Physical Map of the Coterminous United States
Click map below to see it in an interactive viewer

This free, 1:4 million-scale, wall map derives from the latest elevation data collected by the Space Shuttle. Designed as a prototype, the map introduces plan oblique relief, a terrain rendering technique offered in Natural Scene Designer 5.0 that accentuates the 3D appearance of mountains. Another new technique is cross-blended hypsometric tints (elevation colors) that vary depending on how arid or humid a lowland region is—the California deserts appear brown and the Louisiana bayous are green, just as readers expect them to be.

The map includes over 1,000 place names obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey, terrain in adjacent areas of Canada and Mexico, and generalized bathymetry (ocean depths) based on CleanTOPO2. Smaller base maps formatted for page-size printing and display on web pages also are available.

Tom Patterson
U.S. National Park Service

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