The National Topographic System is split into three major "zones", each spanning a different range of latitudes. The "Southern zone" covers latitudes between 40°N and 68°N, the "Arctic zone" covers latitudes between 68°N and 80°N, and the "High Arctic zone" covers latitudes between 80°N and 88°N.
Topographic maps are also commonly called contour maps or topo maps. In the United States, where the primary national series is organized by a strict 7.5-minute grid, they are often called or quads or quadrangles. Topographic maps conventionally show topography, or land contours, by means of contour lines.
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 The term "topographic surveys" appears to be American in origin. The earliest detailed surveys in the United States were made by the "Topographical Bureau of the Army," formed during the War of 1812, which became the Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1838.
The United States remains virtually the only developed country in the world without a standardized civilian topographic map series in the standard 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 metric scales, making coordination difficult in border regions (the U.S. military does issue 1:50,000 scale topo maps of the continental United States, though only for use by ...
- Dave Applegate, Acting Director
- March 3, 1879; 142 years ago (as Geological Survey)
- 8,670 (2009)
- United States Department of the Interior
Nov 29, 2020 · National Topographic System From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The National Topographic System or NTS (French: Système national de référence cartographique) is the system used by Natural Resources Canada for providing general purpose topographic maps of the country.
As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.
The USGS was entrusted with the responsibility for mapping the country in 1879 and has been the primary civilian mapping agency of the United States ever since. The best known USGS maps are the 1:24,000-scale topographic maps, also known as 7.5-minute quadrangles.
Today the United States Geological Survey Library's users have access to over 3 million items: over 1.7 million books and journals, 700,000 maps, 370,000 microforms, 270,000 pamphlets, 260,000 black-and-white photographs, 60,000 color transparencies, 15,000 field record notebooks, and 250 videocassettes.
US Topo topographic maps are produced by the National Geospatial Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The project was launched in late 2009, and the term “US Topo” refers specifically to quadrangle topographic maps published in 2009 and later.