Unlock the mystery of the past with two new historical topo maps in Gaia GPS. We’ve added the official USGS topographic maps from 1960 and 1980 to round out our collection of historical maps. These maps can help you discover little-known ghost towns and visit deserted homesteads.
Whether you’re curious about the history of development in your neighborhood or wonder where miners had prospects, these maps can help you see what the land looked like in years past. Use these maps to plan your next adventure to historically rich and significant places both in town and out in the backcountry.
USGS Historical Topo 1960 and 1980
The new Historic Topo 1960 map includes USGS topo quadrangle maps published and updated between the 1950s and 1970s. The Historic Topo 1980 map was published and updated between 1970 and 1990. Coupled with Gaia GPS’s Historic 1900 and 1930 topo maps, these maps document historical features as they changed over the last century, from 1895 to 1990.
You can also go deeper into the history of an area by viewing the Native Lands map. Available for free in the Gaia GPS app and web map, the Native Lands map marks traditional Indigenous territories across the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and, increasingly, worldwide. Learn more about the past, present, and future of Indigenous territories while planning a trip to a new area or adventuring near your backyard.
How to Use Historical Topo Maps to Find Abandoned Mines, Homesteads, and Ghost Towns
Historical maps in Gaia GPS make it easy to scout out new adventures to ghost towns, abandoned mines, and lonely homesteads. Here’s how:
- First, select a destination you would like to explore and examine it on a current up-to-date base map, like our flagship map Gaia Topo. Find a geographical region of historical interest.
- Add the Historical Topo map from any era: 1900, 1930, 1960, or 1980.
- Turn up the opacity on the historical maps, and turn down the opacity of Gaia Topo, so that you see the information in the hisstorical maps is prominently displayed.
- Browse the historical maps in that area, looking for interesting manmade structures and features that you didn’t see on the current basemap, such as fences, tunnels, mines, and ranches.
- Drop a waypoint on the map to mark the location of interest.
- Next, switch map sources to high-resolution satellite imagery to get a bird’s eye view of the area.
- Zoom in on the area around your waypoint. Closely examine the landscape to see if you can spot remaining structures or crumbled foundations at the abandoned site.
- Pull up a modern map, like Gaia Topo or USGS Topo , and create a route on existing roads and trails to the waypoint you’ve saved on the map.
How to Access Historical Maps
Access the 1900, 1930, 1960, 1980 historical USGS topo maps with a Gaia GPS Premium Membership. To add the historical map layers to your active maps in the iOS or Android app or on the web, simply select the map layers button, tap “Add map layers” and select “United States.” Choose from Historic Topo 1900, Historic Topo 1930, Historic Topo 1960, and Historic Topo 1980. View the maps in succession to see how historical features in a particular region have changed over time.