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University at Buffalo Libraries

Teaching With Maps


Below are links to map sources, resources, and sites with geographical data. Some links show examples of the types of materials that may be located on the World Wide Web. For quick-finding on this page, use your browser's "Find" command and enter terms.


University at Buffalo Map Collections


Locating Maps on the World Wide Web

Country Map Sites

  • See also: Thematic maps.
  • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (University of Texas at Austin). Digitized collection (3,000+) of historic and contemporary maps. Many maps are U.S. government originals and may be downloaded and used without copyright restrictions. Also has links to websites for maps worldwide. Main map arrangement is by continent, further broken down into regional and city maps, among other categories. To jump to the starting point for maps by continent use the following links:
  • United Nations Cartographic Department Map Collection. Excellent source for maps of many countries and regions of the World. Emphasis on maps for mission-specific countries.
  • Maps of the World (One World, Nations Online). Good, clear maps of the World, continents, countries, etc. Also includes geographic and basic statistical data.
  • World Maps and Geographical data (UniMaps.com). Site has maps of continents, countries, and provides climate, flags, and other basic data. Maps include colonial, explorations, science and weather, among others. See examples:
  • Mapping Globalization (Princton, Univ. of Washington, UCLA).Globalization maps, texts, and geodata. Website goal: empirical work on globalization as widely accessible as possible. Contains an expanding set of resources for students, instructors, and researchers, and provides a forum for empirical research on globalization. Especially adding raw data and in the visualization of such data, including maps and animations.
  • World Atlas Political. Political map of the world, which allows the user to zoom in to any country.
  • World Political Maps. (Holt Reinhart). Simple maps of each continent and country.
  • World Sites Atlas. Interactive maps allow you to choose simple political and physical maps of countries, states, and provinces, along with basic geographical information.. Site links to geographical data and photos of chosen regions or locations. (Sample)
  • Map South Pacific. Islands and archipelago maps. Another site contains separate maps as well.
  • Map Library. Source of public domain basic map data concerning administrative boundaries in developing countries. The data is broken down into manageable chunks to make it easier to download. Has image files and ESRI-GIS useable files. Current coverage: Africa, Central America.
  • Relief Maps (Sadalmelik). Maps of countries in: Africa, Asia, Central & South America, Indonesia (some main islands), various Pacific islands and island groups, among others.
  • Asia-Related Maps (AskAsia.org from the Asian Society). A variety of thematic maps (e.g., relief, political, ethnic). Maps sorted for K-12 use (but also suitable for college), and by chronological period of history.
  • Intute Worldguide. Maps and satellite images for countries and features in those countries. Also includes geographical data and other materials.
  • Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica (LIMA). USGS, NASA, NSF, and British Antarctic Survey site providing detailed images of the continent. Also has Educational Resources, including tours of Antarctica Research Stations.

Selected Maps From Other Sites

  • Afriterra. Cartographic library assembling and preserving original rare maps of Africa.
  • Botswana Maps. All kinds of maps ready to view.
  • Atlas of Canada. Provides political and other maps of Canada and its provinces and territories. Includes good outline maps as well. The National Atlas Collection contains: satellite images, photographs of various landscapes in Canada, maps, and links to additional images and maps.
  • Canadian Atlas (Canadian Geographic). Very good for Canadian data (plus maps from other parts of the World). More maps/data for Canada at the CG Mapping page.
  • Language Atlas of China. Maps and related data on language and dialects.
  • Languages and Dialects of China (Dartmouth U).
  • India Maps of India site. General, thematic, district maps. (Sample).
  • characteristics.
  • Italy, Virtual Map. Variety of maps by country, region, city.
  • Portugal ( Instituto Geográfico do Exército). Variety of maps from their army mapping department. Site is in Portuguese, but has an English translation page (if page does not come up, use English flag at top of main page). Maps are large scale, and very detailed.
  • Maps From ReliefWeb. Good, clear maps of major trouble spots, areas where relief operations are taking place, and other. Gives current names of cities and towns, and shows boundaries of neighboring countries.

United States Maps

See also: Map & Geography Government Resources for U.S. maps produced by government agencies.


United States: State Map Collections (Selected)

See also: Map & Geography Government Resources for U.S. maps by government agencies.

See also: Geography & Map Resources: Map Collections for state and regional collections.


Thematic and Special Use Maps

Thematic maps show specific, topical features, so that concepts or correlation between concepts can be visualized more readily. Often thematic maps show graphical representations of data, but many also show data in a standard map for ease of understanding. Some examples of thematic maps appear below. Also see Additional Examples.


Outline Maps


GIS Maps and Sites

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow the user to create custom maps based on a variety of data sets. There are also databases of Map & Satellite Images.

What is GIS? (USGS). Good introduction to GIS, including: data input and how data layers are shown. This is a good page to show someone who wants to understand GIS. Also see: GIS Glossaries for a selection of glossaries/dictionaries of GIS and Cartographic terms.

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Collection of links to databases that can be manipulated to produce maps on demand for specific topics. Use for specialized or detailed maps.
  • Graphical Locater Home Page. Primarily for data on hydrologic regions (HUC), but also has data for most features. Using a map, locate geographical features and find coordinates, hydrologic data on the feature (and USGS topo map info).
  • Historical County Boundaries of United States. Includes GIS data files.
  • New York State Data for GIS. Data sets of the NYS Museum site. Download and use data sets with ArcInfo and ArcView software (that you provide).
  • Perseus Atlas Project. A GIS for building and developing maps.
  • TIGER Map Service (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system). (U.S. Bureau of the Census). Fuller description appears above.
  • TopoZone Web topographic map made with data from the USGS to create the Web's first interactive topo map of the entire United States. Similar to the TerraServer.

Search engines

Use search engines to locate maps and related materials. Maps can be found almost anywhere but these are some websites that may have the most relevant to your needs include: Government sites (any country, state, municipality), tourism sites, university or commercial sites, personal pages.

Government & Commercial Map Producers/Distributors. Find maps and cartographic data for purchase.


Geography Resources

(Additional to those already noted).

Here are listed a selection of links to geography, cartographic terms, basics of map use, and other helpful resources.


Teaching Resources and Other Materials