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What are major open issues or key notes with The National Map viewer?

Open Issues or Key Notes with The National Map viewer

(last updated on 10/28/2016)


  • Tested in Internet Explorer 11, Chrome 54, Firefox 49, and Safari on Windows and Apple operating systems. Other browsers and platforms have not been fully tested.
  • Full viewer functionality is applicable only when using hypertext transfer protocol (http://) instead of encrypted secure protocol (https://).
  • International users should first reset their web browser language setting to English/United States. For more info, go to FAQ.
  • Help icons (symbolized with a '?') may not work unless pop-ups are enabled.
  • When adding a map service through 'Add Data', all layers default to turned off, unlike overlays in the table of contents, which are turned on by default.
  • The scale bar, or representative fraction (RF), shown at the bottom of the viewer display assumes a monitor resolution of 96 dpi. The scale bar is based on the initial window size when the viewer session starts, and does not resize correctly if the browser window changes size, such as when you collapse the table of contents.


  • Legend icons (or "swatches") may not appear.
  • Adding REST services fails to bring in the Legend or Service Metadata.
  • Adding WMS services with too many layers may generate a timeout error.
  • Service URLs are case-sensitive since the migration to Linux VM system architecture, so you may need to re-establish server connections if not currently responding.
  • How to Use The National Map Services user guide will help with usage of Service Endpoints.
  • Elevation Point Query Service for spot elevations was migrated from http://ned.usgs.gov/epqs/ to http://nationalmap.gov/epqs/ on 6/18/2015.


  • Download URLs are from the cloud for all datasets except for lidar data, which are still accessible only through ftp.
  • Download functionality was migrated to The National Map download client in February 2016. For tutorial videos and instructions, go to here.
  • Personal computers with previously installed QuickTime (QT) may associate the orthoimagery .jp2 file extension with the QT application. For more info, go to FAQ.
  • Usage of Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client may cause download links to return empty (0 byte) files. For more info, go to FAQ.
  • Failure to access data download links on our ftp sites can be a result of antivirus or network security software, such as a firewall or proxy server. You may need to temporarily turn off Internet security software, or notify your IT support to add the ftp download site as an exception to your proxy server. For more info, go to FAQ.


  • Save As-Print progress window does not provide feedback on which service is taking too long to respond. For more info, go to FAQ.
  • Exported annotations saved as Shapefile cannot be added during a later viewer session because of a difference in projections/datums used between the Shapefile (WGS84) and the viewer base map, which is in WGS84 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere). We suggest using KML (or KMZ) instead of Shapefile for saving and adding annotations.

Tags: Maps, Topographic, Recreation, Quadrangle, GeoPDF, Scale