Skip to main content

Maps & Cartography: Home

Last Updated: Oct 1, 2018 1:11 PM

Geography & Maps: Selected Resources

 Here are selected geography and map resources available on the Internet and in the UB Libraries. For more on geography, visit the Geography Department here at the State University of New York at Buffalo. For more on maps and mapping, visit the UB Libraries Map Collection.

Career Information

Electronic Journals & Books


  • The American Practical Navigator: an epitome of navigation / originally by Nathaniel Bowditch; prepared and published by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Complete text of the latest edition online. To access: click on "Find...Publications" then select from "menu options" box at top.
  • American Practical Navigator (1995 edition).


  • Coordinates. (Coordinates: Online Journal of the Map and Geography Round Table, American Library Association) e-journal only. Articles on maps, geography, and map collections.
  • Electronic Green Journal
  • GeoWorld (available through
  • GPS World
  • Network Newsletter
  • Spatial Odyssey. Provides selective access to the full text of GIS conference proceeding articles.
  • base line (Map and Geography Round Table (MAGERT)). Reviews of new maps, atlases, geography and cartography books, and online resources.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Maps and Mapping

UTM and UTM Calculation
Latitude/Longitude Calculation


UTM and UTM Calculation

Latitude/Longitude Calculation

Satellite Images, Aerial Photography, and Map Databases

These are websites that allow you to search for places, coordinates, and then see high resolution (down to 1 meter) images of those places. Uses USGS topographic map, GIS, and satellite imagery from other countries. Images can be downloaded or purchased (high-quality).

Western New York satellite images are available at the sites below; for local imagery, see: Western New York GIS; and Aerial Photographs of Western New York & Buffalo.

For instructions on how to download and use Terraserver and other mapping systems below, see: Downloading and Formatting Earth Images. For Terraserver images, see: Downloading & Formatting Earth Images from Terraserver for Recreational, Scientific, Educational & GIS Use.

United States Images

  • USGS Maps and Aerial Photo Images Online. Now part of the National Map system; has additional map and image sites, similar to the TerraServer.
  • Create custom topo maps and aerial images from USGS base topos and satellite images. You can download copies or order high quality copies (prices are reasonable).
  • Live Search Maps.Using USGS and other data, locate a fixed address or place, then navigate to see satellite or oblique (bird's eye) imagery. Covers US (data density based on area) and some World locations in various levels of completeness.
  • TerraFly Similar to TerraServer below. Enter an address or zip code and get a satellite view centered on that point. Then you can virtually "fly" over the countryside. The results show much more than an image, and you can select a point to obtain data on that point.
  • TerraServer (Microsoft). Offers both USGS topographic maps, and corresponding high-altitude images (down to 1 meter).
  • TopoZone Web topographic map made with data from the USGS to create the Web's first interactive topo map of the entire United States. Similar to the TerraServer.
  • Satellite Views. Uses Google Maps for worldwide coverage, but has categorized views to pinpoint specific features (from country through city, and then specific smaller features).
  • Intute Worldguide. Satellite images for countries and features in those countries. Also includes geographical data, maps, and other materials.
  • See also: Aerial Photograph Collections in Other Institutions (Selected List). These are for locations across the country.

Other Countries and Regions

  • DigitalGlobe. Commercial GIS and mapping site (most imagery is fee-based). Has selection of satellite imagery of various countries, regions, and features available to view or download. Often posts places in the news. Search their database to see if sample high-res images exist for your area.
  • Planet Beautiful images, some samples to view, but mostly for purchase.
  • QuickBird Satellite Imagery Samples (on MapMart site). View samples of these for free and download large-size images.
  • Canada From Space (Canada Centre for Remote Sensing). Satellite and remote-sensing images of the country.
  • National Air Photo Library (Natural Resources Canada). Extensive aerial and high-altitude images of Canada. Find digital copies of images and order photos. Also has resources on aerial photography, including: Introduction to Air Photo Interpretation , a page that explains how to 'read' these photographs.
  • WorldSat International. More beautiful images, some samples to view. Canadian emphasis. One special feature: 3-D satellite images are available!
  • Map Library. Source of public domain basic map data concerning administrative boundaries in developing countries. The data is broken down into manageable chunks to make it easier to download. Has image files and ESRI-GIS useable files. Current coverage: Africa, Central America.
  • Satellite Image Map of Antarctica. USGS website for images of this continent.
  • Earth Images and Data. NASA Earth Observing System. Collection has images covering a variety of fields. Many images are high-resolution, while most also offer lower resolution images. Most of these images are copy-free so no permission is needed to use, as long as the guidelines are followed. Several examples are shown below:
    • Earth Science Images. Includes: Saharan dust storm in February 2000. (Scroll down page to locate. Click on main image to see animated images of the storm's progress).
  • Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth (GAPE). Photos taken from Space trips. Well displayed views, with location info. Search by clicking on World map, or by place name, mission, or other fields. A selection of images but contains many unique locations (e.g., Galapagos Islands ).
  • World Imagery (ESRI). Satellite imagery for the world and high-resolution imagery (1m+) for the United States, Great Britain, and hundreds of world cities.

Quick Tools & Maps (for Travel, Directions, Measuring, etc.)

  • Cartographic Reference Resources (Univ. of Texas at Austin, P-C Library). Links for Distance Calculators, Gazetteers, Glossaries, Guides, Map Scale, etc.
  • Elevations and Distances in the United States (USGS). Quick tables, with elevation references for various topics (e.g., U.S. cities and their elevations).
  • How far is it? Site calculates the distance between two points; accuarate enough for general measurements.
  • Distance Calculator (InfoPlease). Simple distance calculation between two named cities.
  • Google Maps Distance Calculator. Select a starting point, find ending point and mark, then distance (mi. or km) is displayed.
  • Distance Calculator. Start on a spot, then using the Google map, track course. Once you click the button, the distance (in km) is presented.
  • Map Crow. Find the distance (as the crow flies) between cities. Presently limited selection of cities, however list is growing.
  • Great Circle Calculator. Calculates Great circle distance, course & bearing between locations entered via a map or latitude & longitude. Includes magnetic declination calculator, animated course plot and 390 cities.
  • Great Circle Distance & Calculator. Brief description of concepts. Gives formulae for calculating great circle distances given lat/long. of points.
  • Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation. Enter coordinates for distance between (statuate or nautical mi. or km).
  • Magnetic Field Calculators (NOAA/NGDC). Compute magnetic declination, by entering location and date of interest. Following this, you can Learn How to Use Your Declinination Value.
  • Nautical Calculators (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA). Calculators to solve many marine navigation equations and conversions. Each calculator page is a self-contained JavaScript program that can be downloaded and used off-line.
  • Map Scale Calculator. For finding scale on a map or for converting map scale.
  • Map Maker: Show Off Where You've Been. Select a base map, then select all countries or states that you have visited, push the button and get an image showing your selections. Also good for making simple maps showing any country-specific data (e.g., countries that produce a specific product).
  • via Michelin. Michelin worldwitde maps power this system, similar to Map Blast and others. Has interface for many different languages.
  • MapQuest World Atlas World and country maps, as well as links to address mapping and road trip planning.
  • World Time Zones Map (US Naval Observatory).

Geography Resources


  • DIY Map: Visualize your information. DIY Map is a clickable, zooming map written in Flash and colored by data from an external text file. Plot data on a state map. Create a geographic interface.
  • Epi Info ™ ? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Epi Info? (free download) allows, epidemiologists and other professionals to develop a questionnaire or form, customize the data entry process, and enter and analyze data. Epidemiologic statistics, tables, graphs, and maps are produced with simple commands. Epi Map displays geographic maps with data from Epi Info?. Page has data downloads for created studies, help, and other materials. See their page: Resources for Creating Public Health Maps.
  • GEOTRANS Geographic Translator (US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). Software and source code. GEOTRANS (Geographic Translator) is an application program for easy conversion of geographic coordinates among a wide variety of coordinate systems, map projections, and datums.
  • How to Make Your Own Google Maps (Google). Official information and help page for creating custom maps using Google Maps.
  • HOW-TO: Make your own annotated multimedia Google map. Advice and instructions on using Google Maps system.
  • Project GeoSim - Geography Education Software.
  • Smart Draw. Draw maps; templates included.
  • Your Sky Celestial Chart creator (Fourmi Lab). Enter coordinates and time, get a map. If you choose a specific city, you get a by-product of exact coordinates for that city.
  • See also: Geographical Information Systems for GIS-related software.

Blogs (Selected)

  • Google Maps Mania. Unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps.
  • GeoCarta Mapping and Navigation.
  • Mapperz: Mapping News Blog. Map and GIS News finding blog. Mission is to provide the newest, fastest, cleanest and most user friendly maps available online.
  • Strange Maps. Carto-curiosities, geo-spatial concepts, and a variety of creative ideas turned into maps.
David J. Bertuca's picture
David J. Bertuca
116 Lockwood Memorial Library