Publication Submission

Map Publication Requirements

When practical the Idaho Geological Survey will publish new geology, within the state of Idaho, from a Masters or PhD thesis as a print-on-demand Technical Report. Only maps containing new mapping from a completed thesis will be considered. See below for requirements, guidelines, and general suggestions.


  • Inform the Idaho Geological Survey ahead of time that a thesis map will be submitted for publication. Contact: or call 208-885-7479.
  • The more complete the map and the closer it follows the submission requirements, the sooner the map will be published.
  • The Idaho Geological Survey reserves the right to reject a submitted map if it is not complete and if the digital map is not in an acceptable format (see FORMAT below).
  • Thesis maps are processed as time allows.
  • Keep maps as "tight" as possible. A geologic map is not a poster so keep fonts small and columns narrow (see below for guidelines). Maps will be printed on a plotter. The larger the map the more expensive it is to plot. No maps larger than 3 x 4 feet will be accepted. Leave a 0.75 inch margin on all sides of the map.
  • Look at our maps as a guide. They can be found in PDF format at IGS map publications.
  • Submit one plate only unless special arrangements have been made.
  • Maps and publications published by the Idaho Survey do not have a copyright.
  • The mapping data in the thesis map may eventually be used in a digital compilation and added to the Survey's state-wide geologic map database. In this case all objects from the thesis map used in the compilation will be attributed with a source credit ID which will be linked to a reference lookup table.
  • REQUIRED: Include a full citation for the thesis or dissertation.
  • REQUIRED: An outline (polygon) of the area covered by the geologic map. Outlines must be in a digital format and georeferenced. Acceptable formats include: shape file, KMZ, or ESRI Geodatabase. Maps for publication will not be accepted without this outline.
  • REQUIRED: Map scale check. Check that the printed scale in the map legend matches the actual printed map scale.


  • Geologic map with basemap (DRG -Digital Raster Graphic- or equivalent is fine)
  • Correlation chart
  • Map unit descriptions
  • Full thesis citation
  • References
  • Credits including funding credit
  • Title with Authors, year
  • Map symbols
  • Cross section(s)
  • Charts, tables, photos as necessary


  • Stick with Arial, Helvetica, and New Times Roman.
  • Keep font size down. For text in columns, 9 or 10pt is fine.
  • Columns should be 3.5" to 4" wide for readability.


Map Submission for Publication

  • The preferred format for submission is Adobe Illustrator.
  • ArcMAP can generate an Adobe Illustrator format file for layout.
  • Use previously released IGS map publications as a guide.
  • The Idaho Geological Survey reserves the right to reject a submitted map if it is not complete and if the digital map is not in an acceptable format.

GIS Formats

If the thesis map was digitized in a GIS, the Survey would appreciate receiving this data. Acceptable GIS/digital formats include shape files and ESRI Geodatabase. Simple (one page) metadata should be included.



If you need help, call 208-885-7479 or email


IGS Staff Report style
Use for Staff Reports and Technical Reports (Example Staff Report)

IGS Suggestions to Authors style guide

IGS Map Preparation and Guidelines

Proofread marks
Use for marking up maps and manuscripts

Geochemistry style sheet
A guide for adding geochemistry data to maps

USGS color chart

USGS Resources for Digital Geologic Cartography