The National Map (US)
April 20, 2012 12:01 PM   Subscribe

"The U.S. Geological Survey has just released more than 161,000 digitally scanned historical maps spanning in excess of 130 years and covering the lower 48 states. This Historical Topographic Map Collection provides a comprehensive repository of the landscape of our Nation..."
posted by Miko (19 comments total) 84 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh i like this very much
posted by Think_Long at 12:14 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, this is amazing.
posted by pemberkins at 12:17 PM on April 20, 2012


Oh geezy wow. I love this so much! Thanks, Miko!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:26 PM on April 20, 2012


Hopefully the USGS has the competence to not have jessamyn's home town on top of a lake.
posted by Danf at 12:27 PM on April 20, 2012


This is very cool; thanks for posting! Now excuse me while I go find a large-format printer.
posted by Triplanetary at 12:31 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hopefully the USGS has the competence to not have jessamyn's home town on top of a lake.

The USGS maintains the survey of record for the United States. If it's on the Quad, that's how it was.

The resolutions on these maps are amazing. I had put up with the crappy third party hiking sites that posted topo maps for the longest time.

Excuse me while I explore pre-freeway Los Angeles.
posted by hwyengr at 12:36 PM on April 20, 2012


It's always baffled me that so many other first-world nations don't bother to do stuff like this. With many of them you can't even get current maps without coughing up some money, or you might just get a subset of the most-requested products skimmed off the top. The US agencies aren't exactly swimming in funds these days, either. FWIW, there's this too for the nautical/aeronautical buffs.
posted by crapmatic at 12:38 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been digging into the 7.5-minute quads for my own use for the past month. They're all vector-topo-line, layered-aerial PDFs and are, really, awesome. I started to notice some of the older links...holy shit, some of this is in Powell's own hand!
posted by notsnot at 12:41 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's always baffled me that so many other first-world nations don't bother to do stuff like this.

The British might actually have us beat there, especially when you zoom in all the way and see stuff like "Lady's Whitley's Second Favorite Barn" and "A pile of interesting stones" listed.
posted by theodolite at 12:48 PM on April 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


needs the "timesink" tag
posted by not_on_display at 1:21 PM on April 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


What not_on_display said.
posted by Melismata at 1:22 PM on April 20, 2012


I want to give the USGS all of my tax money. I love this. This is awesome. Thank you.
posted by jnnla at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice, theodolite. The British one works much more easily than the Canadian one, though in fairness Canada a slightly bigger area to deal with.
posted by Listener at 4:02 PM on April 20, 2012


I'm looking at maps of my dad's childhood home in rural southern Illinois (from a 1964 survey). Knowing the area, some features are easy to interpret (small black boxes = buildings, for example). But there are other things I can't figure out. Is there a comprehensive legend somewhere that I can refer to?
posted by ocherdraco at 5:02 PM on April 20, 2012


I started to look at this earlier today, but then realized that I had work that really, really, no-foolin' had to get done, so I carefully backed out of the thread and pretended I hadn't seen it. Because timesuck? Holy god. It's my weekend! Yay!
posted by rtha at 6:18 PM on April 20, 2012


otherdraco, does this help? I looked around for a key specifically for these maps but didn't find anything associated there. Hopefully the historical keys aren't all that different?
posted by Miko at 7:10 PM on April 20, 2012


Yes, thank you!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:14 AM on April 21, 2012


Wellp, there goes my weekend.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2012


Nice! I have the quadrangle that contains my former summer camp in the Shenandoah mountains framed and hanging in my living room...it was fun to look at the older versions.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:48 PM on April 21, 2012


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