Relief Maps of the United States
This page contains relief maps of the United States. The maps use false-color 3-D shading to show changes of altitude, somewhat as if you were viewing the relief from a satellite. The maps are quite spectacular and very instructive; if you study a part of the country that you thought you knew intimately, you'll see all sorts of things you hadn't noticed before.

These are large area maps: three of them cover one third of the country each (in 20 degree wide strips) and the fourth covers the entire country (60 degrees wide by 25 degrees high). At full resolution, each pixel corresponds to 30 seconds of arc (about half a mile in the North-South direction). The heights are based on data that distinquishes 20 feet of elevation. I've included lower resolution versions too, as the high resolution images are quite large files.

The images here are mosaics that I assembled from 5 degree tiles created by Ray Sterner at Johns Hopkins University. Ray has also created individual maps of each U.S. state, together with related information. The tiles are copyright by Ray Sterner. The mosaics are copyright © 1995 Andrew Birrell. All rights reserved.

The images are based on digital elevation model (DEM) data from the USGS. The USGS also offer free programs for manipulating DEM and other data. See also the shaded maps available at USGS, NOAA, and Digital Wisdom (commercial). For general maps, see the Perry-Castañeda library map collection.

Western United States:

Central United States:

Eastern United States:

The entire United States:

The full resolution PNG file lets you see the original rendered pixels, without any distortion introduced by the JPEG encoding of the other versions.