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What maps do I need?

When you put together civil construction drawings for submittal there are additional items required to be provided in addition to the plan sheets including reports, calculations, permit applications, and other more specific items in certain cases. One thing that is always required and is included in many of the other documents that are submitted is a set of maps with easily accessible information about the site.

Typical maps that should be included in a project map set are:

  • Aerial Map

  • FEMA Map

  • Location Map

  • Navigable Waters Map

  • Nation Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Map

  • Soil Map

  • US Geological Survey (USGS) Topographic Map

The Aerial Map shows aerial photography so that you can quickly get an understanding of what the existing conditions and surrounding area of the site are like, at least at the time that the aerial photograph was taken. This aerial imagery can be found with online maps like Google Earth or higher quality imagery is available from the USGS National Map Viewer website.

The FEMA Map shows what the site's flood classification is and resources for this map can be found through the FEMA website. A cropped version of the FEMA Firm Panel including your site can be created, called a FEMA Firmette, using the FEMA Map Service Center.

The Location Map shows the general area of the project with road name information at a scale that allows for additional points of reference to be visible. This information can be found with online maps like Google Earth.

The Navigable Waters Map information can typically be found on a state level from the state's governing water or environmental department. For example, South Carolina's Navigable Waters map is maintained by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and can be found online here.

The Nation Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Map shows known wetland or surface water features in the site area. This map can be made using the online NWI Wetlands Mapper tool.

The Soil Map shows known soil information for the site area based on soil surveys provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A soil resource report, including a soil map, can be created online using the USDA Web Soil Survey tool.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) Topographic Map shows topographic information for the site area based on information provided by the USGS. The full topographic quadrangle maps can be downloaded from the USGS National Map Viewer website.

Using the sources provided you can find the majority of the resources needed to create a full map set through online government and public resource tools.

If you have a map set or plan production question please reach out to us at or through our Contact page we'd love to help!


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