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EarthComm, Earth System Science in the Community

Soil Maps
Topographic Maps
Reading Map Symbols
Reading Geologic Maps
State Geologic Maps
National Geologic Maps
Regional and Local Geologic Maps
General Map Resources
Dynamic Planet Maps
Ocean Maps
Weather Maps
Satellite Maps

Soil Maps

World Reference Base for Soil Resources, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Find global soil maps for all types of soil. Click on a certain soil type to see its global distribution.

World Soil Resources Map Index, NRCS
Includes a variety of soil maps. Also includes some more specific maps for a few countries.

Topographic Maps

Maps on Demand, USGS
Search for maps by zip code or city and state. Allows you to order 7.5 minute maps online for $6.00 per map plus $5.00 s/h per order.

Topographic Maps Online, Microsoft
Courtesy of the Microsoft Corporation, 57,000 U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps were digitized and are now available on the Web.

How to find topographic maps, USGS
Provides helpful links for finding geologic maps.

Find topographic maps by place name, latitude and longitude, or UTM coordinates under the Get A Map section. Allows you to download topographic maps (including USGS maps) for free, at various scales (from 1:100,000 to 1:24,000).

Enter place name or zip code and state at the top to view maps. Offers free online viewing of topographical, nautical and aeronautical charts plus high altitude digital ortho quads (nav photos).

Need a Map?, Maptech
Just type in the city and state.

Reading Map Symbols

Topographic Map Symbols, USGS
This site has information on reading topographic maps.

USGS Geography Education Materials, USGS
A USGS site for kids and teachers. Describes map types and features, including how to interpret them.

Reading Geologic Maps

What is a geologic map and how is it used?, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
Use this sample lesson plan to understand geologic maps.

Reading Geologic Maps,
Follow this tutorial on how to read and use geologic maps.

Reading Geologic Maps, USGS
Explanation of how geologic features and rock units are shown on geologic maps.

What is a Geologic Map, USGS & NPS
Learn what a geologic map is and what information they provide.

State Geologic Maps

State Geologic Maps, USGS
Provides descriptions and availability information for state geologic maps.

Association of American State Geologists, AASG
Obtain materials from your state geological survey.

Geologic Maps of States Online,
Download state geologic maps from

National Geologic Maps

National Geologic Map Database, USGS
Contains information on how and where to obtain geologic maps.

Regional and Local Geologic Maps

Bookstore of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG
Click on Browse by Series and select AAPG maps for regional tectonic maps

Online Map Creation
Create a map using this input form You can select from a variety of features including whether the topography or bathymetry of your selected region.

This site allows you to order 7.5 minute maps online for $4 per map plus $5 s/h per order.

Map Dealers, USGS
The United States Geological Survey maintains a list of Map Dealers. Click on your state to obtain a list of retailers who sell maps

General Map Resources

General Map Information, USGS Earth Science Information Center
Includes general map information, from how to read maps to how to obtain them. Also includes links to further information regarding topographic, thematic, planetary maps, and more.

Maps of the United States, USGS
A USGS fact sheet, contains a series of depictions of the United States, along with information on how to obtain additional US maps.

Maps of the World, USGS
USGS fact sheet, contains a series of world maps, including outline maps, seismicity maps, and political maps. Also contains information for ordering more specific world maps.

National Atlas Maps, USGS
USGS site of a variety of US maps that are available online, including shaded relief maps, aquifer maps, and further information on how to order maps not available online.

This Dynamic Planet, USGS
A USGS map showing the physiographic features of the Earth, current plate movements, and locations of volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters

National Geographic Map Machine, National Geographic
For a wide variety of thematic maps, click on "Dynamic Maps" or "Atlas Maps". Enter a location you wish to search for, and select from any number of themes, ranging from elevation to ocean floor. (You may need to click on "Select a New Theme" or "Related Atlas Maps" to find the theme you are looking for.)

US Maps and Data,
Make maps using geospatial data and information.

Dynamic Planet Maps

This Dynamic Planet, USGS
Simkin, Tom, et al., 1994, This Dynamic Planet: World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Impact Craters, and Plate Tectonic, published by the US Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

U. S. Geological Survey Earthquake Maps, USGS

Ocean Maps

Age of the Ocean Floor, NOAA
World Data Center for Marine Geology & Geophysics, Boulder.

Weather Maps

National Weather Service Home Page, NOAA

The Datastreme Project, American Meteorological Society
Contains a variety of up-to-date weather maps. Under the "surface" subheading, you can find maps showing temperatures, pressures, isotherms, and fronts, along with other current weather data., The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc.
A current weather map of the United States is found on the homepage. You can view an enlarged version by clicking on the map. To find weather maps of your local area, type in your zip code or city and state at the top of the page., Unisys Corp.
View a current United States weather map on the Unisys homepage.

Satellite Maps

Google Maps Type the address into the search engine toolbar. Wait for the mapt to come up. Click on "Satellite" in the upper right hand corner of the page. You will then receive a satellite image of your area


Ask a Geographer, American Association of Geographers. The website ffers the media, government agencies, teachers and students links to experts in various fields of geography. The experts are drawn from and categorized according to the AAG Specialty Groups and may be contacted directly, using the information provided in this listing. They will respond to specific inquiries about geographic topics and issues in their areas of expertise.

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Last updated: May 11, 2010

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.

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