The Map and Government Information Library holds current and historical U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps for the entire US and its territories as well as thematic maps published by USGS. Listed below is information about some frequently-requested series. If you have questions about our holdings and cannot find an entry in the UGA Libraries' catalog, please contact us

Topographic maps

The USGS was created in 1879 and began to systematically map the country in 1882. The early topographic quadrangles of the eastern United States have scales of 1:62,500 for heavily populated areas and 1:125,000 for undeveloped areas; they are more frequently referred to as 15-minute and 30-minute quads as each sheet covers either 15 or 30 minutes of latitude and longitude respectively. As the country became fully explored and better populated, USGS began mapping it at a larger scale; by the late 1950s the 15- and 30-minute series were phased out in favor of the larger-scale 7.5 minute series (1:24,000). USGS also maps the US at smaller scales that show less detail but cover larger areas.

The Map and Government Information Library holds both current and old editions of USGS topographic maps for all states and US territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands) at some or all of the following scales:

  • 1:24,000 (7.5-minute)
  • 1:63,360 (Alaska 15-minute)
  • 1:100,000 (30 x 60-minute)
  • 1:250,000
  • Historical 15-minute (1:62,500), 30-minute (1:125,000) & specials (scales vary)
  • Topographic map symbols for USGS maps

 

Thematic maps

USGS also produces a variety of thematic maps and map series, including:

  • Coal Investigations
    Map & Government Information Library - Map 
    G3701s .H9 var..U5
  • Geologic Quadrangles 
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .C5 var..U5
  • Geophysical Investigations 
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .C9 var..U5
  • Hydrologic Investigations Atlas
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G1201 .C34 G4 1992
  • Miscellaneous Field Studies
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .H1 var..U51
  • Mineral Investigations Series 
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .H1 var..U5
  • Oil and Gas Investigations Chart
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .H8 var..U5
  • Scientific Investigations 
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    G3701s .C5 svar..U52
  • State Geologic Maps
    Map & Government Information Library - Map
    Various call numbers

Thematic USGS maps can be found either by map title or series through the UGA Libraries' catalog. Geologic maps are also held in the Science Library. If you cannot find a particular map or map series, please contact us.

 

Online access to USGS maps, imagery and publications

Maps, imagery, publications and related data can also be downloaded for free from USGS:

 

USGS Map Resources

Larsgaard, Mary Lynette. Topographic Mapping of the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1984.
Map and Government Information Library Reference Collection - GA125 .L37 1984 (does not circulate)

Moffat, Riley Moore. Map Index to Topographic Quadrangles of the United States, 1882 – 1940. Santa Cruz, CA: Western Association of Map Libraries, 1986.
Map and Government Information Library Reference Collection - GA405 .M64 1985 (does not circulate)

Rabbitt, Mary C. "The United States Geological Survey: 1879-1989.” USGS Circular 1050