U.S. Geological Survey Opened up its Historical Archive

The USGS announced yesterday that it was in the process of releasing all of its maps to the public. This organization has been mapping the USA since 1879, and its archive dates back to 1884. All the maps made between 1884 and 2006 are going to be put online for the public to see.

The topographic map collection covers all states and U.S. territories that have been mapped by the USGS. That’s over 200 thousand maps, all of which have been scanned and converted to GeoPDF format.

This should be of particular interest to any history buff. Topography doesn’t change often, so when it does the change is often dramatic. When I have a moment, I plan to look up before and after maps for each of the major Mississippi River floods.

You can search for and download the maps here.