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Color-infrared photo of downtown Minneapolis

By the late 1980s, many of Minnesota's most commonly used mapping resources were rapidly becoming obsolete. Statewide aerial photographs dated from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. The average U.S. Geological Survey 1:24,000-scaled topographic map was nearly 20 years old. In addition, these products were not computer-readable and could not be used with digital mapping and geographic information systems, which were exploding in use by the late 1980s. In 1990, the Land Management Information Center coordinated the development of the proposal for the base maps project, which was designed to produce both traditional paper air photos and maps, and computer-readable data sets.

From 1989 through 1997, the Minnesota Legislature approved recommendations from the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources to fund an eight-year effort to complete the Base Maps for the 1990s program. All state funds have been matched equally from a pool of federal funds coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey, which also served as production coordinator. The U.S. Geological Survey National Mapping Division maintains a national mapping site with current resources and activities, including a frequently-asked questions page. See the USGS Store website to order USGS mapping products; information can also be requested by searching or calling 1-888-ASK-USGS. USGS maps and digital data are also available at most of Minnesota's federal depository libraries. Click here to search for a library closest to you.

A summary table shows the status and ordering information for each Base Maps for the 1990s product. For detailed information on each product, use the following links:

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