The Last Piece of the Puzzle: USGS Historical Maps

Posted on April 3, 2012 by

A brief look at USGS Historical Maps and info about how to access them online (free).

From the Article:

For almost 130 years the USGS topographic mapping program has accurately depicted the complex geography of our Nation.  Physical and cultural features change over time.  Maps are updated and new editions are printed.  For decades most of these rare old maps were long since forgotten and out of circulation.

No single complete set of the almost 180,000 USGS topographic maps even existed.  Only those researchers with access to the USGS Topographic Map Archive located in Reston, Va., had an opportunity to take a glimpse at these time capsules of cartographic information.


So far over 155,000 maps have been scanned with only a handful of states remaining.  The status graphic, a visual representation of what maps have been uploaded, is updated frequently. Additional historical documents supporting early topographic mapping will be added to the collection down the road.

Read the Complete Article

Visit the USGS Map Store to Access Historical Maps