Message #339: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Urgent Need for Partnerships to Produce USGS Topographic Maps on CD Date: Fri, 18 Oct 96 09:59:00 MST Encoding: 76 TEXT [ originally posted to: HISTARCH@ASUVM.INRE.ASU.EDU -- The production of these CDs for the entire SW should be the highest priority for archaeological organizations and institutions. This will only come about if partnerships are formed with the USGS (as noted in the message below), so SWA recommends this issue be placed on the agenda of state archaeological councils and other organizations -- SASIG Ed. ] From: Mike Polk email@example.com I (Mike Polk) am finally getting back to the list about the results of our search for downloadable and/or disk copy USGS Maps that are available. One of my staff members, Tim King, pursued this issue for us and here are his results: In CRM, USGS Topographic maps are as indispensable as soft-money is to politicians. If you have ever worked on a project covering a wide area, you know the expense involved in purchasing multiple copies of these maps. The recent increase in price of these maps, from $2.00 to $5.00 in some cases, has created a need for a less expensive means of obtaining these vital documents. The more sophisticated manipulation of graphic data has also created a need for digital USGS map information. Recently, Sagebrush Consultants discovered an alternative to purchasing these necessary, yet expensive items. The USGS is in the process of converting the country's topographic maps into Digital Raster Images (DRG's). Once converted these maps are encoded onto CD-ROM's. Each CD holds 64 7.5 minute maps, two 1:100,000 scale maps, and one 1:250,000 scale maps covering one degree latitude by one degree longitude. They are available from the USGS for $32.00 a piece. It should be noted that these maps are not vector images and cannot be manipulated effectively within CAD or GIS applications. These maps can be manipulated in programs such as Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop and other desktop publishing programs. In these programs, one can add relevant data such as project area limitations, site locations, and north arrows. Small sections can be enlarged and printed in full color to aid in field work. We have all experienced the disappearing forest, or the ever-present smudge that looks just like a hot spring on a Xerox copy. Instead of taking original hard copies into the field, one would only need to reprint the area they needed. I recently spoke to Chuck Peterson of the USGS to find out what areas were available on CD. Unfortunately for those of us out West only a minimal number of areas have been converted to CD. As for you east coasters there are quite a few areas already covered. The states that are completely covered are Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusettes. Florida and Kentucky have 6 CD's each with Georgia having only 3 CD's. In the West, western Colorado and western North Dakota are covered, California has six, Nevada-4, Oklahoma-3 and New Mexico-1. When asked why certain areas have a greater amount of areas covered, Mr. Peterson stated that partnerships are formed between government agencies to get certain areas done before others. No private industry is involved, though areas with a large amount of development seem to have a higher percentage of CD coverage. Since CRM deals with governmental agencies there may be a possibility of having state SHPO's combine any excess funds at the end of the year to be ear-marked for the converting of more areas onto CD's. Before you get your hopes up, Chuck told me that a problem has been found in the CD's which has caused a moratorium on their sale until the problem is fixed. He said that should take a month or so. If you are interested, the USGS has a site on the web at http://www.usgs.gov/ from which you can obtain a list of the individual addresses for your specific needs. By the way, all 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 USGS maps for the United States are free to download from the USGS web page. The maps are listed by state and map title and download software is available in the same location as the maps. First go to http://www.usgs.gov/ then click on MAPPING, then click on ONLINE DATA. That takes you to the FTP files where you can download various types of maps. Timothy E. King Assistant Archaeologist Sagebrush Consultants, L.L.C.