So you need USGS topos do you? After years and years the USGS topo data is still a hot ticket item that many Geo professionals rely on for their basemaps. Since the dawn of time these data have been quite a pain to get.. imagine sifting through archaic data repositories on academic sites, state portals and antiquated web repositories (think 12 clicks to get your free download). Well, fear not because not only are these data easily available from the USGS via the national map but thanks to Google and the Google Map Gallery project, users have one click access to downloading the USGS topo quad of choice. Note, these data are made available as GeoPDF files so if you need other GIS formats or DRGs consult some of the State data repositories listed here and also in this comprehensive article on downloading free USGS data. See also this primer on working with USGS SDTS data
Simply zoom in to an area of choice, determine which quad(s) is of interest, click the icon… enjoy your file!
You can check out the gallery HERE or test the service for yourself below – you can even embed the map service on your own website just like we did here. Want historical topos? Well you can get those as well!