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Maps & GIS

The Olson Library houses a small map collection that focuses on Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes region. As a depository, map shipments are frequent and run from topographic maps to nautical charts to CIA maps of all countries of the world to maps from the State of Michigan. Most maps are filed in the Map Collection, which is located at the back corner of the library near room 235B, while some maps are interfiled on the shelves among the issuing government agencies. Look carefully in the library catalog for the location and feel free to browse the collection. Maps and Atlases do not circulate.

Topographic Maps

Aerial Photos

General Map Links

GIS Links

Michigan Map Links

Direction Finders

Historical Maps


Topographic Maps

In the east corner of the library (HRDN, 2nd floor) is the map collection. Michigan and Wisconsin topo maps, Great Lakes nautical charts, CIA maps, maps of North Americ and the world....

Online, you can go to the following websites:

Libre Map Project: USGS 1:24K Topo Maps.
Downloadable topo maps--not seamless.

Geographic Names Information System
From the USGS. Searchable database for about 2 million place names (the official repository of domestic place names) in the United States and its territories. You will be able to link to a variety of maps of your search. Also links to place names in Antarctica and the Geonet Names Server (for foreign place names).

New TopoView from the USGS. This resource highlights the maps in the Historic Topographic Map Collection (maps published prior to 2009). Scales include 1:24K through 1:250K. An additional source of old, out of print topographic maps is the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer. For new topo maps, go here. As well as here--the Map Locator Tool has access to both old and new topographic maps.

List of websites hosting digitized out of print topographic maps. From the Illinois State Library.

Time Zone map

General Map Links

Blank maps! Print them off and fill them in yourself.

List of online map sources from Southern Illinois University (there are sure to be some of the same listings on this page)

Perry Casteñeda Library Map Collection
If you have blindly surfed for online maps, you have ended up here time and time again. From the University of Texas at Austin . Go here first.

United Nations Cartographic Section
Over 100 maps of countries, regions and missions are available in .pdf format.

CIA World Factbook
World, regional, and country maps in .jpg or .pdf. Also from the CIA, declassified maps.

National Geographic's Map Machine

Global Gazetteer
Locate regions, place names and exact locations of most any populated place the world over.

A visually intriguing website that displays statistical data in the form of cartograms.

Gallery of Map Projections
Several hundred examples of map projections as well as a small bibliography.

Radical Cartography
An interesting website with a variety of strange maps and graphs (mall plans, income, suicides, and world cropland since 1700 to name a few).

"Mappery is a diverse collection of real life maps contributed by map lovers worldwide. For the first time it allows people to easily find relevant and interesting maps of yet unknown places by visually browsing a larger context. mappery makes it easy to find and explore maps by keyword, location, or simply by browsing a map." That just about sums it up.

Aeronautical Charts From SkyVector.

Persuasive Cartography. A collection of “persuasive” cartography: ​more than 800 ​ maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs--to send a message--rather than to communicate geographic information.

OpenGeoSci. OpenGeoSci is a free, public map based interface that allows users to search for maps, cross sections, charts, tables, figures, and data from GeoScienceWorld publications.

Global Maps from NASA's Earth Observatory.
A global view of what’s happening on our planet. Maps include carbon monoxide, chlorophyll, cloud fraction, fire, land surface termperature, net radiation, sea surface temperature, snow cover, rainfall, and vegetation.

Sites dedicated to a variety of maps: Cartography on Scoop.it, DIY Cartography, and Strange Maps.

Michigan Map Links

Map resources from various State of Michigan agencies and departments (this list is incomplete):

Michigan GIS Open Data
Search across 10 categories including demographics, hydrography, fish & wildlife, and public health.

Cyndi's List: Maps of Michigan
A list of online maps, gazetteers and geographical information (both current and historical) from this genealogy website. There is more to Michigan on it as well as the remaining 49 states.

World Atlas.com (Michigan's slice)
Facts and many maps of Michigan (outline, highway, relief). With links to other states, the nation, and the world.

Soil Maps of Michigan (and of the whole U.S.)
The Web Soil Survey from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service allows you to select specific locations within the U.S. and obtain a map of the soil types as well as other soil attirubtes.

NOAA's Online Chart Viewer: Great Lakes
View well over 100 of the most recent nautical charts, including the catalog, that cover the Great Lakes. Historic nautical charts online are found further down this page under the NOAA Historical Map and Chart Project link. For Canadian nautical charts, click here.

Historic County Boundaries of Michigan from the Newberry Library. Interactive display of the county boundaries and their changes in Michigan and nearly all the U.S. as well.

Other historical maps of Michigan can be found at the MSU Online Map Collection, the University of Alabama, and the USGS (Map Locator & Downloader). Alabama has a nice list of digitized out of print 1:62,500 topographic maps as does the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

The National Geologic Map Database. Search for a map by title or author or map number; search for themes--geology or geophysics or marine or resources or hazards or other (geochronology, paleontology, or geochemistry), state or territory and county, scale, etc. Try their Map View!

Historical Maps

David Rumsey
Over 80,000 images (and growing--every time I check the number climbs!) have been scanned from Mr. Rumsey's private collection of rare 18th and 19th century maps. A fully searchable database of high quality images allows you to find states/provinces, countries, authors, and keywords. Also available are maps of Africa, Japan, Scotland, rare maps from the University of South Florida collection and geologic maps from Stanford University.

Library of Congress
Jump directly to the maps portion of The American Memory Project. You can choose from seven categories, including Transportation and Communication as well as Discovery and Exploration. There is also the Geography and Map Reading Room.

Old Maps Online. The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search. Search by typing a place-name or by clicking in the map window, and narrow by date. The search results provide a direct link to the map image on the website of the host institution.

Images of Early Maps on the Web
About 2500 links to maps the world over. Categorized initially by continent, country or theme, then by an alphabetical list. The website itself is a good resource on maps and cartography.

Ancient World Mapping Center
Images and articles of the Roman civilization in the Mediterranean region.

Historical Cities of the World
Hundreds of maps have been scanned in for cities throughout the world (only one for the US, though). Search by name of city or by year of map. Maps are available in low and high resolution.

U.S. Digital Map Library (Genweb)
State and county maps of the United States from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

Historical Maps Online
The University of Illinois Library and the University of Illinois Press have created this online collection of maps charting the last 400 years of historical development in Illinois and the Northwest Territory.

Also from Illinois is the University of Chicago's online map collection. Besides maps of Chicago, there are ethnographic maps of the 19th century, maps of Paris, midwest cities, and urban rail transit maps.

Great Britain (and more)
From the British Library. List of links to map sites for Great Britain as well as additional sites (including several already listed here). Additionally, the British Historic Towns Atlas.

Historical Map Archive
From the University of Alabama. Nearly 30,000 maps are available of all the states, North America, and the world. In .jpg and MrSid format. The USGS has historical topos available here.

Historical maps and map websites from the Perry Casteñeda Library Map Collection. Another resource here from CartoMundi: Africa, Europe, Middle East, with some Asia and America.

NOAA Historical Map and Chart Project
This collection contains over 21,000 maps and charts for, mostly, the United States. Dates range from the year 1747 to 2001. View them online or downloaded as a .jpg or MrSid file. You might select the "classic, non-geographic search page"--it's an easier search function.

Great Lakes Maps. Over 100 historic maps of the Great Lakes--from the entire region to the U.S. Lake Survey of 1852-1882. Additional digitized charts can be found at the American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM), General Land Office (GLO).
Access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present. In many cases you can see survey plats and field notes from original material.

The World Digital Library has over 700 maps available for viewing.

GIS Links

ArcMAP 10 is installed on the Government Documents workstation (located near the microfiche cabinets). This is available for all patrons to use. If you need assistance with this program, please contact the Documents Libarian. Color printing is available.

Formerly the National Atlas of the United States, now National Map Small Scale Data Download
Shapefiles and maps of the United States are available for download.

Michigan Geographic Data Library.
“Serves as the state's repository of digital geographic information. This site currently contains over 60 unique statewide datasets including the state's basemap (MI Geographic Framework), aerial imagery, geology, hydrography, land ownership, topography, and much more." This is a good one-stop shop for Michigan data. For population data, go to the Census Statistics and Demographic Data page from the State of Michigan.

Great Lakes Information Network: Maps and GIS
Download GIS data and view maps for the Great Lakes area (and beyond) by topic, geographic region, and organization. In its own right, this website is a good source for general information. A similar website is the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Data.gov (Geospatial portal) is the federal government's public gateway for providing access to geospatial information. A wide variety of data categories are available containing data from federal, state, local and private sources. Searchable via a text search or an interactive map. You can also go directly to agencies that have GIS data, such as: NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center, the Geospatial Data Clearinghouse from the Forest Service, or the National Park Service.

Replacement for The Geography Network Search interactively for data available to download or for purchase.

Federal Geographic Data Committee
Search for and download data from many different agencies for use in a GIS.

More GIS links from NMU via the GC335, GC337 and GC428 resource page.

Aerial Photos

The National Collection of Aerial Photography
Includes military imagery from WWII (Allied Central Interpretation Unit, German Air Force (Luftwaffe), Ministry of Defence: Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, Mediterranean Allied Photo Reconnaissance Wing). Scotlland, where this web resource originates, has a variety of sources.

Global Security.org
An organization that “seeks to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons and the risk of their use”, their Public Eye section has detailed satellite photos and maps of military bases, sites, and establishments.

Google Earth
Download aerial photos (of varying quality) of the entire planet at once and the ability to look at them in 3-D. As they say themselves, "Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips." Something similar, without the globe and terrain feature, is Zoom Earth.

The Superior Watershed Partnership has a shoreline viewer of the U.P., from Chippewa County west to Gogebic County.

Direction Finders

These are all quite similar, essentially improving the Census Bureau's TIGERweb. In fact, they all seem to use the same base map information now. You'll probably have your favorite. Mapquest, Rand McNally, Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Here.com.

Questions? Contact Bruce Sarjeant, Reference, Documents & Maps Librarian (227-1580).

Library Hours
Mon: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tue: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thu: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: 12:00 noon - 8:00 p.m.
For exceptions and full year hours