September 19, 2021

Using USGS Topo Maps for Hiking, Backpacking, and Other Outdoor Activities

USGS topo maps (also known as topographical maps) have been found to be excellent for use by people interested in outdoor activities. It was in 1807 that this type of terrain and mapping was started. The first map was created by surveying the Atlantic coastline, over the years it has expanded to cover the entire United States.

Usgs Topo Maps

Extensive studies have been made of the land, using overhead views and satellites, as well as exploration. This has allowed the maps to be extensive in their portrayal of the earth’s surfaces. As a result, people are now able to look at the maps for any kind of information needed. Whether exploring for oil, contemplating building a highway, planning a new community or numerous other things these maps are invaluable.

Interpreting these maps is very easy with various symbols and colors used to indicate man-made and natural formations throughout the land. By this method mountains, roads, bodies of water, buildings and other features of various areas are clearly indicated. When planning an outing, such as a hikes or backpacking it is easy to study the maps and know exactly which trail or road is the best to take.

There are over 56,000 of these maps available so it is possible for a person to hone in on any specific location. This is very convenient when one is planning on a specific event. Among other things it is possible to determine the height of the area to see if it is too steep for some of the parties involved.

People who enjoy the wilderness have learned to study these maps to find the best trails and the best places to camp out or just enjoy a long hike. These maps are in such detail that this is a very easy thing to do. They can also be carried for easy reference along the way.

These maps can be seen on the USGS Internet site and copied out on one’s computer. They can also be purchased at the USGS Internet store. At any time, one has the opportunity to view the various ones available to just to get information needed if the actual map is not needed.

One of these maps, covering the territory to which one is traveling, is an excellent addition to other materials regarding directions to reach one’s destination. By being able to avoid obstacles, that might take an extra day or two out of one’s itinerary, there is more time for enjoyment.

The accuracy of topo maps is above reproach. They have been carefully and painstakingly put together to assure that everything regarding the earth’s surface is included. Symbols and colors have been especially chosen for the average person to easily be able to understand the various natural and man-made features of the country. The maps are available in various sizes as well as scaled so there is a wide choice available. In addition, accuracy of the maps by field checking is done periodically to assure their precision regarding all of the features presented.

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Learn How To Read USGS Topographical Maps

USGS topographical maps are available on the Internet and can be copied or they can be purchased at the USGS Internet store. These maps are put out by the U. S. Geological Survey Agency and depict areas of the earth, showing both horizontal and vertical positions of the terrain. They are the result of many years of work by USGS and a number of other government agencies.

Usgs Topographical Maps

The word topographical comes from with the Greek language with ‘topo’ meaning a place and ‘graphien’ meaning to write. This has combined into a word meaning a written, drawn and description of a location which what is done with the maps used today. These maps are very specific in their presentation of the earth’s surface.

Topographical maps are not something that is new. Archaeologists have found Roman maps that were drawn between a 335-366 A. D. These early maps showed topographical features of roads, mountains, cities and rivers but were confined to small areas and subject to errors. Today’s maps began in 1807 with a survey of the Atlantic coastline and expanded as time went on. Today they there are over 56,000 of these maps of the United States.

Topographical maps are constructed based on the shape of the earth and have what is known as as contour lines. The lines are used to measure heights, depths and other features of the earth’s surface, making it possible to establish what is above or below a certain point, such as sea level. They are able to accurately pinpoint exact features of different locations.

These maps are made up of colored lines and symbols which indicate such things as mountains, rivers, streams, railroads, trails, buildings and other things. Features are shown as points, lines, or areas depending on what is being portrayed. There are many different maps showing various features of the same area.

The many colors used in these maps have specific meanings. For example, water is blue, vegetation is green, red represents important roads, black represents boundaries and other such features, and so forth. Each item is clearly marked and identified so it is not difficult to find what one is looking for.

The maps also show elevations of the land meaning whether it is mountainous, flat and above or below sea level. It will also show steep slopes and general shape and of all the terrain. By using the scales and explanations that come with each map presented, they are simple to read. The colors used are consistent throughout which is of great help when interpreting their meanings.

With the many maps that are available in this subject it is simple for anyone to locate information they are seeking. Through the great work that has been carried on by the USGS special effort has been made to clearly indicate the different features of the earth. This information has helped tremendously in many areas of exploration for things such as gas, oil and other things that are often determined by the contour of the earth. Learning about the earth is an exciting adventure that can be enjoyed by everyone. Reading these maps will show how the earth is formed, where water resources are as well as other features that make up the world people live in.

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Where To Buy USGS Maps Easily

USGS maps are produced by the U. S. Geological Survey section of the federal government. They indicate regions in the United States having locations near serious earthquake faults, as well as the various earthquake hazards that exist. With a map it is possible to determine the possibility of an earthquake occurring where one is located.

Usgs Maps

A ‘ShakeMap” has been developed by this agency which can automatically place computer maps on the Internet regarding the power of an earthquake within minutes of a quake. This is of great assistance to emergency personnel and was put into effect after the 6.7 Nisqually, Washington earthquake which occurred in 2001. At the current time, due to lack of seismic networks with strong recording capabilities it is available only in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and the Seattle area.

It is expected that the seismic recording equipment and telecommunication feeds, required for this “ShakeMap”, will eventually be installed in all large U.S.metropolitan areas that are prone to earthquakes. This will enable anyone with a computer to be able to access the earthquake’s danger and act accordingly.

Anyone with a computer can go on the Internet and pull up maps where earthquakes have occurred over a period of time. It can be in the last hour, a day ago, a week ago or whatever one is looking for. A number of sites giving information about the USGS will show maps indicating where the greatest danger from earthquakes is. These maps can easily be copied on one’s home printer if desired.

It is also possible to go to the USGS store on the internet and purchase whatever map is desired. There are earthquake location maps, seismic maps and many others, covering not just the U. S. But the world as well. Anyone who is interested will find that the array offered is fascinating.

The national seismic-hazard maps can predict the amount of shaking expected over certain periods of time. This information would be valuable for someone who had a building project and did not want it located in a dangerous area. These maps are available for identifying exactly where the various faults lie beneath the surface of the earth.

It was in 1977 that Congress first realized the effect that earthquakes had on the environment, people and property in certain areas of the United States. At that time the NEHRP (National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program)was formed in order to help the people understand this natural hazard that could create so much havoc. Under the NEHRP, the USGS was formed as well as three other agencies.

The overall objective of the four agencies was to improve the way to identify dangerous zones, establish and modernize a method of watching earthquake activity and develop a method of informing those involved, i. E. Cities, states, medical personnel and others that the earthquake was eminent. In addition, their goal has been to develop a better understanding of what makes a earthquake happen and develop strategies to reduce the human and property losses. It is the work of these agencies that have produced information and maps that are available today. This information is saving a countless number of lives by informing people where the earthquake dangers are and giving them time to locate elsewhere.

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