My favorite government agency
April 14, 2005 12:27 PM   Subscribe

More than 16,000 photos related to the USGS from the years 1868 through 1992 are now available online where they may be easily searched, viewed, and downloaded free of charge. These are old stereo pairs, sites drowned by dams, geologists and surveyers in horse drawn wagons, petroglyphs, national parks, Mount St. Helens, John Wesley Powell, hoodoos, arches, ruins, mines...
posted by the Real Dan (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Damn, I'm trying to get some work done here. No one post any more excellent links like this one.

(thank you the Real Dan)
posted by marxchivist at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2005

hey, that's good stuff! -- tho the web design is curious.
posted by undule at 12:42 PM on April 14, 2005

this is very cool, thanks for posting!
the hi rez of the Mount St. Helens explosion from 1980 is amazing; I live in Iowa, and we had ash fallout for days from that eruption.
posted by atlatl at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2005

They've got some very cool pictures in there. Not much of a selection for Rhode Island from my initial searches, but I was floored by this picture of the lighthouse on Prudence Island, where I've spent many of my summers and know exactly what slate knoll the picture was shot from because it had been a family property at one point.
posted by chickygrrl at 12:51 PM on April 14, 2005

Wow, what a truly awesome collection.

And undule, I thought the same thing. I wanna know how much the US gov't is paying website designers.
posted by deborah at 1:06 PM on April 14, 2005

If you open the main links from the left frame in a new window, you can avoid getting that annoying double frame. Yeah, the design and function of the site basically sucks, the person who built it obviously didn't know how to correctly use frames... but it certainly is a great resource. Thanks!
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2005

This is truly amazing to me: "NOTE: This on-line collection represents less than 10% the USGS Photo Library Collection".
posted by horseblind at 1:53 PM on April 14, 2005

Just last week I was perusing the LOC's collection of Walker Evans photos, trying to decide which ones I wanted to get prints of. Looks like I've got a whole lot more to look through now.
posted by me3dia at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2005

I wanna know how much the US gov't is paying website designers.

Not nearly enough...

Great post, thanks! I'm loving the incredible W.H. Jackson collection.
posted by naomi at 2:10 PM on April 14, 2005

I wanna know how much the US gov't is paying website designers.

Not nearly enough...

Or far too much for crap, dot-com-bubble style.
posted by linux at 3:19 PM on April 14, 2005

It does make one wonder why some government agencies take the time and effort to create amazingly cool collections like this one and the one at the Library of Congress, while others agencies that would surely have archives of fascinating materials don't bother. I'm not talking about national security stuff - I mean, I don't expect to be able to do a full-text search on the documents at the CIA, but I'd bet that there are lots of state and local governments was historical documents up the wazoo that would be great to browse.
posted by robhuddles at 4:31 PM on April 14, 2005

It's always striking to see photos of my school, 99 years ago, reduced to rubble.

Great post, thanks.
posted by sellout at 5:08 PM on April 14, 2005

the Real Dan,
Thanks for another post that keeps me from getting my work done.
posted by X4ster at 5:21 PM on April 14, 2005

Or far too much for crap, dot-com-bubble style.

I believe that's much more likely. At least it's easy to navigate.
posted by deborah at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2005

hoo·doo Audio pronunciation of "hoodoo" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hd)
n. pl. hoo·doos
1. Magic healing and control, especially in African-based folk medicine in the United States and the Caribbean. Also called conjure.
2. A practitioner of hoodoo.
2. Voodoo.
1. Bad luck.
2. One that brings bad luck.
4. Geology. A column of eccentrically shaped rock, produced by differential weathering.

huh. Now I know.
posted by jaronson at 8:45 AM on April 16, 2005

Wonderful post, thanks. And a tremendous resource (despite the horrible design). It's fun to see my neighborhood 100 years ago.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:09 PM on April 16, 2005

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