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Fact Sheet 171–99

Map Accuracy Standards

By U.S. Geological Survey

Archived Publication—Most of the information contained in this publication is no longer current and is not expected to be updated.

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (37 KB)Summary

An inaccurate map is not a reliable map. “X” may mark the spot where the treasure is buried, but unless the seeker can locate “X” in relation to known landmarks, the map is not very useful.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) publishes maps and other products at high levels of accuracy. Dependability is vital, for example, to engineers, highway officials, and land-use planners who use USGS topographic maps as basic planning tools.

As a result, the USGS makes every effort to achieve a high level of accuracy in all of its published products. An important aim of its accuracy control program is to meet the U.S. National Map Accuracy Standards.

First posted May 27, 2007

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Suggested citation:

U.S. Geological Survey, 1999, Map Accuracy Standards: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 171–99, 2 p., available only online at

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