The production of digital cartographic data and graphic maps comprises the
largest component of the USGS
Program (NMP). Cartographic data are compiled from
aerial photographs, other remotely sensed images, historical records, legal
documents, and direct field observations and surveys and comply with standards
of content, geometric accuracy, and presentation. Modern, automated equipment
is used in this process, replacing the labor-intensive processes of the past.
The NMP incorporates the documented needs of 40 Federal
agencies and the 50 States, which are solicited and analyzed as part of a
continuous requirements assessment process.
- The USGS's most familiar product is the 1:24,000-scale
Topographic Quadrangle Map. This is the primary scale of data produced, and
depicts greater detail for a smaller area than intermediate-scale (1:50,000 and
1:100,000) and small-scale (1:250,000, 1:2,000,000 or smaller) products, which
show selectively less detail for larger areas.
- Orthophotoquads are distortion-free aerial photographs that are formatted
and printed as standard 7.5 minute, 1:24,000-scale quadrangles (15-minute in
Alaska) or as quarter quadrangles at a scale of 1:12,000.
- Experimental multicolored or black-and-white image maps produced from
digital data collected by Land Satellite (Landsat) and Systeme Probatoire
d'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) sensors. Scales range from 1:24,000 (Point
Loma, Calif.) to 1:7,500,000 (conterminous 48 States).
- Thematic Maps
- Maps in which information on special subjects is geographically displayed
on planimetric base maps or overlays registered to planimetric or topographic
base maps. This category includes
land use and
land cover and associated maps,
- Other Format Maps
- This category consists of maps in non-quadrangle format. These maps
base map series,
base maps, a
Park series, and outline maps of the world. Scales range from 1:960 to 1:80
- Other Map Products
- Other map products, published to meet the special needs of Federal
agencies, include: selected National Imagery and Mapping
Agency map and chart products, USDA Forest Service
and Grasslands Maps,
relief topographic maps,
For more specific information and ordering instructions for Printed Maps,
see: USGS Printed
- Aerial Photographs
- Aerial photographs archived and distributed by the USGS
include the repository of multiagency
Photography Program (NAPP) photos at 1:40,000 scale in
color infrared or black and white;
National High Altitude
Aerial Photography Program (NHAP) photos at 1:58,000
scale for color infrared and 1:80,000 for black and white; and aerial photos at
various scales from
USGS mapping projects and
agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation, Environmental Protection
Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQ)
- Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQ) are digital images
of aerial photographs in which displacements caused by the camera and the
terrain have been removed. A DOQ combines the image
characteristics of a photograph with the geometric qualities of a map. The
standard digital orhthophoto produced by the USGS is a black-and-white or
color-infrared 1-meter ground resolution quarter quadrangle (3.75-minute)
Space Photography and Satellite-Derived Data and
Products archived and available through the USGS with
substantial coverage of the United States include:
- From NASA manned spaceflight missions.
- Products include Advanced Very-High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR
) images and Land Satellite (Landsat) Thematic Mapper (TM
) and Multispectral Scanner (MSS) digital data.
Also available are color and black-and-white photographic products generated
from various satellite sources.
Digital Geospatial Data
Products archived and available through the USGS include:
- Digital Line
- DLG's are vector files containing line data, such as
roads and streams, digitized from USGS topographic maps.
DLG's offer a full range of attribute codes, are highly
accurate, and are topologically structured, which makes them ideal for use in
geographic information systems (GIS).
- Digital Raster
- DRG's are scanned images of USGS
topographic maps. A scanned DRG image includes all map
collar information. The image inside the map neatline is georeferenced to the
Earth's surface. A DRG can be combined with digital data or
images (for example, DOQ's) to aid in the collection,
review, and revision of other types of digital data, especially DLG
Elevation Models (DEM)
- DEM's are digital records of terrain elevations for
ground positions at regularly spaced horizontal intervals. DEM
's are developed from stereo models or digital contour line files
derived from USGS topographic quadrangle maps.
- Land Use
and Land Cover (LULC)
- LULC data are derived from thematic overlays registered
to 1:250,000-scale base maps and a limited number of 1:100,000-scale base maps.
LULC data provide information on urban or built-up land,
agricultural land, rangeland, forest land, water, wetlands, barren land,
tundra, and perennial snow or ice. Associated maps display information in five
data categories: (1) political units, (2) hydrologic units, (3) census county
subdivisions, (4) Federal land ownership, and (5) State land ownership.
- Upper Mississippi and Lower
Missouri Data Base
- This data base forms an Environmental Information System for the Upper
Mississippi and Missouri River Basins developed in response to the great flood
of 1993. This system includes satellite data, elevation data, digitized aerial
photographs, data on historic river channels, man-made structures,
hazardous/toxic waste sites, spatially referenced information on soils, and
various geologic, biologic, hydrologic, and hydrographic themes. The component
data sets were designed for widely different purposes, and are stored in a
variety of formats and map scales. The majority of data were provided by
Federal agencies and are in the public domain. A small number of data sets have
distribution restrictions due to proprietary agreements or to protect resources
at sensitive locations such as archaeologic sites or endangered species nesting
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS
The GNIS data
base contains information about physical and cultural geographic features in
the United States, including the Federally recognized name and location. The
GNIS is the Nation's official repository of domestic
geographic names information. An online
query of the GNIS data base is also available.
Mapping-Related Earth Science Publications
Mapping-Related Public-Domain Software
The USGS maintains a collection of public-domain
developed by or for the USGS, including cartographic, map
production and revision, geospatial metadata, and mapping products access