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Maps - California

The content of this guide was created by Bob Sathrum, retired 6/2013

CA - Coast and Ocean Maps

San Francisco Entrance

  • Assessment and Atlas of Shoreline Erosion Along the California Coast (California Department of Navigation and Ocean Development) 1977 (Cal Docs N 540 S36) Includes an atlas section of 129 maps at a scale of 1:40,000 which classifies California's shoreline into six shoreline conditions.
  • Atlas of California Coastal Marine Resources (California Department of Fish and Game) 1980 (atlas G 1526 L1 C35 1980; also Cal Doc F 650 C52) Set of 134 mostly 1:24,000 scale maps of California's nearshore and intertidal environment which indicate presence of biological resources (shellfish, marine mammals and birds, pelagic and bottomfish, kelp beds, spawning areas), human resources (piers, artificial fishing reefs, sewer outfalls and power plant sites), and land use (refuges, areas of special biological significance, fishing and recreational areas).
  • C-CAP Land Cover Atlas (US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Coastal Services Center) Online data viewer provides access to regional land cover and land cover change information for coastal California developed through NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). Earliest imagery dates from 1996.
  • California Ocean Uses Atlas (US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Marine Protected Areas Center) Maps narly 30 significant human uses of the ocean in state and federal waters of the coast of California that were gathered through a series of statewide and regional participatory workshops. The resulting atlas data provides baseline information regarding the location and extent to which the ocean environment is used for non-consumptive, fishing, and industrial and military activities. The site includes regional and statewide use maps, a downloadable GIS database, analytical case studies and an online mapping tool for data visualization.
  • Coastal Topographic Sheets (T-sheets): Northern California, Southern California (US Coast Survey) Highly detailed topographic maps of the California shoreline that were created by the US Coast Survey. Maps date from 1851 to 1911 for California. The "T-Sheets" contain a lot of historical information such as locations of buildings and detailed descriptions of shorelines.
  • Historical Map and Chart Collection (US NOAA. Office of Coast Survey) Contains over 20,000 maps and charts from the late 1700s to present day. The collection includes some of the earliest US nautical charts, hydrographic surveys, topographic surveys, bathymetric maps, geodetic surveys, city plans and Civil War battle maps. Search by keyword, geographic area, type of map, date, or chart number.
  • Map Showing Bottom Topography of the Pacific Continental Margin.... (Chase) 1992 (USGS Miscellaneous Investigations Series I-2089-C - I-2091-C)(print copies available in Docs I 19.91:I-2089-C, 2090-C, 2091-C) Series of three maps covering Point Loma to the Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • National Wetlands Inventory (US Fish & Wildlife Service) Series of maps at scales of 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 for the United States which classify wetlands into 55 different classes using the Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin) 1979 (print copy available in Docs I e49.89:79/31). For additional information see Wetland Mapping and Inventory (US Geological Survey). National Wetlands Inventory Maps lists maps available for each state, including California.
    • NWI maps are available on microfiche in Docs I 49.6/7-12
    • Wetlands Mapper (US Fish & Wildlife Service) Interactive mapper for viewing NWI maps
    • National Wetlands Inventory (ESRI) View NWI maps using the default map viewer or ArcGIS Explorer
    • Google Earth View NWI maps as a KMZ layer
  • U.S. Coast Survey Maps of California (San Francisco Estuary Institute) The United States Coast Survey (USCS) created exceptionally accurate and detailed maps of the California's coastline in the 19th Century. These surveys (commonly referred to as "T-sheets") are the single most important data source for understanding physical and ecological shoreline characteristics prior to Euro-American modification. The site includes links to a digital atlas of Southern California historical wetlands, an interactive atlas and GIS files.