TNM Base Maps

The National Map (TNM) maintains a series of composite base maps, which combine thematic data layers into tiled, cached services to offer the simplicity of single service base maps with the richness of multiple data sources. As these maps are also services, they can be used as a background in any GIS. Base map URLs (or service endpoints) can be found in our Services List. TNM base maps are visible from global scale (1:591,000,000) to local scale (1:9,000). They use the Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere) projection, and are cached at the standard web map scales used by Esri, thus they will display best at these scales and in this projection if they are used in other applications. The National Map strives to update content of these tile cache and dynamic base maps on an annual basis.

If you are interested in using these Base Maps in your own applications, USGS has provided a How To Use Base Maps guide for providing information on how you can integrate The National Map Base Map services into commercial and open source APIs including: Google Maps, ESRI Javascript, OpenLayers and Leaflet.


USGS Topo Base Map

USGS Topo is a tile cache topographic base map with the most current TNM data (Boundaries, Names, Transportation, Elevation, Hydrography, Land Cover, and other themes). This product is designed to provide a legible and seamless view of the data, resembling US Topo GeospatialPDF products at large scales. It is intended to function as both a reference map and a base map; not all TNM data is shown on USGS Topo. In TNM Viewer, additional data from theme overlay services can be shown over the base map.

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USGS ImageryOnly

USGS ImageryOnly Base Map

USGS Imagery Only is a tile cache base map of orthoimagery in The National Map. Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. USGS digital orthoimage resolution may vary from 6 inches to 1 meter. In the former resolution, every pixel in an orthoimage covers a six inch square of the earth's surface, while in the latter resolution, one meter square is represented by each pixel. Blue Marble: Next Generation is displayed from global to medium scales, while at large to local scales, imagery is sourced from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) for the conterminous United States. The data is " leaf-on" 1-meter pixel resolution. Collection of NAIP imagery is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency FSA. In areas where NAIP data is not available, other imagery may be acquired through partnerships by the USGS; Alaska imagery is sourced from SPOT. The National Map viewer allows free downloads of public domain, 1-meter resolution NAIP orthoimagery in JPEG 2000 (jp2) format for the conterminous United States.

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USGS ImageryTopo

USGS ImageryTopo Base Map

USGS Imagery Topo is a tile cache base map with orthoimagery from the USGS ImageryOnly service as a backdrop, and a limited selection of topographic data (Boundaries, Names, Transportation, Contours, and Hydrography).

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USGS ImageryOnly Base Map

USGS Hydrography is a cached overlay of a cartographic representation of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital geospatial data that encodes information about naturally occurring and constructed bodies of surface water, paths through which water flows, related features such as stream gages and dams, and additional hydrologic information. It is available nationwide in a 1:24,000-scale seamless dataset, referred to as high resolution NHD. The NHD supports many applications, such as making maps, geocoding observations, flow modeling, data maintenance and stewardship. For additional information, go to Additional datasets are used for small-scale hydrography representation as well, including medium resolution NHDPlus published by EPA; USGS Small-Scale hydrography; and bathymetry from ETOPO1 Global Relief, provided by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, U.S. Coastal Relief Model.

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Shaded Relief

Hill Shade Base Map

USGS Shaded Relief is a tile cache base map of terrain representation in the form of hillshades created from the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). 3DEP maintains a seamless dataset of best available raster elevation data, in the form of digital elevation models (DEMs) for the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Territorial Islands of the United States. At large scales, 1:9,000 through 1:72,000, 1/3- and 1/9-arc-second DEMs are used, while medium scales (1:144,000 through 1:1,000,000) use 1-arc-second and 2-arc-second (in Alaska) DEMs. Small and global scales, from 1:2,000,000 and smaller, use GMTED2010 global elevation DEMs, not part of 3DEP. Relief is derived from 3DEP DEMs using a multidirectional weighted hill shade technique; shaded relief of the GMTED2010 data is a single direction hillshade from the northwest (337.5°). For additional information, go to and

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Blank Base Map

This service consists of ocean tints to give the outline of the US as an empty base map for addition of other services.

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