Nat Geo launched a free website for printing detailed topographic maps


People at National Geographic comes to be of service to all adventurous outdoor photographers. They put all the US Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps across the United States on one easy-to-navigate site and made them easy to print at home.

If you’ve ever been looking for topographic maps through the USGS, you know this can be a bit of a pain because not only is it harder to find the quad you’re looking for, but the PDFs available aren’t formatted for. standard printer paper.

The National Geographic website solves both of these problems. First, the home page greets you with a searchable interactive map – all you have to do is search or zoom in to the area you’re looking for. Then once you’ve found your quad, just click on it and a printable PDF will load immediately.

It’s incredibly easy. I pulled this one out in seconds.


The printable PDF you get from Nat Geo is split into 5 pages. Page 1 (see above) is the quad in context; Pages 2-5 are USGS Quads with a quarter on each page so you can print it all out on your office printer instead of going to a print shop.

Ultimately, National Geographic added an extra touch to their version: hillside shading was added to each neighborhood so you can better visualize the topography.

It won’t be useful for all photographers, but if you’re a landscape or nature photographer in the United States who likes to blur it, it makes finding and printing these incredibly detailed USGS maps easier.

Check out the website for yourself here.

(via Reddit via Fstoppers)


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