USGS: 18 million electronic maps downloaded

More than 18 million US Topo quadrangles and Historic Topographic Maps have been downloaded in the past six years from the USGS Store or The National Map Viewer.

The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Geospatial Program, announced that more than 18 million US Topo quadrangles and Historic Topographic Maps have been downloaded in the past six years from the USGS Store or The National Map Viewer.

In late 2009, the USGS began releasing electronic topographic maps, called US Topo maps. In 2012, the National Geospatial Program added high-resolution scans featuring more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States, known as the Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC). Both of these digital products are accessible free of charge.

The HTMC database features high-resolution digital scans of legacy paper USGS maps, some as old as 1884. The most popular HTMC map is the Half Dome, Calif., quadrangle, which has been downloaded 4,257 times. The most viewed and downloaded US Topo map is the Washington West, DC, quadrangle, having been downloaded 2,785 times, according to USGS.

On average nearly 280,000 US Topo and HTMC maps are downloaded each month. That adds up to more than 9,300 downloads per day or nearly 400 every hour. The majority of downloads are downloaded to .net or .com domains, USGS said.

To further encourage public use, USGS has also posted various videos that explain how to download and manipulate the maps. 

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