The USGS has launched the new USGS Map Locator and Downloader, a Web tool designed to deliver topographic maps easier, faster, and less expensively than before.
Using open source software and the Google Maps programming interface, the Map Locator and Downloader allows customers to find the topographic maps they need, by searching zip code, address, or navigating on an interactive map. Users can pan, zoom, change the map to see satellite imagery or a seamless USGS topographic map view, order printed maps or download a scanned map image in GeoPDF® format.
Downloading maps allows users to view the map prior to purchase and doesn’t require customers to pay the shipping and handling fees associated with hard map products.
The launch of the Map Locator and Downloader is the first step in a plan to update the USGS Store (http://store.usgs.gov), which is expected to be completed early in 2008. To date, customers have downloaded about 40,000 maps; traffic is currently about 16,000 downloads per month.