USGS Topographic Maps
General information about topographic mapping
General information about USGS maps
Finding and ordering USGS topographic maps
Digital Raster Graphics
computer images of topographic maps
Topographic map revision
Traditional Topographic map symbols
-National Geospatial Program Standards
-Primary series quadrangle map standards
The United States Geological Survey: 1879-1989
Note: The information on this page is being retained for technical and historical reference only. The site is not under active maintenance and may include expired information and outdated links.
Please visit The National Map and US Topo. Bookmark those links for current geospatial data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
USGS Topographic Mapping 1879-1992
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. This is the only uniform map series that covers the entire area of the United States in considerable detail.
The 7.5-minute map series was officially completed in 1992, and the program has recently been replaced by The National Map All topographic maps from the 7.5-minute program, as well as various derived products, remain available for sale.