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Topographic maps show the physical geography of an area, often including elevation of the terrain and depth of water. These maps can also include elements of the built environment. They are often published as map sets or series consisting of many individual sheets.
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Print USGS Topos
The USGS produces topographic maps of the United States at a variety of scales, from the 7.5 minute quadrangles (1:24,000) to 1:250,000. We shelve the physical maps in our library under the call number G3700 svar .U6 [state] [quad name]. Use a paper or digital index to identify the quad for your location of interest.
Digital USGS Topos
US Topo topographic maps are produced by the National Geospatial Program of the USGS. The term “US Topo” refers specifically to quadrangle topographic maps published in 2009 and later. These maps are modeled on the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle maps of the period 1947-1992, but are mass-produced from national GIS databases on a repeating cycle.
The USGS has scanned and made available online the majority of their historic topo maps. Use the topoView platform to view and download scanned maps in a variety of formats, including jpeg, kmz, geopdf, and geotiff.
Historic topographic maps of California (HISTOPO)
Scans of selected editions of 7.5- & 15-minute USGS quads from the UC Berkeley Library collections. The collection contains maps statewide with expanded coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay regions.
International Topographic Maps
Topographic map sets can be particularly helpful when you cannot find an individual sheet map for a city or area of interest at the desired scale. We have particularly strong collections of international topographic maps produced by both local governments and the U.S. Army Map Service. When viewing the OskiCat record for a topographic map set:
- Use paper and digital index maps to identify relevant sheets.
- Click “View volumes” to see if we own the sheets that you need.
Common topographic map sets with international coverage include:
Scanned international topographic map sets
Scans of international topographic maps can be found on many different sites, including the following:
Topographic Map Reference Materials
Guides to symbols
Soviet topographic map symbols
Published in 1958 by the US Dept. of the Army. Appendices include Russian alphabet transliteration, topographic symbols and their meanings, and translations of selected map terms.
World Mapping Today by Maps and digitized map data provide information for a broad range of applications, from business and Government, to engineering and military, to research and leisure. The new edition of the highly respected World Mapping Today is an essential reference for librarians and anyone concerned with the production, acquisition, distribution or use of maps and other forms of spatial data. World Mapping Today recognizes the inherent difficulties in finding out about the availability of maps and other forms of spatial data. Building on the strengths of the first edition, the book has been entirely rewritten and greatly expanded and now includes: New reviews on the status of world mapping and the problems and possibilities of map and data acquisition in the electronic age Descriptions of mapping in individual countries contain information about both conventional and digital cartography Catalogue sections covering a broad range of material, both topographic and thematicIn addition there are lists of publishers' addresses for each country, now also including telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses and the URLs of useful websites. This edition also includes 350 graphic indexes of major map series, of which 150 are entirely new and all of which have been specially redrawn.
Call Number: Z692.M3 W67 2002 (Reference)
Inventory of World Topographic Mapping by Topographic mapping plays a basic and important role within the extensive field of cartography. In recent years, this type of mapping has become somewhat neglected and available literature is normally restricted to details concerning the programmes of individual countries, often presented in the form of monographs. Topographic maps are essential tools for use in development projects, resource exploitation, the planning of construction, infrastructure and recreation. Furthermore, they give a detailed illustration of the relative degrees of development of areas within a landscape and are thus unique in demonstrating the cultural status of a country. This book is the first of three volumes and provides an introduction to world topographic mapping giving details and examples of topographic maps from Western Europe, North America and Australasia. The information supplied for each country consists of a text, including a brief history of the development of topographic mapping, geodetic data, map scales and series, as well as extracts of maps and index sheets illustrating the present status of map coverage within that country.
Call Number: GA300 .B6 1989 (Reference) (Also available online)