Maps, Gazetteers and Related Resources


This section contains links to resources and tools for interpreting maps and measuring the Earth's surface.

General Information | Distance & Heights | Grids | Latitude/Longitude | Map Legends | Projections | Scale


General information

The Geographer's Craft
Originally developed by the University of Texas at Austin and currently hosted by the Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder, this site provides an introductory curriculum for geographical techniques.

Map History/History of Cartography: Measuring and Defining Space
From the Map History/History of Cartography site; contains links to resources on distance; longitude, latitude and Prime Meridians; map projections; mountains; and scale

National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Tool Kit
An online interactive computation of geodetic values; includes links to a variety of conversion utililities

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Distances and Heights
A guide to the highest points in the U.S. and the world.

Geodetic Datum Overview
An overview of geodetic datums, develooped Peter H. Dana, The Geographer's Craft Project, Department of Geography, The University of Colorado at Boulder, rev.2003.

Great Circle Calculator
Calculate the flight distance between any two points on Earth; created by Ed Williams.

How Far Is It?
Calculates the distance between two cities as the crow flies; from

United States Highpoints
Lists the highest points in the United States, with descriptions and photographs of some peaks.

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The Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM); this article from the National Atlas tells the history of the PLSS and explains how it works

The State Plane Coordinate System
The State Plane Coordinate System is a set of more than 100 different coordinate systems using different projections; this article from the GIS Lounge explains its origins and how it works

The State Plane Coordinate System
The State Plane Coordinate System is a set of more than 100 different coordinate systems using different projections; this article from the Virtual Terrain Project explains its origins and how it works

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid
USGS Fact Sheet 088-01 (August 2001) explains the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid and how to determine a UTM grid value for a map point

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Per their Web site "look up the exact location of millions of places."

Latitude and Longitude Lookup
Links to latitute/longitude sites plus decimal to degrees-minutes-seconds converter; from

Latitude/Longitude Conversions
From the FCC, this utility permits the user to convert latitude and longitude between decimal degrees and degrees, minutes, and seconds.

NADCON NAD27 - NAD83 Coordinate Conversions
From the National Geodetic Survey's NADCON program, this utility allows conversions between the NAD83 / WGS84 coordinate system and the older NAD27 coordinate system

World City List
An alphabetical list of world cities including latitude/longitude; from

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Map Legends

Soviet Topographic Map Symbols
The Department of the Army Technical Manual (TM30-548) available as a PDF file from the University of California - Berkeley Library. (WARNING - large file)

Soviet Topographic Map Symbols (1958)
Links to individual sections of UC - Berkeley's file above; part of the RKKA in World War II site.

USGS Topographic Map Symbols
Legend for USGS topographic maps.

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An explanation and guide of the Peters World Map
An explanation of the Peters Projection, an "equal area projection" often used by world mission and aid-giving agencies because it serves to represent the developing countries at their true proportion; from Diversophy.

Gallery of Map Projections
A collection of various map projections optimized for printing.

Map Projection Home Page
A collection of information on map projections.

Map Projection Overview
An overview of map projection developed by Peter H. Dana, Department of Geography, University of Texas at Austin, 1995, rev. 2000.

National Geographic's Round Earth, Flat Maps
An overview of map projection created by National Geographic.

U.S. Geological Survey Map Projections
An overview of the issues of map projection, which is used to portray all or part of the round Earth on a flat surface; includes definitions and explanations of a variety of commonly used projections

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Bureau of Economic Geology's GIS Tools Online
Tools for converting various map-related measures; includes a scale calculator

Oregon State University Scale Calculator
Calculates American standard, metric and miscellaneous conversions

Map Scales
USGS Fact Sheet 015-02 (February 2002) provides an overview of map scales with a focus on common scales used by the U.S. Geological Survey

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Last Update: 12 Jun 14:59 | Tagged with: maps geography government information gazetteers