USGS 24k Legacy Topo Map

Map InfoMap Information

Created By: Boyd
Page Last Updated: September 25th, 2022 8:09pm
Map Coverage:
North: 47.6807°
West: 80.6885° East: 69.9856°
South: 37.0646°
Country: United States
State: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
Price: Free

Topographic Data Street Data Trail Data Point of Interest Data

*** Map updated on 9/25/22 to include full coverage of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. ***

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 4,225 quadrangles from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and is not available anywhere else. It includes full coverage of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachussets, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont with partial coverage of Virginia and West Virginia. (This is an ongoing project and coverage will continue to expand in the future.)

The newest version of each quad was used unless there were quality issues. About 1,200 quads are from the period 1960-69 with about 860 from 1990-99 and 650 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, the USGS National Map Topo 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 400,000 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 or on your computer with an interface designed for large screens. It's a website, but can also be installed as an app which offers many advantages, especially on phones. There are over 200 maps, covering the entire world, including the full suite of maps from HERE and Mapbox. Many other features like waypoints, elevation data, 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!

Visit USGS 24k Legacy Topo To Download.

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