June 13, 2009
U.S. Geological Survey Launches Digital Map Beta
The Digital Map - Beta is the first step toward a new generation of digital topographic maps being created by the U.S. Geological Survey. These maps are built from The National Map data, which are integrated from local, State, Federal, and other sources. Tools are available free for download. Users can turn data layers on and off, zoom in and out, and print the maps. As the Digital Map - Beta evolves, the USGS will add historical versions of the topographic maps and will incorporate other data layers including hydrography and contours. Use of the term "Beta" signifies that these maps are initial versions that do not yet contain the full content of the traditional USGS topographic quadrangle maps according to the USGS announcement.
Digital Maps - Beta are available free on the Web in the GeoPDF format. File size is about 15 to 20 Megabytes. Tools are available free for download. Users can turn data layers on and off, zoom in and out, and print the maps.
Release Time Line. This new topographic map series will be released formally this fall. The USGS plans to make an updated version of each map every 3 years. As other data layers are integrated, they will be added to the maps, so that after 3 or 4 years all of the data within The National Map will be shown. In the near future, high-resolution scanned files of all historical versions of the new topographic maps also will be available for free download.
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]
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