On December 3, 2009 the Department of Interior announced the release of the “US Topo” product which is the next generation of topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Digital US Topo maps are designed to look, feel, and perform like the traditional paper topographic maps for which the USGS is so well known. However, in contrast to paper-based maps, US Topo maps provide technical advantages that support faster, wider public distribution and enable basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users. USGS plans to update all the maps in Wisconsin to US Topo maps in summer of 2010.
Key features of the new product include:
- Built from nationally consistent data quality assured to high standards
- Looks and feels like legacy paper USGS topographic maps but has technical advantages
- Can be used on the computer or printed to scale
- Downloadable free from the on-line from the USGS Store
- Users can select from various reference systems, e.g lat-long, UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator)
- Direct “mash-up” capabilities with Google Maps®
- Continuous evolution and incorporation of additional data layers
Visit the National Map U.S. Topo site for further information about how to download and use US Topo, currently available coverage, and production timetables. For more information about this and other USGS Geospatial Programs in Wisconsin contact Dick Vraga, USGS Geospatial Liaison for Wisconsin.