T&D World Magazine

U.S. Geological Survey Makes Topographic Maps Available Using GeoPDF

The U.S. Geological Survey is using TerraGo Technologies' GeoPDF format to make its primary base series quadrangle maps available online. The USGS GeoPDF maps can be accessed through the USGS store at http://store.usgs.gov.

The initial project, started by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, involved converting more than 60,000 USGS Digital Raster Graphics to GeoPDF files. These maps represent USGS primary base series quadrangles used by businesses and consumers for all kinds of applications from engineering to land use management and recreation such as hiking, hunting and camping.

The GeoPDF maps can be accessed online and printed or downloaded. Once maps are downloaded, users can view, manipulate and update maps via Adobe Reader with or without an Internet connection or access to geographical information systems.

GeoPDF is the only geospatial data distribution and collaboration format that leverages the Adobe portable document format (PDF), giving users powerful mapping functionality and capabilities via an application already installed on hundreds of millions of computers worldwide.

Leveraging a standard format already widely available made the GeoPDF format a logical choice for the USGS project. “Our organization manages vast stores of geospatial assets that all kinds of citizens want and need to access for business and pleasure. It’s our job to make that access as open, simple and cost-effective as possible,” says John Davis, chief of the USGS Science Information Delivery section in Denver.

“GeoPDF is a great example of the power, flexibility, and portability of the PDF format,” said Kevin M. Lynch, Adobe vice president of product marketing. “Since GeoPDF-enabled documents can be accessed by anyone with the free Adobe Reader, the geospatial community now has a way to quickly and easily communicate and collaborate across different systems and platforms.”

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