Missouri River Commission Maps

History of the Missouri River Commission
Congress created the Missouri River Commission (MRC) in, or shortly after, 1884, to accomplish a continuous, progressive development of the river. The commission consisted of a five-member organization which was charged to make surveys and devise plans to "maintain a channel and depth of water ... sufficient for ... commerce" and to carry out plans of improvement the commission deemed necessary. The commission went out of existence in 1902.  Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

MRC Map Organization

The MRC maps consist of 83 individual plates that are organized within 9 indexes. The original plates are identified by Roman numerals. For example Index IV (4) includes Plates XXVIII-XXXVII (28-37). Use the Index of MRC Map Plates to determine which plates you wish to download then choose the file format that suits your needs based on the descriptions below.

MRC Map Formats

The MRC maps are available to download in two different formats for downloading: 

1. Raster (TIF format)
These maps are UNPROJECTED black and white images. Each plate is 26" wide by and14" inches tall, 400 dpi resolution, and about 350 kb in size. They can be resized and reduced in resolution for insertion into printed documents. 

2. Vector (ArcView 3.2 shapefiles)
Dr. David Miller, Department of Geography, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, NY converted the unprojected raster images of the map series to projected ArcView shapefiles.  The compressed vector files can be as large as 18MB. 
Map comparison over time

Landsat images are acquired from space. Dr. Miller initiated this work in order to visualize changes to the river system that have occurred over a 100-year period. This is accomplished by overlaying the MRC plates (1894) and Landsat 5 images (1990s) (example on right). 

Search InfoLINK
URL: http://aa179.cr.usgs.gov/mrc.htm
Contact:  jeanne_heuser@usgs.gov    573-876-1876
USGS-Biological Resources Division
Columbia Environmental Research Center
4200 New Haven Road, Columbia, MO 65201
Last Modification: 08/13/2002