugarbaker, L.J., Eldridge, D.F., Jason, A.L., Lukas, Vicki, Saghy, D.L., Stoker, J.M., and Thunen, D.R., 2017, Status of the 3D Elevation Program, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1196, 13 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161196.

Year Published: 2016

The 3D elevation program - Precision agriculture and other farm practices

A founding motto of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), originally the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), explains that “If we take care of the land, it will take care of us.” Digital elevation models (DEMs; see fig. 1) are derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data and can be processed to derive values such as slope angle...

Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Sugarbaker, L.J., and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2016, The 3D Elevation Program—Precision agriculture and other farm practices: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3088, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163088.

Year Published: 2016

The 3D Elevation Program and America's infrastructure

Infrastructure—the physical framework of transportation, energy, communications, water supply, and other systems—and construction management—the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from beginning to end—are critical to the Nation’s prosperity. The American Society of Civil Engineers has warned that, despite the importance of...

Lukas, Vicki; Carswell, Jr., William J.
Lukas, Vicki, and Carswell, W.J., Jr., 2016, The 3D Elevation Program and America's infrastructure: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3093, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163093.

Year Published: 2016

Evaluation of single photon and Geiger mode Lidar for the 3D Elevation Program

Data acquired by Harris Corporation’s (Melbourne, FL, USA) Geiger-mode IntelliEarth™ sensor and Sigma Space Corporation’s (Lanham-Seabrook, MD, USA) Single Photon HRQLS sensor were evaluated and compared to accepted 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) data and survey ground control to assess the suitability of these new technologies for the 3DEP. While...

Stoker, Jason M.; Abdullah, Qassim; Nayegandhi, Amar; Winehouse, Jayna

Year Published: 2016

3D Elevation Program—Virtual USA in 3D

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) uses a laser system called ‘lidar’ (light detection and ranging) to create a virtual reality map of the Nation that is very accurate. 3D maps have many uses with new uses being discovered all the time.  

Lukas, Vicki; Stoker, J.M.
Lukas, Vicki, Stoker, J.M., 2016, 3D Elevation Program—Virtual USA in 3D: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3022, 1 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163022.

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Simulated flooding, Denver, CO
2018 (approx.)

A 3D Elevation Program lidar point cloud colored by RGB color from imagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program and showing simulated flooding (in blue) of an area in Denver, Colorado.

Mount Shuksan, Washington
2018 (approx.)

View of Mount Shuksan from Picture Lake in North Cascades National Park

January 24, 2018

This lesson shows how to add data to the map view in the National Map Viewer from URLs or files.
 

Bismarck, ND DEM
2017 (approx.)

Bismarck, ND DEM- inverted blue color ramp.

Lidar point cloud of wind turbines in Washington
2017 (approx.)

Lidar point cloud of wind turbines in Washington- QL 2 data

Lidar point cloud of Rio Grande River
2017 (approx.)

Lidar point cloud of Rio Grande River- El Paso, TX

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International Lidar Mapping Forum logo
February 8, 2018

The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) team has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 “LIDAR Leader Award”, presented February 5 at the International LIDAR Mapping Forum in Denver.

Screenshot of topo map imagery from My Map web service
November 7, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort to improve performance and reliability for the suite of USGS Hydrography web-based map services, the USGS is migrating the National Hydrography Dataset and Watershed Boundary Dataset services to a Cloud location.

A view of selected feature types in the Governmental Units dynamic service around Albuquerque, New Mexico
October 3, 2017

Many of The National Map dynamic overlay services have new schemas and updated cartography to provide a better user experience in The National Map viewer and other applications. 

Screen shot of the new replacement National Map Advanced Viewer.
September 27, 2017

The USGS is planning to discontinue service to the previous versions of the National Map viewer application.

Portion of 2012, 0.3 meter High Resolution Orthoimage data near  Lake Union, Seattle, Wash.
September 25, 2017

The USGS would like to remind users of the upcoming sunset of National Map High Resolution Orthoimagery Data and Services.

lidar point cloud, Pittsburgh PA
August 22, 2017

Call for elevation project funding proposals and requests issued.

Major road in Southern Louisiana underwater during the August 2016 flooding
August 16, 2017

To illustrate the USGS and FEMA working together in the 2016 Louisiana flood response, the agency has released an interactive Story Map.

Status graphic displaying the current number and location of Illinois education support structures that need to be checked, are
August 9, 2017

The National Map Corps is requesting volunteer assistance to verify geographic information related to education structures in Illinois.

Status graphic displaying the current number and location of Illinois education support structures that need to be checked, are
August 9, 2017

The National Map Corps is requesting volunteer assistance to verify geographic information related to education structures in Illinois.

3D elevation data for El Paso, Texas, in the form of a lidar point cloud.
July 28, 2017

The USGS is seeing a dramatic increase in the use of 3D geospatial data for infrastructure planning, modeling and construction

The NHD represents the Nation’s inland water drainage network including rivers, streams, canals,
July 27, 2017

Interested in finding a good river to float down this hot summer? Or a favorite fishing hole? Ever wonder where those blue lines mapping the rivers, streams and lakes on the US Topo and other maps come from?

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