USGS changing the way it makes maps

November 26, 2010
Ted Strong
The Daily Progress


USGS changing the way it makes maps



The way the federal government maps the country, including the Charlottesville area, is changing, with digital maps replacing old-standby paper maps.

For decades, the standard for topographic maps has been quadrangles, the heavily-lined elevation-contour maps produced by the United States Geological Survey.

The maps — the old ones are still printed — cover small areas. One “quad,” for example, runs from the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir and Stonefield in the north to Mill Creek and Shadwell in the south, taking in about half of Charlottesville in the process. Similar maps covering larger areas in less detail are also printed.