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Research Guides

Maps & Cartographic Information: Where Do I Find...?

Search tips for finding maps, atlases, aerial photos, GIS, and other cartographic materials.

Online Maps

Frankly, nothing beats paper maps for:

  • image quality (scanned map images are usually as small and low-resolution as possible so they will download faster),
  • size (most people don't have computer monitors as big as the average map), 
  • and coverage (there are still many paper maps that can't be found online).

But sometimes only a digital image, or digital data, will do. Here is a list of websites to help get you started. See also Maps by Type.

Basic country maps for PowerPoint presentations or papers

The best type of map to use if you need a small map of a single country on a standard-sized sheet of paper is a base, or outline, map, so called because they contain basic visible surface features and boundaries, and the most prominent feature is the outline of the country's political boundaries.

Old Maps of Seattle

Geospatial data for Washington State and Counties

Frequently Used Resources

A map that shows the changes to the Duwamish/Lake Washington/Elliot Bay area

A hiking map

The Map Collection has two kinds of maps that are excellent for hiking, both of which can be checked out:

Green Trails Maps

A standard Green Trails Map covers the same area as 4 USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles and provides clear, compact, and current information about trails and other recreational features in a convenient size and scale. These maps are 12" x 18" and include 15 minutes of coverage at 1:69,500.