Topographic maps are a great resource for genealogists looking for cemeteries, especially old or even abandoned cemeteries. I have found cemeteries listed on topographic maps that would have been difficult or perhaps impossible to find otherwise.
In theory, you can print your own maps from the U.S. Geological Survey’s web site at http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads. However, I have had little luck at that web site. It seems to be almost constantly busy. The rare times I have been able to use the site, the PDF images downloaded from the site aren’t formatted for standard printer paper. That makes printing the maps very difficult.
The National Geographic web site has come to the rescue.
Going to http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads puts every US Geological Survey (USGS) topographical map from across the United States on one easy-to-navigate site and made them easy to print out at home. You have to copy the maps to a flashdrive and take them to a commercial print shop.
The printable PDF you get from National Geographic is broken down into 5 pages.
- Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
- Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
- Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography
Obviously, these maps have a lot of other uses besides genealogy.
You can try it at http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads.