The U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, is a federal scientific agency that conducts research into the geographical topography, resources and natural hazards found in the United States. The agency provides maps of its data on its website and offers sheet maps for sale. If you cite a USGS map in your research project, you should use the proper citation format.
Modern Language Association (MLA) Style
When citing a sheet map, MLA uses the following format:
Map author. Title of Map. Map. [ca. Map scale]. Publication location: Publisher, Date of publication. Print.
U.S. Geological Survey. Contour Map of Villanueva, NM. Map. [ca. 1:100,000]. Washington, DC: USGS, 1983. Print.
If you are instead citing a map taken from the USGS website, use the following format instead:
Map author. Cartographer. Title of Map. Map. [ca. Map scale]. Information date. Web. Date accessed.
U.S. Geological Survey. Cartographer. Black Canyon City Quadrangle. Map. [ca. 1:24,000]. 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
While a web address can be included in an MLA citation, it is never required.
American Psychological Association (APA) Style
APA style cites sheet maps as follows:
Map author. (Date). Title of Map [map]. (ca. Map scale.) Publication location: Publisher.
U.S. Geological Survey. (1983.) Contour Map of Villanueva, NM [map]. (ca. 1:100,000.) Washington, DC: USGS.
When citing a map from the USGS website, the following format is used instead:
Map author [cartographer]. Title of Map [map]. (ca. Map scale.) Retrieved from URL.
U.S. Geological Survey [cartographer]. Black Canyon City Quadrangle [map]. (ca. 1:24,000.) Retrieved from http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/UST_slideshow2/Black%20Canyon%20City_AZ/AZ_Black_Canyon_City_20141124_SR.html.
- Photo Credit altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Cite a Website
While each of the major citation styles include detailed frameworks for referencing different types of books and periodicals, it can be more...
How to Check Recent Earthquake Occurrences Anywhere in the World
If you're interested in the dynamic nature of our planet, up-to-the-minute reports on earthquake occurrences around the world may also pique your...
How to Cite an Interview in APA Style
American Psychological Association or APA style is used most commonly in the social sciences. The rules are set out in the "APA...
How to Find USGS Topographic Maps on Google Earth
USGS topographic maps are maps that show the elevations of a physical space and that conform to the U.S. Geological Survey's guidelines....
How to Cite a Map in APA Format
From census figures to topographic information, maps contain a wealth of data you may need for your research project. As with other...