USGS 24k Legacy Topo Map
Created By: Boyd
Page Last Updated: September 5th, 2022 10:09am
West: 80.618° East: 69.868°
Country: United States
State: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia
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The United States Geological Survey began creating 24k topographic maps in the 1940's and completed the series in 1992 with revisions continuing through 2006. Starting in 2009, the USGS began replacing these legacy maps with their new digital "US Topo" series which have less detail, but they are gradually improving. In discontinuing the legacy maps, the USGS explained:
"Traditional national mapping programs gathered data from primary sources, including direct field observation. Such maps were compiled, drawn, and edited by hand. In the United States, the era of traditional topographic mapping lasted from about 1880 to about 1990, and was primarily the responsibility of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). By today's standards these traditional methods were very expensive, and USGS no longer has either mission or funding to make maps this way."
In spite of their age, many people still consider these to be the "gold standard" of topographic mapping due to their rich detail and a sense of style that is missing from the digital US Topo series.
This map is an all-new curated collection of 2,672 quadrangles from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and is not available anywhere else. It includes full coverage of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachussets and partial coverage of New York, Virginia and West Virginia. (This is an ongoing project and an update will soon add full coverage of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine)
The newest version of each quad was used unless there were quality issues. About 1,000 quads are from the period 1960-69 with about 700 from 1990-99 and 500 from 1950-59. The remainder are scattered throughout a range of dates between 1942 and 2002. In a few cases, no legacy topo was available and the new "US Topo" digital maps were used.
Original .tif files were downloaded from the Historical Topographic Map Collection, cropped to remove the collar and re-projected as Web Mercator. These source files were processed at a resolution of 2.4 meters/pixel which preserves the full detail of the original USGS 300 dot-per-inch scans.
As you zoom out, the view switches to USGS 100k topo maps and then to USGS 250k maps as you zoom farther. At smaller scales a simple basemap is shown.
Garmin devices do not offer any serious support for raster imagery, so this map is only available in the free boydsmaps web app. Garmin's "custom maps" raster format only supports a total of 100 tiles at 1024x1024 on most devices, however this map would contain about 250,000 tiles if processed in that format!
The boydsmaps web app is compatible with all devices and operating systems, it's free, there's no advertising and no registration. Use it on your phone like a handheld GPS in mobile mode or on your computer with a desktop interface designed for large screens. It's a website, but can also be installed as an app which offers many advantages, especially on phones. In addition to this map there are over 200 more, covering the entire world, including the full suite of maps and imagery from HERE and Mapbox. Many other features like waypoints, live elevation display, weather, radar and more. See the built-in help function for full documentation.
There's nothing to download, just click the link below and start using the map right away!
Note: This map is not hosted by GPSFileDepot