By Joseph J. Kerski, USGS - June 08, 2000
TAPESTRY OF TIME AND TERRAIN
By combining techniques developed by Leonardo da Vinci with today's
computer applications, an artist and two scientists at the U.S. Geological
Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., have produced one of the most dramatic and
beautiful maps of the United States, ever published.
NOT JUST ANOTHER MAP
Fittingly titled, "A Tapestry of Time and Terrain," the map weaves
together, in vivid colors and shadings, the topographical and geological
components of the lower 48 states, as well as the geologic age of those
components. This union of topographic texture with the patterns defined by
units of geologic time creates a visual synthesis that has escaped most
prior attempts to combine shaded relief with a second characteristic shown
The colorful map is an excellent teaching tool, and comes with an
interpretive booklet that explains how the map was made, and describes in
brief narrative, 48 of the physical features portrayed on the map.
"A Tapestry of Time and Terrain," by Jose Vigil, Richard Pike and David
Howell, is available over the counter at USGS Earth Science Information
Centers in Menlo Park, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; Denver, Colo.; and Reston,
Va., for $7. It can be ordered by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS (275-8747).
The map can be previewed at
tapestry.usgs.gov, which is an
interactive website featuring various ways to learn more about the map and
the "Rocks of Ages" depicted on it.
The geologic map used is: King, P.B., and Beikman, H.M., compilers, 1974,
Geologic map of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii):
Reston, Va., U.S. Geological Survey,three sheets, scale 1:2,500,000.
The map is available online in two places:
As ARC/INFO 7 and ArcView files
In EPS format
Thanks to Joseph J. Kerski, Ph.D., Geographer - Outreach, USGS
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