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Maps and Geographic Information Systems: U.S. Government

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Census Maps

The Census Bureau's American Factfinder allows you to create maps from census data. Maps can be created at the city, county or state level. Information on age, race, gender, education, housing and other demographic and economic data can be mapped.

NOAA - U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

  • Air Quality--Resources, scientific data, and research laboratories for air quality in the US.
  • Climate--National weather data, climate modeling, and national climate research centers.
  • Coasts--Resources on the nation's coastal environment, their resources, and their environmental problems.
  • Fisheries--"Protecting our nation's marine resources through research, management, enforcement, and conservation."
  • Historical Map & Chart Collection--Over 35,000 scanned images.
  • Hurricanes--General information and emergency resources.
  • National Geodetic Survey--Improving surveying capabilities nation-wide.
  • National Weather Service (NWS)--Warnings, forecasts, hurricanes, weather safety, glossary, and other features.
  • Ocean Service--Observing, researching, and managing the nation's coastal and oceanic resources.
  • Office of Coast Survey--The Nation's official chartmaker.

United States Geological Survey

Natural Resources

  • NRI Data, Maps, and Analysis -- U.S. Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service -- Data and analysis on land use, soil erosion, water quality, wetlands, and other issues regarding the conservation and use of natural resources

Print Maps

There is a wide variety of government maps available:

  • Political maps from the Executive Office of the President and the CIA
  • Demographic maps from the Census Bureau
  • Topographical maps from the USGS
  • Land use maps from the Dept of the Interior
  • Nautical charts from the NOAA
  • Historic military battle maps from the Dept of War
  • Historic maps showing railroads, rivers, roads, etc.
  • Maps of federal lands, parks, etc. from the USDA

Where  to find government maps that are cataloged in MERLIN and which show a location in Ellis Library.

  • If MERLIN indicates MU ELLIS DOCS MAP as the location, it will be in one of two places.
    • If the map was shipped to us folded, it will be shelved upright on shelves outside the Docs office.
    • If it was shipped to us rolled, then the map will be stored flat in a map cabinet located just outside the Docs office.
    • There is no way for anyone to know whether the map was shipped to us folded or rolled, so you essentially have to check both places.
    • Click on the location link in MERLIN, to get a very detailed page with photographs showing the map shelves, a floor map with map shelves clearly marked.
  • If MERLIN indicates MU ELLIS DOCS, the map is shelved with the regular government documents in 1 East.

Map Collections and Indexes - Ellis Library

Map Collections and Indexes - Geology Library