US Topo: Maps for America

Building on the success of more than 130 years of USGS topographic mapping, the US Topo series is a new generation of maps of the American landscape. US Topo topographic maps are produced by the National Geospatial Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The project was launched in late 2009, and the term “US Topo” refers specifically to quadrangle topographic maps published in 2009 and later. These maps are modeled on the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle maps of the period 1947-1992, but are mass-produced from national GIS databases on a repeating cycle. US Topo maps repackage geographic information system (GIS) data in traditional map form; this benefits non-specialist map users, as well as applications that need traditional maps.

US Topo maps can be downloaded free of charge from several USGS websites. All maps can be viewed and printed with Adobe Reader or comparable PDF viewing software. Limited GIS functionality, such as displaying ground coordinates, is available with all maps, and the layered construction of the PDF files allows users to turn data layers on and off.

The maps include layers not present on most traditional topographic maps, such as aerial photo and shaded relief images. Many additional feature classes have been added over the life of the project, and new and better data sources have been found for others. A challenge has been finding national datasets for all the feature types of a traditional topographic map. See this FAQ for more information about specific layers.

US Topo maps are produced by the USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center. The first 3-year production cycle for the conterminous 48 states was completed in September 2012, and the second in September 2015. The third cycle is planned for completion in 2018. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands also have US Topo coverage. Alaska has partial coverage, which is expected to be completed in 2022.

More information about US Topo maps:

How US Topo Maps Differ from Traditional USGS Topographic Maps

  • Mass-produced from national GIS databases; no field inspection or data collection
  • Computer generated; no manual drafting, limited editing
  • Rapid (3 year) publication cycle, with continuous product improvement
  • Published as digital documents, not as paper maps
  • Basic GIS functionality with no-cost software
  • Cast on current spatial reference systems
  • Feature content is comparable to traditional maps, but with some significant additions and some omissions.
  • Downloadable free of charge

Related Products and Services

User Feedback

The USGS values your comments about US Topo Maps. Mail can be sent to, or contact us through the methods listed here.

Older Topographic Maps

Topographic maps originally published as paper documents in the period 1884-2006 have been scanned and continue to be published as GeooPDF documents in the Historical Topographic Map Collection. These can also be downloaded free of charge.

US Topo Map Evolution


Historical Topographic Maps - Preserving the Past

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):

  • The National Map Download Client is our primary application for finding and downloading maps and other data products of the USGS National Geospatial Program.
  • TopoView provides the best visual overview of the HTMC. It serves maps in GeoTIFF, JPG, and KMZ versions of the HTMC maps, in addition to the product standard GeoPDF.
  • A text query application: CSV-format information here allows advanced users to write custom download scripts.
  • The USGS Store website sells printed maps, and USGS maps and publications that are not included in either the US Topo or HTMC series.

For tutorial information on download and product use, see the US Topo / HTMC User's Guide.

The TerraGo Toolbar is available for free download for use with GeoPDF® maps.

Topo View

this is a USGS map viewer. You can search by topo name or by using the map. Once you select a quad, you will be given all dates available for that quad. Then “download” lets you choose your format.
USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection

USGS Map Viewer,ustopo&title=Map%20View#startUp

you can search for a location on the right side and then click “find products” on the pin note.
At the left it will show results. You can save URLs for the results and then each can be opened. Save as CSV and then convert links to active and you can click from there.

Map Store

Access to all types of USGS maps. The Map Locator. This is the easiest and most complete, but downloads are pdf only.