"The demand for topographic maps from hunters, fishermen, vacationers, professional engineers etc, has been increasing with each passing year. In 1940 people bought some 700,000 copies of topographic maps. In 1946 sales had jumped to well over 2,000,000 copies. Civilian use of these maps by veterans has contributed substantially to the tremendous expansion of demand for maps since World War II. In recent years, the quality of topographic maps has been greatly improved by refinements in methods and by the use of aerial photography in map compilation. This advancement, and an ever-increasing demand from engineers, geologists, and many others for more detailed maps, has resulted in the current practice of issuing new topographic maps covering 7 1/2 minute quadrangle area at a scale of 1:31680 or 1:24000.
To meet this ever-increasing demand for topographic maps the United States Geological Survey has set up a twenty year program to complete mapping of the United States and its possessions with modern topographic maps. Of this total area only one-quarter has been completed. This leaves some 2,700,000 square miles with out adequate modern topographic map coverage.
In view of this tremendous mapping program a nation wide survey of a representative group of topographic map users was in order. This survey consists of a investigation by questionnaire as to the uses of the topographic map, and improvements desired by the general public. It is an established fact that you can not please all the people all the time, however, the problems which this paper attempts to answer are:
1. Does the topographic map actually meet the requirements of the majority of its users or does it meet the needs of just a few select types?
2. What are the many uses the public has for the topographic map?
3. What improvements, if any, does the general public desire in the present day topographic map.
The author feels that if but one minor improvement is made in topographic maps as a result of this survey it will be well worth the time and effort spent in its compilation. Over a period of years even a minor improvement can represent thousands of dollars in savings to the map user "--Introduction, pages 1-2.
Carlton, E. W.
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
M.S. in Civil Engineering
Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy
ii, 88 pages
© 1952 George O. Boeckman, All rights reserved.
Thesis - Open Access
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Boeckman, George O., "An investigation as to the uses of the topographic map and improvements desired by the general public" (1952). Masters Theses. 2214.