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Maps and Atlases


This research guide selectively lists print and digital geospatial resources available in the HSU Library and on the Internet. Use the "Internet Guides/Portals/Gateways" links below for morecomprehensive lists of Internet geospatial resources. For additional guidance inquire at the Library's Reference Desk.

Reference Resources

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Directories and Guides

  • Cartographic Reference Resources (Perry-Castaneda Map Library) Includes links to gazetteers; calculators for distance, tides, sun and moon rise/set; time zones; postal codes; map projections; bibliographies; and other references.
  • Information Sources in Cartography (Perkins & Parry) 1989 (ref GA 105.3 I53 1989)
  • Where to Buy Maps (Perry-Castaneda Map Library) Directory of commercial and government maps dealers. Includes sellers of new and antiquarian maps along with a dealer listing by type of map
  • World Mapping Today (Pary and Perkins) 2002 (ref GA 105.3 P37 2002) On a country-by-country basis presents the status of national mapping programs, including major thematic and topographic map products. Includes graphic indexes for many series. The National Mapping Agencies web site is a compilation of national mapping agencies listed in this work along with contact information.

Internet Portals and Gateways

The following are specialized "subject guides" to static and interactive maps found on the Internet.

  • Google Maps Mania Blog that tracks "websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps". The site includes a Mashups and Tools Index that is keyword searchable and browsable by broad category (Tools, Transit, City Information, Housing & Real Estate, etc.). Includes both useful and bizarre applications including a London Tube journey planner, a map of Skype users worldwide, Amazing Race maps, San Francisco public toilets, global surf finder, etc.
  • INFOMINE Scholarly Internet Resource Collections: Maps and GIS (University of California) Contains over 2,700 links to Internet sites containing maps, satellite images, photographs, software, data/image bases, and cartographic reference materials and literature.
  • Interactive Web Mapping Applications (Geocommunity) Directory of web-based GIS sites by major vendor as well as a directory of free and commercial web GIS vendors.
  • Maps on Other Web Sites (University of Texas, Austin. Perry-Castaneda Map Library) Directory of link to web sites subdivided into the following categories of maps: country, state, city, historical, weather, and outline.
  • Geography Network Explorer Searchable directory that provides access to interactive maps, data and applications available from geospatial data providers. Search by (1) entering a placename or defining a geographic area by drawing a box, (2) choosing type of content and data theme, and (3) adding an optional thematic keyword.
  • Other Sites (Alexandria Digital Library--University of California, Santa Barbara) Collection of links arranged by geography, subject and title.
  • Live User Sites (ESRI) Directory of ArcGIS mapping applications registered at ESRI. Search by geographic region, U.S. state, industry or keyword.


For California gazetteers see Maps and Atlases--California--Gazetteers and for northwestern California gazetteers see Maps and Atlases--Northwestern California--Gazetteers.


  • Place Name Information Sites (Arizona State University Libraries) Directory of links to place name servers grouped under the following categories: world, country, United States, U.S. State, and planetary.
    • United States
      • Columbia Gazetteer of North America (Cohen) 2000 (ref E 35 C65) The 50,000 placenames are taken from Cohen's 1998 Columbia Gazeteer of the World (ref G 103.5 C65 1998).
      • Early American Gazetteer (GenRef) (ref E 154 E17 1996) CD-ROM includes A New Gazetteer of the United States of America (Darby and Dwight) 1833; A Gazetteer of the United States of America(Hayward) 1853; and Geographic Names Information System (US Geological Survey) 1996.
      • Geographic Names Information System (U.S. Geological Survey) Contains information on 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. The database includes all names appearing on USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps, USFS maps, National Ocean Service nautical charts, National Park Service maps and other sources. Includes over 100,000 historical entries for places that no longer exist. Information provided for each entry includes the name as recognized by the U.S. Board on Geographical Names, type of feature, country, geographic coordinates, and the USGS topographic quadrangle on which the feature is found. Each entry link out to the National Map, Google Maps, TerraFly, TopoZone, TerraServer DRGs, TerraServer DOQs, Tiger Map Service and EPA's Find your Watershed.

        There are a number of commerical sites that mashup GNIS with other data. Typically they display the placename in Google Maps along with information pulled from other sources.

        • Lat-Long.com
        • Placenames.com Displays placenames in a several mapping services and environmental maps from EPA.
        • HomeTownLocator Gazetteer (HTL, Inc.) Gazetteer of US physical features, cultural features derived from the Geographic Names Information System; and population data derived from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Search on a geographic feature and link to aerial photos, and regional, local and topographic maps of the area. Browse physical and cultural features by state and county. Display Census 2000 data by city, county, or ZIP code.
        • Satelliteviews.net
      • Geographical Locator (Gustafson) Choose from a series of clickable maps of the conterminous United States to identify the following location specific information: latitude/longitude; legal description, including township and range; elevation; gradient and aspect; state, county and FIPS code; hydrologic unit name and code; nearby named places from the Geographic Names Information System; 7.5 minute USGS topographic maps for the area; and links to online 1:100,000 scale maps and other online maps for the area.
      • North American Gazetteer (AllRefer.com) Includes 50,000 entries covering places and counties in US, along with most places throughout North America. Arranged by country or alphabetically. Entries taken from Columbia Gazetteer of North America. Includes pronunciation for many entries
      • Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America .Vol 9. Pacific (Omnigraphics) 1990 (ref E 154 O45 1990) Sources include the Geographic Names Information System and the National Register of Historic Places


  • Alexandria Digital Library Gazetteer Server (University of California, Santa Barbara) Contains over 4.2 million worldwide placenames derived from the NGA and GNIS gazetteers. Search by placename or feature type. Limit by geographic location using an interactive map of the world.
  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World (Cohen) 1998 (ref G 103.5 C65 1998) Three volume set contains over 165,000 place name annotations.
  • Dictionary of Imaginary Places (Manguel & Guadalupi) 2000 (ref GR 650 M36 2000) Includes an author and title index to imaginary places in works of literature.
  • NGA GEOnet Names Server (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) Database of four million non-United States (foreign) geographic feature names as approved by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. This database is the foreign complement to the Geographic Name Information Systemdatabase. Some country-based print gazetteers derived from the database are located in Docs D 5.319.
  • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (Getty Research Institute) Database of over 1 million modern and historical place names containing annotated information derived from other geographical sources. Entries include geographic coordinates, alternate names, place name hierarchy, place type and name sources.
  • Global Gazetteer (Rosenberg) Lists 2,800,000 of the world's cities and towns, sorted by country. For each place gives geographic coordinates; elevation; three map views - local, regional, and continental; current weather; and links to images, if available, of the town.
  • Historical Country Names (Nations Online Project) List of formerly used country names.
  • Latin Place Names (Maxwell and Association of College and Research Libraires Bibliographic Standards Committee Rare Books and Manuscripts Section) List place names found in the imprints of books printed before 1801.
  • MapPlanet (MapPlanet GmbH) Combines a geographic search engine with a community of registered users who provide information about individual places. The search engine consists of about 4,830,000 places with 8,160,000 names derived from the Geographic Name Information System and the NGA GEOnet Names Server. The detailed display for each place includes a Google Map link.
  • Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary (Merriam-Webster) 1997 (ref G 103.5 W42 1997)


Map Projections

  • Choosing a World Map: Attributes, Distortions, Classes, Aspects (American Cartographic Association) 1988 (ref GA 110 R662)
  • Map Projections Overview (Dana)
  • Which Map is Best? Projections for World Maps (American Cartographic Association) 1986 (ref GA 110 R63)

Style Guides & Citing Maps

Content Attribution

Some of the content of this guide was originally created in another format by Robert Sathrum, HSU Librarian, retired 06/2013.