USGS Maps - information

Not all USGS maps are the same…
There are a vast range of USGS map quads available to RouteBuddy for reprocessing as seamless digital maps. We have chosen to offer the classic range of USGS Topo's which, from feedback, we feel best suit our customers needs at this moment in time.
Compare USGS Map Types

Choice | Type | Quality

The United States Geological Survey have been producing maps since the 1880s and their output in look, style and design has varied greatly over the years, and from state to state. Notably for the detailed 1:24k USGS Topo's, which hikers prefer to use, the production was phased out by 2010 (with the majority of these maps having not been updated since the 1990s or beforehand).

However what replaced the older maps (PDF versions) wasn't exactly what hikers wanted; in short, although the replacements are far clearer in detail, these PDF topos exclude many of the tracks, trails and eclectic map data that hikers have come to rely on for navigation purposes. So not an easy choice.

Classic Topo’s

We are shipping the best classic topo maps we've been able to find at a snapshot in time. USGS map quality can vary by some degree, but the maps still show you where you are when navigating, offer far more information for navigators than online-only-maps do, and still are, to this day, the only detailed offline topo maps to cover such vast areas of the United States in depth as well as being available as seamless maps.
  • The Classic USGS Map Sample below was last updated by the USGS in 1995 which you can see for yourself by viewing the information on this link - click 24,000 scale maps and then click on ‘South Twin Mountain’ to see the date of last publication.
  • Note: Classic USGS maps vary in colour, scan quality and applied detail such as boundary lines etc.

PDF Topo’s

Over time we expect things will change and a greater amount of detail will be added to USGS Topo PDF maps; when we feel that the included navigation data offers a better value to hikers we will then start to process these new Topo PDF maps.
PDF Maps vs Classic Maps
PDF - newer but less detail
CLASSIC - older but much more detail
Appalachian Trail in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Compare Free and Paid USGS Maps

Free but Inaccurate

It is possible to buy competitors apps that, after paying for the app, will load the free USGS Libre maps. However free comes with a price. The fact that these old maps haven't been corrected for location errors (some can be up to 800 feet away from the actual location) the map quads are large in file-size, take a long time to download (so you need a good WiFi connection for your mobile) and suffer from visual defects such as white collars and data around their sides. Free always comes with a price!

Free but slow and bloated

When in use these free topo's are incredibly slow to load, pan or and zoom in and out and, lastly, are not seamless, so not offering you the opportunity to navigate without having the continual pain of having to keep flipping between each of the maps when crossing from one to another along the trail. The 'free maps' will also take up a vast amount of storage space on your iOS device when compared to RouteBuddy's compressed topo maps. RouteBuddy maps are fast to install, load on screen and use, but still offer the same original resolution.

Buy the best

RouteBuddy USGS Maps are seamless which brings many advantages individual map quad downloads. It is not only because the maps are seamless but also because we process the data to make it smaller in size, but still providing the same resolution

Easy to mix maps

Our Topo map versions can be loaded with other maps (say state to adjoining state) and layered with other maps over and under or even Microsoft Bing satellite map overlay (desktop only).

Value | Get 2 for 1

RouteBuddy USGS maps give you triple value because you can load these maps in your iOS mobile and on a PC or Mac. Then view the map on a big screen and easily plan your next adventure in detail on our desktop map software RouteBuddy.

USGS Map samples

If you are in any doubt over which map to choose or the quality then feel free to ask for a sample from our range of products, specify the area and email us here ObscureMyUSGSEmail.