The price of the popular USGS 1:24,000 scale topographic quadrangle map - often called a "topo" or a "quad" - will go up $2 per sheet to $8 beginning today March 16, 2009. Larger format ("poster") maps will go up $3 per sheet to $10. These prices were last increased 7 years ago.
"The USGS takes this action reluctantly," said Kevin Gallagher, Associate Director of the Geospatial Information Office. "However, recent studies indicated that previous map prices did not allow us to sufficiently recover the actual costs of reproduction and distribution as we are charged to do by longstanding Office of Management and Budget guidance under Circular A-130."
The U.S. Geological Survey began a systematic program of topographic mapping in 1884 as an aid to scientific studies in geology and hydrology. Since then, the maps have become a signature product of USGS because the public has found them to be a valuable tool for accurately depicting the land surface.
"Even at the new prices, these maps are still a great bargain considering the wealth of geographic information they provide," Gallagher added.