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I know that I can use arcGIS to display the USGS national map viewer (aerial, raster, topographical, etc), but I will be using API for commercial use and it would cost $4,000.

1) Can I use openlayers to display the USGS national map? If so, please provide a link.

2) Does USGS have an API? If so, please provide a link.

3) If there are no free methods of displaying the USGS national map, what is the cheapest method to accomplish this?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The easiest free way would be to use OpenLayers which is a openSource web mapping API and add the USGS national map to it as a WMS layer.

OpenLayers Link

USGS WMS Layer Link

UPDATE per demo request:

Well that took me longer than expected. It's strange that usgs doesn't have these services cached, they would be a lot faster. Anyway... enter image description here


More on how to give me credit HERE.

enter image description here

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Could you tell me how to add the USGS national map as a layer as a WMS layer to openlayers? Possibly a link? – user1137894 Mar 7 '12 at 19:40
Sure, i'll create the page and post a link. – CaptDragon Mar 7 '12 at 19:42
The USGS WMS layer link comes from arcGIS and I'm trying not to use arcGIS because I am trying to start a commercial venture. To use the arcGIS API, it would cost $4k. Thanks. – user1137894 Mar 7 '12 at 19:42
The link is to an ArcGIS server USGS has already payed for. They are providing it as a service for free. It does not cost anyone anything to use this service. USGS bought the license to ArcGIS Server and are using ArcGIS server to publish these maps. You will be using the free OpenLayers API to display that mapservice on your website. :) – CaptDragon Mar 7 '12 at 19:44
What do you mean by "usgs doesn't have these services cached"? Do you mean the pngs are generated upon request rather than simply being served up? – user6594 Mar 28 '12 at 18:56

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