Saturday, November 7, 2009

Map Enthusiasts! This is Cool.

From the Gear Junkie, I downloaded a swell map of Zion.

Beginning in the 1940s, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Mapping Program was tasked with the immense cartographical feat of surveying the entire country to create a series of more than 50,000 topographical maps. Widely available and mostly accurate, the 1:24,000-scale government maps canvas the total of the contiguous United States.

Not occurring to many people — including me! — these maps exist within the public domain and are thus free for use and distribution. Taxpayers funded the decades-long project, and now you, dear taxpayer, are allowed the keys to download thousands of maps from a U.S. Geological Survey web site.

Yosemite Topo Map.jpg

To be sure, printed maps from the USGS still come with a fee. But a download of the agency’s cartographical creations, which open in Adobe Acrobat as PDF files, is as simple and free as a few mouse clicks.

You can print the high-resolution map files from a home inkjet. Or, save the file and email a map to a copy shop for large-format print-outs.

To start the process, go to and find the text “Map Locator” on the top upper part of the left-hand column. Click it to be whisked to a Google Maps interface of the United States.


Anonymous said...

to bad its the US department of interior geological survey. ill have to find someplace to get awesome maps of not the u.s. to get my junkie fix

Pamela said...

Thanks, Lisa! this is very cool! :) The first thing I looked up was my house....