Tips for Searching for Maps

To find maps in the library catalog, the simplest way is to search by keyword for the location and add maps or altas. For example Wilmington map or North Carolina atlas.  Another way to search is by type of map and location. For example North Carolina Topographic map. If you need assistance searching for maps, please contact the library.

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Common Maps

The National Map (USGS)

As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.

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Nautical Charts (NOAA)

This Site from NOAA helps one create and download charts based on your own scale, extent, and paper size settings.

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North Carolina Maps

The North Carolina Maps project now contains over 3,000 different maps. The maps range in date from 1584 to 2000 and include multiple maps for each of North Carolina's 100 counties. In addition to viewing map images, users can also visit the "Interactive" section of the site and compare historic maps with current street maps and satellite images.

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United States Geological Society Maps


USGS programs produce accurate geologic maps and 3-D geologic frameworks that provide critical data for sustaining and improving the quality of life and economic vitality of the Nation. They also organize, maintain, and publish the geospatial baseline of the Nation's topography, natural landscape, built environment and more.

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Map Topics

USGS offers a range of geologic maps, topographic maps, geospatial map applications, and more. This site is a great place to start searching by topic. 

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Topographical Maps

These are general-use maps at medium scales that present elevation (contour lines), hydrography, geographic place names, and a variety of cultural features. Current-generation topographic maps are created from digital GIS databases, and are branded "US Topo." Historic maps originally published as paper documents in the period 1884-2006 are available as scanned images. 

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Geologic Maps

Since the 1800s, the USGS and its partners, the State Geological Surveys, have been producing high quality, standardized geologic maps of the Nation. Check out the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB), which is the National archive of these maps and related geoscience reports.

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Government Resources Map Collections

ProQuest Congressional

Comprehensive online collection of primary source congressional publications and legislative research materials covering all topics, including government, current events, politics, economics, business, science and technology, international relations, social issues, finance, insurance, and medicine. Finding aid for congressional hearings, committee prints, committee reports and documents from 1970-present, and the daily Congressional Record from 1985-present. Compiled legislative histories from 1969-present.

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U.S. Serial Set maps

Federal website providing data sets generated by the Executive Branch.

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Library of Congress Collections with Maps

Searchable collections that include maps from the Library of Congress.

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Bureau of Land Management

Homepage for the Bureau of Land Management. Resource provides information on regional boundaries, laws and regulations, and data on commercial public land use, recreational activities and revenues, cadastral (mapping) surveys, and conservation.

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Census Bureau Geography Reference Maps

Maps that show the boundaries and names (or other identifiers) of geographic areas for which the Census Bureau tabulates statistical data.

In some cases, the name is only in the form of a geographic code, such as a census block number. Some types of reference maps show and identify geographic features that are part of the boundary. Examples are roads and water features.

Reference maps can include additional features such as railroads to aid users in orienting themselves to a place on the map.

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CIA Maps

Search more than 95 locations across the globe.

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FEMA Flood Map Service Center

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

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Natural Resources Conservation Service Soils

Official USDA soil information as viewable maps and tables for more than 3200 soil surveys.

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U. S, Forest Service Maps

Most National Forests and Grasslands offer online maps or instructions on how to obtain a printed map. To find a map, please click on one of the National Forest, Grassland or other area links below.

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Beth Kaylor

Coordinator of Government Information
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More Map Collections

Sanborn Maps GeoEdition

Digital Sanborn Maps (1867-1970) for North Carolina delivers detailed property and land-use records that depict the grid of everyday life in 158 North Carolina towns and cities across a century of change.

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David Rumsey Map Collection

The David Rumsey Map Collection was started over 30 years ago and contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children's, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1550 to the present.

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