National Map’s Historical Topographic Map Collection – 178,000 historical topographic maps of the US

Here’s a fabulous digital archive with tens of thousands of maps for your viewing and printing pleasure! Available in time for the Fourth of July and able to be accessed on all digital devices, the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer brings to life more than 178,000 maps dating from 1884 to 2006.

In 2009, USGS began the release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, and is now complementing them with the release of high-resolution scans of more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States. The topographic map remains an indispensable tool for everyday use in government, science, industry, land management planning, and recreation.

Historical Topographic Maps - Preserving the Past

Historical Topographic Maps - Preserving the Past

Historic maps are snapshots of the nation’s physical and cultural features at a particular time. Maps of the same area can show how an area looked before development and provide a detailed view of changes over time. Historical maps are often useful to scientists, historians, environmentalists, genealogists and others researching a particular geographic location or area.

The goal of The National Map’s Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC) is to scan all the USGS historic topographic maps published by the USGS since the inception of the topographic mapping program in 1884. The National Geospatial Program (NGP) is accurately cataloging and creating metadata to accompany high-resolution, geo-referenced digital files representing the legacy lithographic maps. These maps are either no longer available for distribution in print or are being replaced by the new generation of US Topo maps.

And great news for users, you can now access the collection via an online ArcGIS WMS – Using the app is quite simple:

  1. Go to the weblink: http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/ (no need for a download from an app store)
  2. Find/search the place of your choice and click on the map.
  3. Select maps in the timeline.
  4. Move the slider bar to see the changes over time.
  5. Share it with friends.
  6. Save a copy of the maps to your desktop.

See more http://nationalmap.gov/historical/

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