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Topographic Maps: Home


Topographic maps contain data on the natural features of the land, such as elevations, contours, water bodies, and other features, plus they may also contain man-made features such as roads, railroads, buildings and structures, etc. The main concept of topographic maps is that they show the way the landscape would appear if viewed from above. A brief history of the USGS topographic map program describes the creation of this valuable series. For more on the USGS topographic maps, see:

What is a Topographic Map? Brief instructional answers about topo maps.

General Information About Topographic Mapping. Introduction and history of the entire system.

USGS Maps. Description of each topo map series (differing scales and types).

Gateway to all USGS maps, imagery, and publications.

Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data. For GIS map data and imagery for digital applications, this is a good starting point.

The UB Map Collection includes topographical maps of the entire United States at scales of 1:24,000, 1:100,000, and 1:250,000; a complete set of Canadian topographic maps at 1:25,000; 1:50,000 and 1:100,000; World maps at 1:250,000 and 1:1,000,000; and maps of Europe, Mexico, and other areas at more detailed scales. U.S. topographical maps are arranged alphabetically by state, and then alphabetically by map name.

Use Index maps to locate topographic maps for the U.S. and Canada.

For New York State, we have a scanned index map, with sections.

In addition to printed maps, digital maps are available:

  • Topographic Maps (Digital Rasterized Graphic) image files for download (for use in ArcView, Photoshop). Also available here are low-res images of each quad.
  • New York State Gazetteer & GeoData Collection. This UB Libaries page provides a gazetteer, along with the digital collection of downloadable USGS topographic maps, such as georeferenced Digital Raster Graphics (DRG's). These maps are suitable for both general use and GIS applications.
  • New York Topographic Maps (selection). Topos (Scales 24k, 100k, 250k) covering selected portions of the state. Scroll to New York Topographic Map Index and click the link. Subsections are selected by clicking each area.


David J. Bertuca's picture
David J. Bertuca
116 Lockwood Memorial Library