Topic ID #12860 - posted 7/13/2011 3:37 AM

USGS releases historic topo quad maps

Jennifer Palmer

Technical Announcement:
Historical Maps Released

USGS Announces Initial Availability of Historical Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the United States
Released: 7/11/2011 8:00:00 AM

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Historical Quadrangle Scanning Project (HQSP) is in the process of releasing all editions and all scales of more than 200,000 historic topographic maps of the United States dating from 1884-2006.

For more than 130 years, the USGS topographic mapping program has accurately portrayed the complex geography of our Nation. The historical topographic map collection contains all editions and all scales of USGS topographic quadrangles. Files are high resolution (600 DPI) scanned images of all maps from the USGS legacy collection.

The historical topographic map collection includes all States and U.S. territories mapped by the USGS. The HQSP creates a master catalogue and digital archive for all topographic maps and provides easy access to the public to download this historical data to accompany topographic maps that are no longer available for distribution as lithographic prints.

Historical maps are available to the public at no cost in GeoPDF format from the USGS Store. These maps are georeferenced and can be used in conjunction with the new USGS digital topographic map, the US Topo.

Future plans include providing the historical maps in GeoPDF andGeoTIFF formats through The National Map in the fall of 2011. The GeoTIFFs can be imported into a Geographic Information System and overlain with other data sources.

More information about this product is available online

Additionally, a video of the HQSP presentation given at The National Map Users Conference (TNM UC) in May is now available online.

Post ID#18845 - replied 7/13/2011 5:18 PM


That's great news! I have been using the Perry-Casteneda Library Map Collection < > for a while, but it is limited in the number of scanned maps and they are not georeferenced.

Post ID#18935 - replied 8/17/2011 10:15 PM


I've been scoping out a few of the late Historic 15-minute quad maps and they are a great source of information, particularly for that awkward historic-modern period transition. I'm not sure about other states, but the Arizona ones I've viewed/downloaded (mostly late 1950s) are kind of strange in that they contain a UTM grid, but lack the township, range, and section lines. I've never seen these as paper maps before. I wonder if they were uncirculated.


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