In response to the need for updated topographic maps, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a national map series called the US Topo. Currently, more than 50% coverage (503 quadrangles) of the state of Wisconsin is available for distribution with the remainder of the State to be complete by late August, 2010. The entire US Topo collection is available as GeoPDF files and is distributed for free, through the Web, via the USGS Store.
The US Topo is derived from key layers of geographic data found in The National Map, orthoimagery, roads, geographic names, contours and hydrographic features and high-resolution color aerial imagery which provides visible content that was not available in the original 7.5- minute quadrangle map series. The US Topo provides modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and enables on-screen geographic analysis for users.
Production of the initial planimetric product, called Digital Maps – Beta, began in 2009. In 2010, the USGS began adding contours and hydrography and rebranded the map series as US Topo. The USGS is on track to meet its goal of producing all new map coverage for the nation in three years. Future objectives include adding additional content, such as county boundaries and vegetation, while still achieving rigorous production goals. The rapid production cycle will soon eliminate the no-coverage and out-of-date map problems that are inherent in the original, paper map series.