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I work a lot with USGS geologic maps and always have the same problem. I am able to download the files from the website (in .e00 format), and make a nice shapefiles out of them. My problem is that there are no .lyr files with symbology, and assigning colors to polygons manually takes ages. The USGS have always great databases and metadata, so it is hard to believe that they wouldn't attach any file which would help with coloring polygons... Does anybody know by chance if there is any symbology "hidden" in files like .e00, .ps, .aml, .met? The database goes with those and I am not sure what are they for...

My data: http://geo-nsdi.er.usgs.gov/metadata/map-mf/2337/metadata.faq.html

The map looks like this: http://pubs.usgs.gov/mf/2000/2337/mf2337f.pdf

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    Can't hurt to give them a call to find out if they have somebody had the lyr file ? – PROBERT Mar 3 '16 at 0:53
  • @PROBERT I did contact USGS before I posted the question on the forum, but I didn't hear back from them... The answer came today, maybe it will help somebody: "I've looked carefully at these data and the files available, and it seems we have no style file nor any explicit relationship between unit symbols and colors. My guess is that the PDF map was composed in Adobe Illustrator using the linework provided by ArcInfo version 8.0. In some of our older ArcInfo data sets there are shade sets, but these cannot be directly mapped to colors in more recent versions of ArcGIS," – Katarzyna Mar 3 '16 at 18:21
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    I had the same thing when I use the BLM land ownership layer and had no lyr file so I contact the local BLM GIS Specialist and got it.. That's why I recommend to contac themt. Do you have a USGS local near you and maybe talk to their USGS local GIS Specialist near where you are ? – PROBERT Mar 3 '16 at 18:31
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As commented by the asker, the answer from USGS was:

I've looked carefully at these data and the files available, and it seems we have no style file nor any explicit relationship between unit symbols and colors. My guess is that the PDF map was composed in Adobe Illustrator using the linework provided by ArcInfo version 8.0. In some of our older ArcInfo data sets there are shade sets, but these cannot be directly mapped to colors in more recent versions of ArcGIS,

If you are ever seeking information about symbology used by USGS then you should try to contact USGS.

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