USGS Releases Geologic Maps for Google Earth

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has added more earthquake related visualizations for Google Earth. A couple of weeks ago they released a large collection of visualizations for GE as part of the 100th year anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The USGS has now released a collection of Geologic Maps (maps which show the age and types of materials at the surface) for several counties in Northern California. You can download either PDF, JPG, or Google Earth versions of the maps. The GE files are large, ranging from 1.6 Mbytes to 15 Mbytes – I would advise loading only one at a time and deleting them from your “Temporary Places” before loading another. Here is an example of Napa County (8.2 Mbytes).
You might be wondering what the colors represent. There is a map key here, and I recommend at least reading the overview of “What is a Geologic Map?“. These maps are quite interesting.
Geologists use these maps for helping identify hazardous areas, to find good gelogical resources, to help understand our environment, and to help understand the geological history of an area. Read more here.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Great find! I hope the USGS continues to produce bedrock geology for Google Earth; it is quite useful. … blogged at

  2. Good thing that there is google, we can now keep track on that earthquake faults.
    Doreen from ballon d’eau chaudeĀ 

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