Kiosks are Coming for USGS Maps
ever seen a map vending machine? Well, hold on, because the U.S.
Geological Survey and Wildflower Productions are exploring new
technology that will let you walk into a USGS office and a print
a customized topographic map from a self-service kiosk. By storing
maps digitally and combining them with Wildflower map-on-demand
software, the kiosks will help USGS customers get the exact map
they need by insuring that maps are never out of stock and allowing
customers to define their own map boundaries.
machine concept for serving USGS maps will put these maps at the
public's fingertips at a time of growing geographic awareness,"
said Hedy Rossmeissl, USGS senior program advisor. "Customizable
maps such as those produced using Wildflower software are the
way of the future."
of a cooperative research and development agreement, the USGS
and Wildflower will begin by developing systems that offer USGS
topographic maps for geographic areas that are in high demand.
The USGS's initial contribution will include paper maps for scanning,
digital elevation data, and geographic names data. Wildflower
will be responsible for the majority of the data production: scanning,
georeferencing, storing and integrating the data with its map-on-demand
software and kiosk hardware.
maps are an incredible resource. As a hiker, knowing that I could
walk into a USGS office and get the exact map I am looking for,
without ending up with four different quad sheets, would be unbelievably
valuable, said Paul Glauthier, Wildflower founder and chief technology
officer. "We look forward to working with the USGS to improve
public access to this invaluable national asset," said Glauthier.
will place three or more prototype kiosks for public use in the
USGS Earth Science Information Centers. These will be in Denver,
CO, Menlo Park, CA, and Reston, VA. Using the database in the
kiosks, customers will be able to center their map on their area
of interest regardless of quadrangle boundaries. Maps will also
incorporate shaded relief to make it easier for customers to interpret
the contour lines on the maps. The responses of customers will
be a key factor in determining the additional map information
that will be incorporated into the map-on-demand kiosks.
foreseeable future, lithographic printed maps will continue to
be produced and be made available for those customers who prefer
the traditional USGS quadrangle maps. Ordering information can
be found at:
A San Francisco
based digital map company, Wildflower Productions develops TOPO!
and TrailSmart Interactive Maps on CD-ROM, kiosks, and via the
web. To learn more about Wildflower Productions visit
As the Nation's
largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping
agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations
across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific
information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.
This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists
to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters,
contribute to the sound conservation, economic and physical development
of the Nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of
life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.
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Last Modification: 4-24-2000@2:16pm()