On the Map Toolkit

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

In the zone

Would you like free access to thousands of topographic maps? TopoZone.com <www.topozone.com> Is a fully searchable Web site containing topographic images of the entire United States. Under Get a Map, click Place Name Search to go to the query form. The system will return a list of places that match your search criteria.

Click on the name you want and you’ll get the topographic map that contains that feature. The default scale is 1:100,000 (small), so zoom in to a larger scale map for more detail. You’ll find the zoom selections along the top edge of the map; they are 1:25,000,1:50,000,1:100,000 and 1:200,000.

Topographic maps show vegetation in green, water in blue and densely built-up areas in gray or red. The wiggly lines are contour lines, which represent elevation. Contours that are very close together indicate steep slopes. Widely spaced contours, or an absence of contours, mean that the slope is relatively level. You can find elevation values written along contour lines.

Read the FAQ and help files for information on displaying and printing the maps, as well as placing them on your Web page.

On the bookshelf

Atlas and Gazetteer series (De Lorme): Atlases of each US state.

The Handybook for Genealogists, 9th edition (Everton Publishers)

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735-1815 by William Dollarhide (Heritage Quest)


Find it on the Web

More map sites worth a look:

• Antiquarian Maps at Reed College


• Canadian County Atlas Digital Project


• David Rumsey Map Collection


• Global Gazetteer


• Hargrett Library Rare Map Collection, University of Georgia


• Historic USGS Maps of New England


• Historical Maps of Illinois and the Northwest Territory


• Historical Maps, University of Connecticut


• Military History Maps (US Military Academy)


• Old Kansas Area Maps


• Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, University of Texas


• Texas Historic Sites Atlas


• US Census Bureau Tiger Mapping Service


• The Yale Map Collection


From the August 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine