USGS - science for a changing world

Bulk Data


To receive bulk data, we require you to supply the external hard drives, within our specifications, and pay for shipping the drive(s) to us and provide a paid return label (UPS, USPS and FEDEX) or a carrier (FEDEX only) account number.

Turn-around time may take up to 4 to 8 weeks; no guarantee or priority service available. The actual delivery time may vary, depending on the workload at the time an order is placed.

Specifications for external hard drives listed below:

  • USB 1.1 - USB 3.0 compatible
  • PC and XP compatible
  • Capacity-large enough for estimated data, usually 30 to 40 gigabytes (GB) for system use. (For example, 300 GB external hard drive holds 277 GB of actual data; 500 GB external hard drive holds 460 gigabytes of actual data; 1TB external holds 930GB; 1.5 TB external holds 1386 GB: 2 TB drives hold 1860GB ).
  • Accepted capacity range of 8 GB to 2.0 Terabytes (We do not accept 3 or 4 TB drives)
      Note: We use LINUX systems to transfer data and have run into issues recognizing the My Book Premium hard drives. Please do not use this type of drive. The My Book Essential works fine.
  • Cache Buffer - 8 megabytes or higher
  • Spin Rate-7200 RPM
  • Drives are reformatted to NTFS; any data already on the external hard drive will be lost.
  • EROS will place content labels on drives.
  • Not Accepted External Drives:
    • 3 or 4 TB Drives
    • My Book Premium

Process for acquiring bulk data:

You would send an email request to and it should include the following:

  • Your information (address and phone number)
  • Product requested.
  • Area requested (applies to the High Resolution Orthoimagery)
  • Format

An email will be sent with the following information:

  • Job ID Number
  • Size estimates for requested data
  • External drive minimum specifications
  • Shipping address

You ship the following:

  • Correct number of external drives based on the size estimates.
  • All correspondence emails — Highlight the Job ID Number
  • Return shipping address and phone number
  • Return shipping account number or labels

We will not process the request unless we have the correct number of drives; a Job ID Number listed, and return shipping account or labels.

No warranty expressed or implied is made by the USGS regarding the condition of received or distributed external hard drives. The USGS shall not be liable for any received or distributed damaged external hard drives. These data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the USGS, no warranty expressed or implied is made by the USGS regarding the use of the data on any other system, nor does the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Data may have been compiled from various outside sources. The information may be updated without notification. The USGS shall not be liable for any activity involving these data, installation, fitness of the data for a particular purpose, its use, or analyses results. Any questions, please contact

The National Map Data Available for Bulk Distribution includes:

Data TypeDatasetMinimum Delivery Packages Format Projection Size Estimates
Orthoimagery High Resolution Orthoimagery (HRO)

US/Canada Border HRO

US/Mexico Border HRO
Individual datasets as received

Effective 9/30/2013 HRO data will be offered in JPE2000 (.jp2) format, 5:1 compression
(i.e. Urban Area, County Area)

Each image tile covers an area of 1500m x 1500m



Zip bundles (htm, xml, jpp, jgw, jp2, j2w, prj, shp)
UTM Depends on the dataset

12.724 TB

Orthoimagery Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQ's) Individual States Geotiff - zipped in .tgz files UTM 16.9 Terabytes full dataset
Orthoimagery National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) Individual States JP2
compression 10:1
UTM Depends on the state
Full resolution NAIP may be obtained by contacting the USDA FSA APFO
Other Datasets National Land Cover Database 2001 (NLCD01) -- Includes (Landcover, Canopy, Impervious) Complete Dataset ERDAS .img Albers 4.76 Gbytes
Other Datasets National Land Cover Database 2006 (NLCD06) -- Includes (Landcover, Land Cover Change, Percent Developed Imperviousness, Supplementary Layers) Complete Dataset ERDAS .img Albers 5.3 Gbytes
Other Datasets Digital Raster Graphics (DRG's) All Scales can be acquired from The National Map
National Elevation Dataset (NED) can be acquired from The National Map

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Page Last Modified: July 18, 2012