Historic GIS Data and Links
A indicates a resource developed outside of the University of Virginia. These links will open in a new window.
A indicates a resource that is restricted to UVA faculty, students and staff only.
The University of Alabama's Cartographic Research Laboratory maintains this large digital map and aerial photograph collection. Contemporary Alabama thematic maps and aerial photographs are also available.
The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries is a project of the William M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History at the Newberry Library in Chicago. It is a reference work designed to provide information about the creation and boundary changes of every county in the United States, from the earliest county creation in the 1600s to 2000. Currently, only maps for California, West Virginia, and Virginia are available. Users can customize the maps by choosing a date of interest and adding or deleting various layers, such as modern county seats, county names, and boundaries. An array of powerful tools enables the user to zoom in and out and pan, and to query and manipulate the map in several different ways. Additional information can be viewed by clicking on the Chronologies or Supplemental Texts buttons.
Britain's Digital Historical Map library. To locate a map, enter a place name, address or coordinate (OS Grid Reference) then click the Search button. Alternatively go to the County Gazetteer to select a place name.
The Historical Atlas of Canada was a three-volume collaborative publishing project, finished in 1993, which used maps text and other graphics to explore themes in the history of Canada. This web site is the Online Learning Project whose attempt to make many of the maps and research data created for the Atlas available over the Internet. At present the Online Learning Project is under development and seeking funding; only 15% of the proposed Table of Contents is actively online.
Charlottesville/Albemarle scanned topographic maps and aerial photos as well as links to descriptions of GIS data available from the Scholars' Lab.
The Charting the Nation image collection includes single maps and maps in atlases and other bound books, together with important manuscript and printed texts relating to the geography and mapping of Scotland from 1550 to 1740 and beyond.
This site provides access to historical daily weather maps from 1871 thru 2001.
The David Rumsey Collection is a privately held map collection housed in California. It specializes in 18th and 19th century cartography of the Amreicas. Areas included, but not limited to: Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Japan Historical.
This page is a brief guide to using an older series of paper aerial photos of Virginia produced by the Department of Agriculture and held by the Library. These black and white photos were taken between 1936 and 1974 and are aranged by County.
geodata.gov is a web-based portal for one-stop access to maps, data and other geospatial services that will simplify the ability of all levels of government and citizens to find geospatial data and learn more about geospatial projects underway.
This website contains maps and graphs depicting various characteristics of slavery in Virginia during the 1800s. Created by Philip D. Troutman as a doctoral fellow project with the Carter G. Woodson Institute at UVa.
Contains access to: Historic Topographic maps, Historic geologic and mining district maps and atlases, and Nevada History in Maps (published by the U.S. government, Nevada and other state or territorial governments, publishers of commercial maps and atlases local and national, and associations such as the Lincoln Highway Association. Most are published on printing presses but some are hand-drawn manuscripts; most are in English but some of the earlier maps are in French).
Created by the UVA Library using ICPSR data, the Historical Census Data Browser provides online access to summary level data collected in the U.S. Census from 1790 to 1960. Variables describing the population and economy are available for states and counties that existed at the time of each census. The database creates tables for view or print, and provides sorting and limited graphing capabilities.
Hosted by Maptech, this historic map collection included 7.5-minute, 15-minute, and 30-minute series maps for Northeastern states from Maryland to Maine.
This page is best used as an inventory and finding aid for paper aerial photographs held by the Library. On this page you can find out which Virginia counties have aerial photos, which years they cover and whether or not there is an index.
The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress holds more than 4.5 million items, of which Map Collections represents only a small fraction, those that have been converted to digital form. The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection.
The Library of Virginia holds a strong collection of Virginia maps. Unfortunately, many of these are not online, but users of this site can browse the collection files to see what is held on site.
The National Library of Scotland has one of the top 10 largest map collections. Some of these maps are available online including: Maps of Scotland, 1560-1928; Pont's Map's of Scotland, ca. 1583 - 1596; Military Maps of Scotland (18th century); Ordnance Survey town plans 1847-1895.
Many pre-formatted maps available for download: Congressional Districts - 108 Congress, Federal Lands and Indian Reservations, Online Maps of the United States, Presidential Elections 1789 - 2000, Reference Maps of the United States, and West Nile Virus 2000.
The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a project to create and freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate historic census information for the United States between 1790 and 2000. The data being incorporated into NHGIS covers social and economic topics from 1790 through 2000. Census blocks shapefiles are available. Check the "Data Availability" link for a chart on the status of included data. The data is free, but users must register to download data. Census block shapefiles are available for download state-by-state.
Contains digital maps of the National Park Service Cartographic Resourses and Vistor Maps. The maps here are the most recent publications.
This page gives a good list of geographic data resources for the City of New York. These resources include links to scanned maps, on-line web mapping sites and other related sites.
The Office of Coast Survey's Historical Map & Chart Collection contains over 20,000 maps and charts from the late 1700s to present day. The Collection includes some of the nation's earliest nautical charts, hydrographic surveys, topographic surveys, geodetic surveys, city plans and Civil War battle maps. This website contains historic navigation, bathymetry, occasional topographic maps. Images can be viewed online or can be downloaded in MrSID format.
Descriptive listing of Web sites for online maps.
From the National Atlas, this site provides downloadable, printable, result maps for the Presidential Elections from 1789 - 2000. The resultant maps are suitable for framing.
This Flash mapping application showcases the 1748 Nolli map of Rome. The Nolli map is regarded by scholars and cartographers as one of the most important historical documents of the city. This site georeferences a vast body of information to better understand the Eternal City and its key role in shaping Western Civilization. The Nolli Map Web Site introduces students to Rome and the structure of its urban form; it illustrates the evolution of the city over time; and it reveals diverse factors that determined its development. Above all the Nolli Web Site is intended to provide a vehicle for students and teachers around the world to explore and facilitate creative thought.
Sanborn® Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia Towns and Cities, 1884-1922 consists of 4,445 maps by the Sanborn Map Company depicting commercial, industrial, and residential areas for 133 municipalities. Originally designed for fire insurance assessment, the color-coded maps relate the location and use of buildings, as well as the materials employed in their construction. The maps indicate which city utilities--such as water and fire service--were available.
Ditigal collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for some cities in Utah. Maps can be browsed or searched to find a particluar street or city. Maps come with GREAT metadata.
This site contains full-color images of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Charlottesville in 1907 and 1920 and a link to the UMI website that offers access to black-and-white images of all Virginia, Washington DC, and New York City Sanborn maps. The UMI site covering Virginia, DC and NYC is restricted to UVA students and staff.
Digitized Sanborn Maps from 1886, 1891, 1896, 1907, 1912 for Fredericksburg Virginia.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a dynamic and unprecedented metropolitan history. Thousands of historical resources-including articles, photos, maps, broadsides and newspapers-related to Chicago's colorful and complex history are at your fingertips.
The Hotchkiss Map Collection contains cartographic items made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss made detailed battle maps primarily of the Shenandoah Valley, some of which were used by the Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson for their combat planning and strategy. Several of the maps have annotations of various military officers, demonstrating their importance in the military campaigns. The collection also includes maps made or used by Hotchkiss during his post-war years, including maps with information about railroads, minerals and mining, geology and history, most of which focus on Virginia and West Virginia, but also cover other states and even the world. The collection consists of 341 sketchbooks, manuscripts, and annotated printed maps, the originals of which reside in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division.
The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is a general collection of more than 250,000 maps covering all areas of the world. More than 5,000 map images from the collection are available online. This includes the general use maps such as those produced by the CIA as well as some historic city plans that are included from travel guides and bluebooks.
From the New York Public Library exhibition, Heading West: Mapping the Territory is a collection of historical maps from 1540 to 1900. Heading West: Mapping the Territory reveals the evolution on paper from an imagined West to a mapped West.