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USGS Store - Map Locator & Downloader
About GeoPDF Maps

The Map Locator and Downloader (MLAD) serves standard topographic quadrangle maps with scales of 1:10,000 through 1:250,000. Within this domain there are two product categories:

Maps in both categories are published in PDF (Portable Document Format). PDF was chosen as the format for these products because it is the only format in common use that

  • Can carry vector data, raster data, map symbology, and text fonts.
  • Can be displayed on a normal office computer without specialized software or expertise.
  • Will allow a map to be printed at correct scale without specialized software or expertise.

Geospatial extensions are implemented in both product categories. This gives map users access to simple geospatial functions such as reading ground coordinates and measuring distances and areas. The geospatial extensions add value "for free" - some additional capability at no cost to the end user. The extensions do not conflict with base PDF, so users who do not need these capabilities can use the files as ordinary PDF documents.

For more detail about USGS GeoPDF maps, see the US Topo Map and Historical Topographic Map Users Guide (PDF, 1MB).

PDF files are not easily loadable into most Geographic Information Systems (GIS). For more information on using USGS PDF maps with GIS, see the users guide referenced above, and also this FAQ. For USGS sources of downloadable GIS data, see The National Map main page, The National Map Viewer and Download Platform, and the data pages of the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. We also have GIS web services.

"GeoPDF" is a registered trademark of TerraGo Technologies, and is currently the geospatial implementation of all HTMC and US Topo maps.