69th Armor Unit Crest

Obtaining Topographic Maps of Vietnam

Map Page 69th Armor Page Ray's Home Page E-Mail Me


All text and map images copyright 1996-2007 Ray Smith. Do not copy or reproduce maps or text without prior written permission.

I created this page in response to the numerous emails I receive asking me how to obtain the maps I scanned for this site. I do NOT sell maps, I am not affiliated with USGS, and the following is a compilation of ALL the information I gleaned in the process of purchasing the maps I have scanned for this site.

The topographic maps listed on the map page are Vietnam 1:50,000 Series TL7014, and Laos 1:50,000 Series L7015. They are available for $9.00 each from the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. There is a $5.00 handling charge per order so try to get all your maps in one order. Shipping is free via FedEx ground and their turn-around time is incredibly fast.

The fastest way to purchase Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia maps is online at the USGS Store at http://store.usgs.gov. Keep in mind however that they list the maps alphabetically by map name, or numerically by their new material number, not numerically by TL Series map number (See below for my solution). When you get to the USGS site click on "Enter USGS Store". Then click on "Foreign Maps (Non-USA)" in the lefthand frame. Then click on the country you want (Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia, again in the lefthand frame).

You can also purchase up to five maps over the phone (credit card in hand 1 888 275-8747). If you want more than five maps you must FAX your order using the USGS Order Form (provided here for download in Adobe PDF format: left-click to open it, right-click to download it). Print the form, fill it out, and FAX it to the number on the form. Note in the column labeled "State" put "Vietnam", in the column labeled "Scale" put 1:50k, and in the column labeled "Product Name or Title" put the map sheet name.

I have produced a listing of all Laos Series 7015 maps sorted by map sheet number and listing the map name and the new USGS material (order) number so you can rapidly identify the maps you want from the index list. It is available as a PDF file for download and printing. I am working on a similar list for Cambodia.

Mike "M-60" Kelly, the author of the fabulous book "Where We Were In Vietnam" has graciously contributed a document that lists the TL7014 map sheets sorted by name and sorted by number. You will need this to make it easier to order maps from the USGS site. Right click here to download the index in Adobe PDF format. Mike's book, available via Barnes & Noble or Amazon, is a must have book if you are interested in finding practically anything related to the LZs, fire support bases, and major and minor installations in Southeast Asia during the wars in Indochina.

If you want to order topo maps for your area of operations do the following:

First, figure out which maps you need. As an aid in doing that I have added all the Tactical Pilotage Chart images to my web site and superimposed the TL7014 series map sheet numbers for all of South Vietnam, and part of North Vietnam (the rest of North Vietnam is a work in progress, as is Laos, Series L7015, and Cambodia, Series L7016) on the charts. You can view these images and narrow your search for the correct map sheet prior to ordering from USGS by going to the TPC Charts on my site and picking the maps that depict the area of operations for your Corps (i.e., I Corp, II Corp, et al). All four Corps TAORs are included. If you roll your mouse cursor slowly over the map number (in red) you will see the map NAME. You will need this name to find the map sheet on the USGS Store site. The images are large because they need to be in order to be able to read them. If you have an analog modem on a dial-up connection these images will take a long time to download. If you have a cable modem or DSL then there is no problem.

These TPC images are unique to my web site. No one else, not even the USGS, has taken the time to scan the TPCs and superimpose the TL7014 map sheet numbers over the appropriate grids. Do NOT even THINK of plagiarizing these images. All map images are protected by DigiMarc Digital Watermarks and will be detected on your web site if copied illegally. If they are detected on your site you and your ISP will receive a Cease and Desist Order. This applies to anyone who attempts to plagiarize this work. See http://www.digimarc.com for details on how the Digimarc MarcSpider image tracking technology works.

If the TPC images on my site are too big for you to download over a dial-up line and an analog modem you can request a Series L-7014 map index (it's free, but they prefer you FAX your request) from The Library of Congress at

Voice: 202-707-6277
FAX: 202-707-8531
Mail:
Library of Congress
Geography & Map Division
Washington, DC 20540

If you do not have a clue as to either the map name or number, but you know of a place name which is not on the charts above (not the name of a firebase, LZ, or Camp, since these are not listed on the maps) use the National Imaging and Mapping Agency (NIMA) online Gazetteer at

http://gnswww.nga.mil/geonames/GNS/index.jsp

You can now download the names database covering Vietnam for free.

When you search on the name of a town, village, province, river, mountain, or stream, if it is in the database, the software will return the map Grid, which will point you toward the map you need using the Tactical Pilotage Chart images on my web site (see above).

You can also purchase the Gazetteer database on CD-ROM for $11.50 plus $3.50 shipping and handling. The Gazetteer database on CD-ROM lists every name on every map for every country in the world (Except the conterminous United States and Alaska). It comes with a browser-enabled interface so searching is easy and fast. The Vietnam section has over 59,000 entries which includes everything their two-volume hard copy set has (a hardcopy set costs $95 and covers only one country per set. Buying all the sets would cost in excess of $10,000). NIMA/USGS's CD-ROM stock number is 68-DIGNAMES.

To order the CD ROM, Write or call the USGS at:

USGS Information Services
Box 25286
Denver, CO 80225-0286
1-800-HELP MAP (800-435-7627)

Once you know what maps you need, call, go online, or FAX your order to USGS.

You may also purchase Tactical Pilotage Charts (TPC) and Operational Navigational Charts (ONC) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The TPCs are 1:500,000, while the ONCs are 1:1,000,000. These charts (I recommend the TPCs) allow you to determine in what grid (and therefore which topo map) a place is located. These charts cost $6.50 each and there is no shipping charge (FedEx Next Day Air is $6.00).

ONCs 1:1,000,000 scale

ONC K-10 covers all of RVN up to Da Nang as well as much of Cambodia, southern Thailand, and southern Laos.

ONC J-11 covers all of NVN and RVN from Da Nang north

TPC J-11-D and TPC J-11-A Cover all of NVN from Da Nang north in 1:500,000 scale

TPC K-10-A covers the area from Da Nang south (including all of II Corps, except for the extreme east coast which is on TPC K-10-B).

TPC-K-10-B covers the eastern edge of the RVN from Tan Quan south to Dong Ba Thin, and includes LZ English, Bong Son, Qui Nhon, Tuy Hoa, Ninh Hoa and Nha Trang.

TPC K-10-D covers the III Corps and IV Corps TAOR.

You can reach NOAA by phone and order any of these with a credit card at 1-800-638-8972

Be wary of commercial concerns advertising Vietnam Topo maps for sale on the Internet. They charge $39.95 per map sheet, and it is not clear from their advertising whether these are genuine DMA/NIMA/USGS color topographic maps (which you can order from USGS for $7.00) or black and white reproductions, which do not have anywhere near the resolution of the originals. Also be wary of companies offering aerial photgraphs of Vietnam LZs and firebases. What they are selling are grainy B&W photocopies of photos on file at the National Archives. They charge as much as $69.95 for these substandard copies and they do not offer a money-back satisfaction guaranty. I noticed that "Pike Military Research" was too lazy to create a list of the topo maps they sell so they plagiarized the list from my site, including typographic errors, wisecracks, and misspellings. They obviously put a lot of "research" into that. Caveat emptor.

All text, illustrations, and map images copyright 1996-2007 Ray Smith. Do not copy or reproduce maps or text without prior written permission.

Map Page 69th Armor Page Ray's Home Page E-Mail Me

Creation Date: Tuesday, June 4, 1996
Last Modified: Friday, January 19, 2007
Copyright © Ray Smith, 1996, 2007
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