It’s rare that I publish blog posts back-to-back, but this new tool from the USGS is so impressive that it deserves to be showcased as soon as possible. I was chasing a link on the USGS site that was provided by a colleague in relation to my blog post yesterday on the Perrysburg Plat Map when I stumbled on a new product titled the USGS TopoView, or ‘topoView’ (note the lowercase ‘t’) depending on where you look on the site. We’ll use the more grammatically correct TopoView.
I’m not sure if this is a replacement for the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer released just last year or if it’s a complimentary app. The Historical Topographic Map Explorer seems more suited to map visualization on desktop systems while the TopoView app appears to be more of a data access tool, and one that is designed to run on mobile devices (although I haven’t tested it on a tablet – yet). The site runs slow so I’m guessing they have it running on a development server while they tweak the application, but when it runs well it’s a fascinating way to find, explore and even download USGS products.
I dare say, this is one web application that might just force me to go buy a plotter so I can print out my own full-scale historical map sheets.
So let’s cut to the chase. First watch this video:
Next, go play. Just click the image below to launch TopoView. And don’t blame me if your boss gripes about all the time you are spending on the computer.