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Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) : Online Map Resources

Information on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), maps and mapping tools/software & digital map/geospatial data resrouces

Introduction to Digital Humanities and GIS

Maps and GIS are an important part of digital humanities research methods, especially in the context of spatial and network analysis. A map can be an excellent way to present data visually, as either an alternative, or supplement to, narrative text.

Geographic information systems include tools (such as software) and related data used to in spatial analysis.

More background resources:

Historical Maps and Digital Humanities

American Geographical Society Library - Online Map Collection
The American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection currently contains over 700 maps, ranging from early maps of Asia to historical maps of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, and other American cities, states, and national parks.

British Library - Online Gallery
Online gallery of select maps from the British Library

David Rumsey Map Collection
The historical map collection has over 38,000 maps and images online. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.

Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress
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.

History of Cartography Project - University of Wisconsin-Madison
The History of Cartography Project is a research, editorial, and publishing venture drawing international attention to the history of maps and mapping. The Project treats maps as cultural artifacts created from prehistory through the twentieth century. Its major work is the multi-volume History of Cartography series.

Harvard Map Collection
The Harvard Map Collection is one of the oldest and largest collections of cartographic materials in the United States with over 500,000 items. Resources range from 16th century globes to modern maps and geographic information systems (GIS) layers. A selection of our materials has been digitally imaged and is offered both as true picture images and georeferenced copies. 

Lake Superior Legacy Collection - WGNHS
Digital maps available from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. About the Lake Superior Division: Roland D. Irving, Wisconsin’s first true geologist, established the Lake Superior Division of the USGS in 1882 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mapping Inequality - Redlining in New Deal America
Among the thousands of area descriptions created by agents of the federal government's Home Owners' Loan Corporation between 1935 and 1940, the one that was written for what is now called the Carver Heights neighhborhood in Savannah, Georgia, stands out. HOLC staff members, using data and evaluations organized by local real estate professionals--lenders, developers, and real estate appraisers--in each city, assigned grades to residential neighborhoods that reflected their "mortgage security" that would then be visualized on color-coded maps.

Mapping Prejudice (A project at the University of Minnesota)
This research is showing what communities of color have known for decades. Structural barriers stopped many people who were not white from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century.

Newberry Library Digital Collections
Explore the Newberry through digital collections, scholarly publications and research tools, interactive resources, tools designed for education, and online exhibitions.

NYU Digital Humanities Projects
Digital humanities projects at NYU.

Old Maps Online
The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world.It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search.

Perry Casteñeda Library Map Collection
The Map Library at the University of Texas-Austin has a significant number of digitized maps online.  Most are in the public domain and are popular government documents from the 20th century.

Princeton University Maps and Data
Scanned maps and data from Princeton University

Spatial Humanities at the Scholars' Lab - University of Virginia
Research resources, projects and examples, training and education in the spatial humanities.


Stanford Digital Humanities Projects
Digital Humanities projects at Stanford University.

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Maps, records, and reports—including interpretations and recommendations—produced by the WGNHS provide basic data for resource, land-use, and environmental management.

Wisconsin Historical Society Map Collection
The Society houses more than 25,000 maps and atlases in its Archives. The majority of the Maps and Atlas Collection focuses on Wisconsin, the Midwest, the United States and Canada. About 80 percent of the collection predates 1900. 

Yale University Beinecke Library Digital Map Collection
The Beinecke Library has digitized more than a million images of collections material. We are very excited to announce that the Yale University Library has launched a new digital collections platform for improved viewing experience. The new interface is now home to all Beinecke Library digitized images.




Current Maps and Commentary

Cartastrophe | Where Bad Maps Come From
A blog by Daniel Huffman, cartographer, map critic, and lecturer in UW-Madison's Geography Department.

Andy Woodruff, cartographer
Frank Jacobs - New York Times
"Frank Jacobs is a London-based author and blogger. He writes about cartography, but only the interesting bits."
Making Maps -- DIY Cartography
The book Making Maps 2nd edition by John Krygier and Denis Wood (published by Guilford Press) was written for the Do It Yourself (DIY) cartographer – the student, the new GIS user, the internet user – anyone who wants to make maps that work and look great.
Radical Cartography
"Bill Rankin is a historian and cartographer. His mapping activity is focused on reimagining everyday urban and territorial geographies as complex landscapes of statistics, law, and history.
Strange Maps
"Frank Jacobs loves maps, but finds most atlases too predictable. He collects and comments on all kinds of intriguing maps—real, fictional, and what-if ones—and has been writing the Strange Maps blog since 2006, first on WordPress and now for Big Think."

Professional Associations

Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)
The Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) is composed of educators, researchers and practitioners involved in the design, creation, use and dissemination of geographic information. CaGIS provides an effective network that connects professionals who work in the broad field of Cartography and Geographic Information Science both nationally and internationally.
International Cartographic Association (ICA)
In short, the mission of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) is to promote the disciplines and professions of cartography and GIScience in an international context.
North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS)
The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) is an enjoyable society of map enthusiasts. We have yearly meetings, an online discussion forum, and we work on a variety of projects and publications which promote map making. We hope you’ll drop by and be a part of our collegial community.  NACIS was founded in 1980 and is comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations along with people whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.