How do I find printable maps...?
How do I cite maps...?
The source of the map must be credited or cited, and Ohio Wesleyan’s Libraries and Information Services at http://library.owu.edu/citing222.html shows you how, for a variety of maps from print sources and the web.
The Perry-Canstañeda Library’s map collection at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/index.html serves as a portal to all kinds of maps. Their scanned (therefore static) maps are usually in jpg file format and can be magnified to show details. Most are in the public domain, so may be downloaded and used without obtaining copyright permissions, while those under copyright are clearly marked. Find maps by navigating through their subject hierarchy. Use the U.S. button and select Alaska to get a selection of Alaska National Park maps as well as a few historical and older topographic maps. The Thematic button > United States Thematic Maps brings up links to Alaska maps for airline routes, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
The Scout Report Archives at http://scout.wisc.edu/Archives/index.php is an excellent starting place to search by general keywords for links to authoritative websites, and mapping websites in particular. Since 1994, content specialists have been selecting authoritative websites and writing cogent annotations for educators, librarians, and researchers and the directory now includes almost 23,000 sources. In Advanced search, Description = maps brings up close to 1000 websites; Description = maps Alaska produces an eclectic assortment of sites that mostly deal with environmental aspects of present-day Alaska.
Odden’s Bookmarks at http://oddens.geog.uu.nl/index.php provides a searchable and browsable web directory for the world of cartography. Search for websites by keyword (general, rather than specific, place names), geographic region, or category of object with results presented in tables showing a website’s title, country, and category. A search on “Alaska” yields 2 pages of links to websites. Alaska material can also be found in links to North American and regional atlases.
The American Memory project at the U.S. Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html
offers an extensive map and aerial photo collection covering the United States and countries of the world that have particular importance in American history. Bibliographic information accompanies each scanned map, and once an image opens, it can be magnified and sized. The massive collection can be searched by keyword or browsed by subject, creator, geographic location, or title. A keyword search for ‘Alaska’ using the ‘All Map Collections’ option yields 32 historical maps mostly from the 1800s. Maps showing gold and coal fields, the route of Alaska excursion steamers, and Russian America are just a few of those included.
The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection at http://www.davidrumsey.com/index.html makes over 13,000 maps available online. In order to view more than thumbnail images, one selects a viewer that works in conjunction with standard web browsers (as long as pop-up blockers are disabled). A GIS browser allows layering of maps and offers “a visual voyage of discovery through map history” for such events as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Maps are covered by a Creative Commons license with some rights reserved, so check out the provisions of that license before using maps for more than personal consultation. Choose a browser and enter your search terms; you will need to turn off the Pop Up Blocker in the Internet Explorer Tools pull down menu to make the Insight Browser work. An ‘Alaska’ search using the ‘ByState/Province’ or ‘Keywords’ options results in maps, as well as plates and charts found in old atlases from the voyages of Cook, LaPerouse, and other explorers.
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey at http://historicals.ncd.noaa.gov/historicals/histmap.asp provides historical (1655-2001) maps and charts for coastline areas. Each scanned map opens in a viewer for magnification and panning but you’ll need to download a map in order to print it. A search for ‘Alaska’ provides over 200 downloadable nautical charts and preliminary bathymetric maps. Remember that these are historical charts and not suitable for navigational use!
Online maps of political boundaries abound, and one of the web directories or portals mentioned above (LOC American Memory, Perry Castañeda Library, Odden’s Bookmarks) may provide what you need with just a few clicks.
The National Atlas of the United States at http://www.nationalatlas.gov offers many capabilities but its pre-formatted printable maps on selected topics are currently the most useful. Small-scale (overview) maps predominate. Although various map layers (e.g. agriculture, biology, history, transportation, etc) are available for dynamic mapping, regional coverages are not always available or only available at a scale that pixellates when zooming in on a region or city. Many of the printable map links provide individual state maps including Alaska through the ‘Learn More’ buttons. The term ‘Alaska’ entered in the main search box leads to nearly 200 articles, maps and pictures.
The National Atlas of Canada at http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/index.html provides small-scale political and thematic (e.g. environment, economy, history, climate change) maps primarily intended for classroom use. Use the Advanced Search for best access to Alaska material.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides a portal to U.S. geological maps online at http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/. The comprehensive search engine allows searching by categories, with numerous options available to limit a search to online maps at a particular scale, including maps within online USGS publications.
Soil maps (soil surveys) for Alaska are available from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service at http://www.ak.nrcs.usda.gov/
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys offers a few small-scale maps pertaining to mineral and oil/gas resources at http://wwwdggs.dnr.state.ak.us/statewide.htm Their Statemap project currently underway concentrates on “portions of strategic commercial access corridors, mining districts, and frontier oil and gas provinces.”
Small areas of US Geological Survey topographic maps, NOAA nautical charts (not current), aeronautical charts, and aerial photos for most areas in the United States can be viewed and printed for free using the MapTech company’s map server. Go to http://www.maptech.com/ and click on online maps > MapServer and search by city/state or zip code. Try entering Juneau with the Alaska state option to see a listing of the kinds of maps available. A printout includes the geographic coordinates for each corner of a 5.5” x 5.5” map but no legend. MapServer “Help” offers reference guides to topographic map and nautical chart symbols. Selected international maps and charts are available.
TopoZone http://www.topozone.com bills itself as “the Web's center for professional and recreational map users” and is a rich source for Alaska maps. Topozone worked with the USGS to create the Web's first interactive topographic maps and also offers orthophotos and aerial photographs for the entire United States. Type a place name in the search box and go! Use the "View Maps" menu for more search options and the Map/Photo Info button in the sidebar to get year of publication. Printouts include scales in miles and kilometers, magnetic declination, as well as geographic coordinates, which makes them particularly useful for hikers.
The U.S. Geological Survey makes high-resolution scanned topographic maps available via its Map Locator and Downloader at http://store.usgs.gov/locator/. Placing the cursor over a particular location gives precise lat/lon coordinates for georeferencing. Once downloaded, it’s possible to select a magnified portion of the PDF file and paste it into a Word document to create a printout.
Current nautical charts for navigational purposes are only available through approved government agents listed at
http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/states.html. NOAA explains why at http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/mcd/download.htm
Digital raster versions of charts are available from MapTech. Go to http://www.maptech.com/ and click on Online Maps > MapTech MapServer and search by city/state or zip code. If the raster graphic of a nautical chart is available, it will be recognizable on a search results list as “harbor” or “coastline.”
Historical maps and nautical charts are available at http://www.chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/csdl/ctp/abstract.htm for (1655-2001) for U.S. coastline areas. Each scanned map opens in a viewer for magnification and panning but you’ll need to download a map in order to print it.
Google Maps at http://www.google.com/maphp?hl=en&tab=wl&q has road maps with corresponding aerial (satellite) photos at various scales to give an idea of the surrounding terrain. For some areas, there is good photo resolution down to the 20 m level. It’s easy to pan and zoom and get detailed directions for driving from one location to another. A Find Businesses option makes it possible to search for recreational and traveler’s services in the vicinity of a destination.
Google also offers a Gmap-Pedometer at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ for those who like to calculate how far they walked, elevation gained and lost, and calories burned. Once you’ve zoomed in on a map area where you’ll be walking, click on the Start Recording button and then double click at points along your route. The Usage Instructions give tips on how to show elevations, mile markers, calorie counter, there-and-back features.
Since 1996, MapQuest at http://www.mapquest.com has been helping people find places and provide navigation prompts for getting there. The focus is on the U.S. and Canada but there are large scale street maps for major metropolitan centers throughout the world and small-scale maps for traveling through the countryside. There is a lat/lon search if you have geographic coordinates and need to place them on a road map. A world atlas provides a country map with geographic reference information and the flag.
Alaska’s Virtual Library and Digital Archive (VILDA) http://vilda.alaska.edu/index.html features a growing number of historical maps related to Pacific coast explorations and 19th century settlement of Alaska. Include ‘maps’ in your search terms.
Bowen’s Electronic Map Library http://18.104.22.168/library.html offers colorful panoramic aerial images of Alaska, selected states and regions of the world. They are available for non-profit classroom use, and metadata is available on request.
Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources provides a limited number of small-scale maps of economically important resources from its Map Library at http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/lris/gis_maplib/maplib_start.cfm
SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) brings together small-scale maps of Alaska’s regions and roads and links to a current weather map at http://sled.alaska.edu/akfaq/akmap.html.
Current driving conditions throughout the state are available from the State’s 511 Road Traveler Information Service at http://511.alaska.gov
The Inforain organization has a few maps published by Ecotrust and Ecotrust Canada with “bioregional information…to discern and describe patterns of change in North America’s coastal temperate rain forest.” http://www.inforain.org/maparchive/ Spatial data downloads are also available.
The Alaska Gap Analysis Project at http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/AK_GAP/index.html provides landcover and agency stewardship maps for Alaska in addition to maps depicting distributions of vertebrate species.
The Alaska State Geospatial Data Clearinghouse at http://www.asgdc.state.ak.us/ is a web directory for Alaskan spatial data (and some online maps) from local, state, and federal agencies.
Downloadable data (cartographic, basemap, hydrologic, transportation, development) specific to the Juneau area is available from the University of Alaska Southeast Spatial Data Atlas at http://gina.uas.alaska.edu/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=34 Thumbnail images are available for viewing.
The Southeast Alaska GIS Library is a multiagency project under development that offers many free downloadable datasets covering Southeast Alaskan culture and resources. http://gina.uas.alaska.edu/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=116&Itemid=129
The Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) offers image data layers for use in GIS. http://www.gina.alaska.edu/page.xml?group=data&page=internetmapserver
The Microsoft Corporation makes US Geological Survey maps and aerial photos available through its TerraServer-USA at http://terraserver-usa.com/ . Search by place name or coordinates. Aerial photos are available for most of the lower 48 states and Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska. To see coordinates, click on Print > Show grid lines. 1940’s and 1970’s topographic maps are available for Juneau.
Google Earth at http://earth.google.com has a free downloadable application for viewing aerial/satellite photos. Once that application is installed on your computer, use Fly to and coordinates or Local Search and a place name to literally fly in on that location. Zoom, pan, and find selected lodging, dining roads, buildings related to the photo. Geographic coordinates and elevations are available along with the altitude from which the view is taken. Higher resolution photos are available for urban than rural areas.
©Prepared by Lynn Shepherd and Patricia Wilson, July 2006; revised October 2007