Information Services @ Sno-Isle

The spot where information about information lives

Printing Topo maps

Topo (topographical) maps are very popular with hikers, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts.  And there are some great topo map sites out there, but printing those maps can be a nightmare.  National Geographic has come up with a solution!

National Geographic has built an easy to use web interface that allows anyone to quickly find any quad in the country for downloading and printing. Each quad has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer. These are the same quads that were printed by USGS for decades on giant bus-sized pressed but are now available in multi-page PDFs that can be printed just about anywhere. They are pre-packaged using the standard 7.5 minute, 1:24,000 base but with some twists:

  • Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
  • Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
  • Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography


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4 thoughts on “Printing Topo maps

  1. snoisleteens on said:

    I wonder how often this are updated. Still shows the Kingdome on the Seattle map…

  2. Terry Beck on said:

    Publication varies dramatically, just as it did when they were all print maps. Topo maps are most often used for rural areas, not urban.

  3. Jayanne Bixby on said:

    Terry –
    Is it okay to share the Information Services posts on our branch Facebook page? – Jay

    Jayanne Bixby
    Librarian – Freeland & Langley Libraries
    360-331-7323 (Freeland)
    360-221-4383 (Langley)

    • Terry Beck on said:

      Sorry–all those vacations this year threw me off my schedule and I missed your comment! Yes, feel free to share the posts.

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