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Web Resources

The following is an organized list of web resources that users may find helpful in furthering their research. These resources are not produced or maintained by the Map and Geography and we are not responsible for their content.Be sure to cite any resources you use!

Web Resources on other Map Library Pages


University of Illinois Departments and Groups

UIUC Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science

UIUC Department of Geology
The program has “strong research programs in Earth Materials (Mineral Science), Sedimentary and Earth Surface Processes, Geobiology, Hydrogeology, Seismology, Geochemistry/Petrology, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Paleoclimate, and Tectonics/Structural Geology.”

UIUC Department of Urban and Regional Planning

University Consortium of Geographic Information Science at Illinois (UCGIS)
“The primary goal of the UCGIS is to promote the interdisciplinary use and advancement of GIScience and GIS technologies.”

Cyber Infrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory (CIGI) at UIUC
CIGI Laboratory “researches and develops cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure to advance geospatial sciences and technologies.”

Data Discovery–UIUC Library
“Services offered include: acquiring data sets needed for teaching and research; locating, downloading and preparing data for secondary analysis; and identifying and creating course materials and teaching tools.”

Champaign-Urbana Area Agencies

Champaign County GIS Consortium (CCGISC)
“A program of the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission…to secure the benefits of data collection and analysis at the county-wide scale and to share the cost of implementation, maintenance, and data acquisition.”

GIS Webmap – Champaign County, Illinois
County map application of Champaign County made by the CCGISC.

Champaign County Geospatial Information System
Information on the county engineer, county auditor, parcel and tax information, and parcel maps and aerial photos. (Best viewed in Internet Explorer.)

Champaign County Assessment Office
Provides web access to local property records.

Illinois Agencies

Illinois County GIS Resources
Provides links to GIS resources by county for the state of Illinois.

Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association (ILGISA)
“ILGISA brings together the GIS community of the State of Illinois through biannual conferences and the publication of Illinois GIS Notes.”

Topographic map index for Illinois by the Illinois State Geological Survey
Maps of all Illinois counties available for purchase

Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
Free downloadable data. Includes historic air photos, digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles (DOQ), digital raster graphics (DRG), and geologic quadrangle data (IGQ).

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Information on parks, environment, and recreation. Includes an alphabetical list of state parks with park site maps.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Information on Public Travel
Includes highway maps, road construction information, and information about obtaining IDOT maps. IDOT also produces General Highway Maps for counties, cities, and townships.

Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) GIS Data
GIS data collected by the INHS, which is part of the Prairie Research Institute at UIUC.

Illinois State Climatologist Office
“A a primary source for Illinois climate information and services. The State Climatologist maintains an extensive archive of historical climate data dating back to the mid-1800s.”

Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS)
The mission of the ISGS is “to provide the citizens and institutions of Illinois with earth science research and information that are accurate, objective, and relevant to our State’s environmental quality, economic prosperity, and public safety.”

Illinois State Library Map Collection
“The State Library’s 5 million items include geographical books and journals, gazetteers and atlases, reference books and carto-bibliographies, and more than 190,000 maps and 80,000 aerial photos. Types of mapping include Illinois flood insurance rate maps, wetlands maps, road maps, census tract and block maps, and county taxing district maps. Historical maps for Illinois include the Sanborn fire insurance atlases, 19th and 20th century county atlases and plat maps, and General Land Office plats.” Includes links to redistricting maps.

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Maps, photos, and data for the six-county Chicago metropolitan area.

Illinois Geographical Society

United States Government Agencies

Central Intelligence Agency
CIA and more at the University of Texas at Austin

Very large selection of scanned maps of all regions of the world, large selection of maps of U.S. and foreign cities, and over 300 U.S. maps including maps of national parks, monuments, and historic sites courtesy of the map library at the University of Texas at Austin.  Also includes links to sites for creation of maps of specific areas and for determining driving itineraries, maps, cultural geography, weather, etc. Well organized.

CIA maps from the CIA
Download PDFs or JPGs of CIA page-sized maps. Does not include the historical depth of collection from UT-Austin.

CIA Publications
Maps and more for free download.

CIA World Factbook
Includes information on countries of the world. The content of this site focuses on current statistical data with emphasis on economy, government, transportation, geography, and social environment. Also included are appendices and general reference maps.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Online Chart Viewer

Includes charts of US coastlines and continents.

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aeronatical and nautical charts
General information including a “Mapfinder.”

NOAA Maptech
Cooperative development agreement to make charts web-viewable.

NOAA National Ocean Service
“The nation’s principal advocate for coastal and ocean stewardship” and producer of domestic waters navigation aids.

NOAA Nautical Chart User’s Manual
Basic information about nautical chart construction and interpretation. PDF files.

NOAA Weather
General information plus links to weather reports and forecasts.

National Weather Service
“The sole United States OFFICIAL voice for issuing warnings during life-threatening weather situations.”

NOAA Weather Radio
Check under “Station Listing and Coverage” for transmitter signal reception maps.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center
Self-advertised as the “World’s Largest Archive of of Weather Data.”

NOAA Satellites
General information on NOAA’s satellite program; includes some viewable images.

NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
National repository for geophysical data; works with the World Data Center and other international programs to acquire data.

National Atlas of the United States
National Atlas of the United States — 1970

Scanned maps and text from the 1970 print National Atlas . Part of the Library of Congress’ American Memory site. Allows zooming and panning. Also includes images from national atlases of the United States from 1870, 1880, and 1890.

United States National Map — Small-scale Collection
Includes maps and downloadable data describing the United States. Replaced nationalatlas.gov.

Geological Survey

USGS Tapestry of Time and Terrain
Geologic map draped over terrain model.

United States Geological Survey
“The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.”

USGS Online Store
Search for and order products from USGS and other federal agencies.

USGS Publication Warehouse
Access to over 100,000 USGS publications

New Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey
Monthly listing of publications from all divisions.

Resource for public information, such as assistance in determining what is available and in ordering maps, images, and data.

EROS Data Center
Facility that houses and distributes imagery and remotely-sensed data, including satellite data, plus digital cartographic data from the NMD; includes data query systems.

Originally a cooperative development agreement to make high-resolution satellite imagery available through the web. This is a busy site; response time may be slow.

The National Map
Report of a study done by USGS as the foundation for developing “a database of continually maintained basic spatial data for the United States and its territories that would serve as the Nation’s topographic map for the 21st century.”

National Geologic Map Database
Searchable catalog of geologic maps going far beyond USGS publications.

Department of Agriculture
National Resources Conservation Service Data, Maps, and Analysis

Includes links to watershed boundary data, environmental easement boundaries, economic data and analysis, and the National Resources Inventory. (Only the 1997 report is online, however.)

National Geospatial Management Center
Geospatial and watershed datasets among other resources.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Aerial Photography Field Office
A collection of more than 10 million aerial photographs available for purchase. Visit the local Farm Services Agency office, call, or e-mail (sales@apfo.usda.gov) for assistance in determining which photographs will fill your needs.

United States Forest Service
Information about map purchases and other data and publications.

Bureau of the Census
Bureau of the Census

Top-level page includes “State & County Quick Facts” which will display map of state with county boundaries and names.

Geography Program
Explanation of use of geography by Census Bureau and links to interactive maps and geospatial data for legal and statistical boundaries.

Visualization and download of TIGER data

Statistical Abstract of the United States
Scanned version of the venerable print publication, 1878-2012.

US Bureau of the Census American Factfinder
Quick statistics and population data; download Census geography in print digital format from Geography section.

Post Offce and Zipcodes
United States Postal Service

No maps but does include a zipcode finder.

Western Economic Research (W.E.R.)
Commercially produced zipcode maps.

Department of Defense
National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)

“This catalog contains product descriptions, and availability for NIMA produced topographic maps and publications.

Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

BLM is highly decentralized; using this set of web pages may take time. Try the browse button for a good overview of the site.

Official Federal Land Patent Records Site
Information about Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. Includes searchable database and web-viewable images of scanned, original land patents.

Geographic Coordinate Data Base (GCDB)
Geographic information representing the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)of the United States computed from BLM survey records (official plats and field notes), local survey records, and geodetic control information.

Location Guide to GLO Survey Plats
A list of organizations, with contact information, that own Government Land Office survey plats, including the formats they are in. Compiled by the Illinois State Library’s Map Department.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Geospatial Services
Includes access to free, downloadable data along with links to information about metadata and GIS.

Library of Congress and National Archives
The Library of Congress (LOC)

LOC Scanned Items
More than 300 collections scanned and available through the web including Collections with Maps.

LOC Geography and Map Division

LOC Country Studies
A continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army. Most books in the series deal with a particular foreign country, describing and analyzing its political, economic, social, and national security systems and institutions, and examining the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.

Maps at The National Archives
Includes both U.S. and world maps.

Board on Geographic Names
The Board on Geographic Names
BGN approves names for official US Federal government use in publications and in conducting government business.

GeoNet Names Server
Non-US place names, excluding Antarctica. Names approved by BGN Foreign Names Committee.

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
US place names. Database maintained at USGS of names amd approved by BGN Domestic Names Committee. Also includes links to other place name resources.

Federal Geographic Data Committee
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
An interagency committee of 17 federal agencies that coordinates the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure including the formulation policies, standards, and procedures.

National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)
Administrative background including text of Executive Order 12906, “Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: The National Spatial Data Infrastructure,” from April 1994 which lead to the formation of the FGDC.

FGDC Metadata
Includes links to the FGDC metadata standard and tools for use including a pretty good workbook.

Search for Federal geospatial data from multiple agencies.

Fish and Wildlife Service
National Wetlands Inventory (NWI)
Information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the nation’s wetlands and deep water habitats. Includes downloadable data, purchasing information, and interactive wetlands mapper.

Environmental Conservation Online System
Mapping capabilities under “Spatial Query.”

National Park Service
Data and Research in the National Parks
Includes links to National Park Service maps, downloadable data, scanned aerial photography, information about NPS GIS applications, and other GIS related links.

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs Geospatial Resource Center

Department of State
U.S. Department of State Background Notes
Country information from the Department of State including human and physical geography, economy, government, history, etc.

Background Notes
Pre-January 2001 archives files.

Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
See list of FHWA Web Sites for links to national road closure information, scenic byways information, and links to state departments of transportation.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Includes “The Journal of Transportation and Statistics” and searchable statistical databases.

FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center
Check to see if the weather is affecting your flight.

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Flood Hazard Mapping Program

Flood Map Service Center
Search for and download flood hazard maps.

Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
Select “Your Community” from the left frame to generate lists and maps of regulated sites and to see descriptions of local watersheds or the daily forecast of the ultraviolet index.

Surf Your Watershed
Look for a watershed by name, zip code, or by clicking on a map. Includes “Enviromapper” and interactive maps.

National Air and Space Administration (NASA)
Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center

Download data, view images.

NASA Image Galleries
Photos and videos of the Earth and beyond.

International Agencies

National Atlas of Canada Online
In addition to having links to many, many types of maps of Canada, it also includes learning resources and data services.

United Nations Environment Programme Net
Data and country profiles.

United Nations Environmental Programme — Global Resource Information Database (GRID)
“GRID (1985-present) is a global network of 15 environmental data centres facilitating the generation and dissemination of key environmental geo-referenced and statistical data-sets and information products, focusing on environmental issues and natural resources. GRID centres typically have the ability, expertise and specialized information technology (environmental data management, remote sensing/Geographic Information Systems) to prepare, analyze and present environmental data and information, which are the basis for reliable environmental assessments.”

Australian Consortium for the Asian Spatial Information and Analysis Network (ACASIAN)
Data source for Eurasian countries with an emphasis on China.

An independent international not-for-profit organization representing 63 organizations from 46 countries of Europe’s National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities.

Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE)

Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia (PAIGH)
Only available in Spanish.

e-Atlas of Global Development
Published by the World Bank since 1966. Requires Flash Player.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and Almanacs

Dictionary of Abbreviations and Acronyms in Geographic Information Systems, Cartography, and Remote Sensing
From UC Berkeley Library

Glossary of Cartographic Terms
From Maps for America and hosted by U Texas, Perry-Casteñeda Library. The online version of ESRI’s Dictionary of GIS Terminology.

GIS Dictionary
From Esri.

Background Notes
Country information from the Department of State including human and physical geography, economy, government, history, etc.

Country Studies
Prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program.

The World Factbook
Includes information on countries of the world compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency. The content of this site focuses on current statistical data with emphasis on economy, government, transportation, geography, and social environment. Appendices and general reference maps are also included.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
Scanned version of the venerable print product produced by the Bureau of the Census. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Encyclopedia of Chicago
The link leads to the maps in the encyclopedia.

Calculators and Tools

Great Circle Distance Calculator
Calculate distances using great circles, NOT road distances!

Decimal Degrees to Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds
Converts between decimal degrees and degrees/minutes/seconds and back again

Lat/Long to UTM
Converts latitude/longitude to UTM and UTM to latitude/longitude.

Map Date Codes
Compiled by Phil Hoehn; part of the WAML Map Librarian’s Toolbox .

Online Distance and Length Conversion
Convert modern and ancient distance measures.

Cartographic Reference Resources
Among other resources, includes map projections and map scales. Compiled by the map library at the University of Texas at Austin.

Oil Company Chronologies


Metadata Primer for Map Librarians
Article by David Y. Allen, published by ALA Map & Geospatial Information Round Table

Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) – What are Metadata? |
Definitions of metadata and geospacial metadata.

FGDC Don’t Duck Metadata
“A short reference guide for writing quality metadata.” (Opens as a PDF.)

Ten Most Common Metadata Errors
A helpful document produced by the FGDC and the National Metadata Cadre. (Opens as PDF.)

Essential Metadata Elements
A set of recommended metadata elements that can be used for the development of organizational metadata and templates. (Opens as a PDF.)

Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata
FGDC from 1998.

Bibliographic Freedom and the Future Direction of Map Cataloging
Article by Terry Reese, Oregon State University, on using metadata crosswalks.

FAQs on FGDC metadata
The USGS answers questions about FGDC metadata. (Care to buy a vowel?)

Formal metadata: information and software
The USGS provides information on FGDC metadata standards and related software.


Other Map Libraries

University of Chicago Map Collection

The Newberry Library
Home of an extensive Map Collection and the Herman Dunlop Smith Center for the History of Cartography .

Illinois State Library Map Collection

Library of Congress Geography and Map Division

National Archives Cartographic and Architectural Records
The National Archives holds large amounts of cartographic information documenting the history of the United States.

University of Texas – Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Cartographic Reference Resources provides links to a wide range of tools and resources.

American Geographical Society Library, UW Milwaukee

Harvard University
Harvard Map Collection. Includes links to extensive collection of scanned maps.

Pennsylvania State University
Donald W. Hamer Maps Library

University of California, Los Angeles
Cartographic Resources: Maps, Atlases, GIS

University of California, Santa Barbara
Map & Imagery Laboratory

The Alexandria Digital Library
Created at the University of California, Santa Barbara

University of of Florida
Map & Imagery Library

University of Oregon
Map & Aerial Photography Library

University of Washington
Map Collection and Cartographic Information Services Unit

Map Societies

Map Societies Around the World
Geographical and alphabetical lists of organizations active in the history of cartography.

Washington Map Society (Washington, D.C.)

International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes

International Map Collectors’ Society

Society for the History of Discoveries

Road Map Collectors Association

Road Map Collectors Association
Includes information on official state highway maps, commercially produced maps, and publisher date codes.

International Society for the History of the Map
Seems to still be under construction in certain areas, but they provide excellent map-related news and some miscellaneous resources.

Map Dealers

Please note that inclusion of a specific dealer or source should not be construed as an endorsement of the products available or the companies selling them.

Produces various print and CD-ROM products including a popular Atlas & Gazetteer series currently comprising 30 U.S. States. Based in Freeport, ME.

East View Maps & Atlases
Originally a vendor for information products and services from Russia and former Soviet republics – based in Minneapolis, MN. Expanded to worldwide coverage with continued strength in Soviet-produced materials. Focused on scientific and scholarly publications including national atlases.

East View Map Link
Formerly based in Santa Barbara, CA, now in Minnetonka, MN. Focused on travel and mass market publications. Intended for commercial purchases. Individuals are encouraged to purchase maps and atlases through LongitudeMaps.

East View Geospatial
Specializes in geospatial data and customized mapping.

German vendor selling topographic and scientific maps and atlases. International coverage.

International Antiquarian Mapsellers Association
Includes dealer directory, links to map fairs and dealer catalogs, and bibliography of titles useful for collectors.

International Map Industry Association
Directory to companies that create and sell cartographic products

National Geographic Store
Books, maps, globes, educational materials, amd videos.

Omni Resources
Based in Burlington, NC, the Map Division is a major distributor of maps, globes, and teaching materials. Specialty is international mapping, and they offer maps for nearly all countries and regions of the world. Topographic maps are available at various scales.

Mexico Maps.com
Travel maps and atlases for Mexico.

Rand McNally
Rand McNally is a provider of geographic information and services in both print and electronic media for travel, reference, education, and entertainment.

World of Maps
Maps, travel books, and computerized mapping, with a focus on Canadian topographic maps and aeronautical charts

Map Librarianship

Map Cataloging Manual (LC G&M)
Sponsored online by The Library Corporation as part of the “Cataloger’s Reference Shelf.”

Map Cataloging
A set of cataloging tools created or linked to by Terry Reese, formerly at Oregon State University.

Western Association of Map Libraries Map Librarian’s Toolbox
Many links to sites with basic information on maps and map publishers.

Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives

Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC)

American Library Association, Map and Geospatial Information Round Table

ALA-MAGIRT’s bi-monthly newsletter

Western Association of Map Libraries

Journal of Map and Geography Libraries

Weather and Climate

US Daily Weather Maps
An NOAA website that provides access to  1871 to the present. Maps for September 2002 to the present are provided by the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

NCSA Short List of Interesting Weather Links
Provides links to several sites that give weather conditions and forecasts at the local, national, and international levels.

Illinois State Climatologist Office
So you don’t think that we have exciting weather? Check out this page of interesting maps and data.

Illinois Climate Maps from State Climatologist
1981-2010; precipitation, temperature, snowfall, heating and cooling degree days.

Local Climatological Data
Hourly, daily, and monthly summary weather statistics for 1,600 weather stations across the United States. Illinois stations include Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Rockford (RFD), Moline (MLI), Peoria (PIA), and Springfield (SPI).

Climate Prediction Center
Provides weather forecasts for the next week or the next month, along with climatic information on events such as El Nino and La Nina, tropical storms, and other weather-related data.

National Climatic Data Center
Self-advertised as the “World’s Largest Archive of Weather Data.”

US Climate at a Glance
From the National Climatic Data Center. Offers national maps of mean temperature and preciption by month from 1900 to the present. Regional, state, and some city data that can be graphed.

Extreme Events
A National Centers for Environmental Information site which provides links to data and descriptive information about severe weather events in recent history. Covers hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, temperature extremes, and other severe weather happenings. For some events, radar, and/or satellite images are provided.

Tornado Project Online
All kinds of interesting information about tornadoes, from personal experiences and myths about tornadoes to summaries of recent and historical tornadoes and an explanation of the Fujita scale used to classify tornadoes.

NASA Online VLF Receiver
Listen to the very low frequency (VLF) “songs of the Earth” live!! Including the “sferics,” “tweeks,” and “whistlers” of lightning.

Surface Wind Map
The data is supplied by the National Digital Forecast Database and the map is a really nifty visual! It may be slow to load and they recommend viewing it in Google Chrome.


Flowing Data

Motley Roots of Data Visualization

Data Visualistion Blog

Milestones in the History of Thematic Cartography

Not Strictly Maps

The Spatial Turn
Written by Dr. Jo Gudli, an historian at the Harvard Society of Fellows, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History at the University of Chicago, and published author. Part of the Spatial Humanities Project sponsored by the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship .

Paste in Place: An Information Design Studio
This falls more in the arena of graphic design, but it could be fun and useful for creating your own maps.

Derek Watkins – genius loci, mappings, neogeography
A blog by a grad student in Geography at the University of Oregon.

What Was There
“The premise is simple: provide a platform where anyone can easily upload a photograph with two straightforward tags to provide context: Location and Year. If enough people upload enough photographs in enough places, together we will weave together a photographic history of the world (or at least any place covered by Google Maps).”

Chart Porn: data visualizations that you just gotta love
A fun blog dedicated to sharing neat graphs, charts, and other creatively visualized data.

Maps and the City: Blog on Cartography and Design
A blog dedicated to fun maps and map design. Written by a Public Relations Specialist in Amsterdam. Not the most scholarly but fun and a good place to kick off research.

The Chart Geek: Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category
More than just maps. Includes interesting visualizations for all kinds of data.

Map of the Week

Map Lab — Wired Science


Six Great Transit Maps

Maps in Literature (website in Italian and English)

Fantasy Maps

Fantasy World Maps

Interactive Map of Middle Earth
From the LotrProject

Cartographer’s Guild
Forum specialization in maps of fictional realms.

Web-based Mapping

An Atlas of Cyberspaces
An atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the Internet, WWW and other emerging Cyberspaces

The Electronic Map Library
Maps of 1990 census data for the United States and major metropolitan areas, including Chicago. Developed primarily by William Bowen from the Department of Geography at California State University Northridge.

National Geographic Society Map Machine
A variety of different kinds of maps available. Use this site to keep your print NGS World Atlas up to date.

National Geographic Education
Select Mapping to go to maps.

United Nations Cartographic Section
General maps plus maps for peacekeeping mission areas.

Twemty years of maps and other graphics produced on environmental themes. Includes static and interactive graphics.

The Great Globe Gallery
Hundreds of versions of the globe. Links open in a new window.

UC Atlas of Global Inequality
Project of the UC-Santa Cruz Center for Global, International and Regional Studies (CGIRS). Includes maps, graphs, and downloadable data.

Acme Mapper
Interactive maps of the U.S. Based on Google Maps but includes extras like latitude and longitude and enhanced navigation.

Google Earth
Download free Google Earth.

Maps and driving directions for US, Canada, and Europe.

Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Center
Offers world maps for primary school students.