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Dallas Public Library houses one of the area's most comprehensive, public collections of topographic and city maps and atlases. Apart from the topographic maps and national atlases, much of the collection is available for check-out by holders of a valid Dallas Public Library card.

Highlights include:
  • Sixty-thousand topographic maps;
  • Nine-thousand roadmaps for U.S. cities, including most Texas cities and towns;
  • Folding road maps for the world's leading cities;
  • Street atlases for most large U.S. cities;
  • Geographic atlases for nearly all U.S. States;
  • Geographic atlases for most foreign countries;
  • Detailed gazetteers covering the U.S. and most countries;
  • Dallas County maps, including: plat maps, zoning maps, flood insurance rate maps, and wetland inventory maps;
  • An extensive collection of State Geological publications;
  • USGS Series Maps
  • County soil surveys from almost all 50 States.

We also hold maps dealing with energy resources, geologic formations, and recreation areas.

Topographic maps at the 1:24,000 scale are available for the whole of Texas, plus all of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma, with partial coverage available at this scale for the remaining States. Coverage at the 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 scales is comprehensive for the 48 contiguous States. Both topographic and geologic maps are available for Mexico, and large-scale topographic maps are available for many other countries.

The Geologic Atlas of Texas covers the state at a scale of 1:250,000 and some circulating copies are available. We also have reports from the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. United States Geologic Survey (USGS) maps and reports are generally located in the map cabinets; bound USGS materials are situated on Shelf Ranges 48 and 108-113.

These collections are supplemented by books on the history and science of cartography, map-interpretation, and related subjects. A lighted map tracing table is available for patron use. Items for which we hold duplicate copies, including road maps and street atlases, can normally be checked out to patrons with a Dallas Public Library Card.

All of these resources are located on the 6th floor of the Central Dallas Public Library at 1515 Young Street. As a convenience to you, we have gathered and annotated links to high-quality, map-oriented resources on the Internet.


Internet Resources

This page includes URLs to map-oriented resources on the World Wide Web. We have tried to select ones that will be useful, especially to students and hobbyists. A sampling of sites focusing on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and GPS (Global Positioning Systems) has also been included. We have also included a few works on time.

This site explains the figure-eight shape which appears on globes and some maps. With animations and in text, it fully describes the earth’s elliptical journey around the Sun and the consequences that effect us. Highly recommended!

A growing resource for high quality maps online, mostly copyright free.

An Atlas of Cyberspaces
This highly interesting site provides a number of different ways of graphically representing the Internet, the World Wide Web and other, similar "worlds."

Blue Marble (NASA)
This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public.

Calculating Linear Distance Between Two Points
A USDA laboratory and a Canadian academic website both provide services that enable one to calculate linear distances between two points using longitude and latitude. (You can use the TRI Facility Siting Tool from EPA to derive longitude and latitude for U.S. addresses or landmarks.)

Census Tract Lookup
Need to know what census tract a street address is located in?  This database from the U.S. Census bureau will help you find out, according to the 2000 census geography. (Note: For local census data, see DFWInfo.com from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.)

Climate Change
These animations from Arizona University help one to visualize the potential impact of rising sea levels.

ESRI Map Server Zoom in on an address and choose a base map including aerial photos, topographic maps, shaded relief, etc.

Geographic Names Information System (US Geological Survey & US Board on Geographic Names)
"Contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States." Foreign place names are available from the GEONet Names Server.

Geoscience Animations: Equinoxes & Solstices
Ever wished you had a nice animation that helps visualize the earth's journey around the sun, showing the changing of the seasons?  This one makes the concepts very intuitive. Another animation, from Santa Barbara City College, is also very impressive and contains a bit more visual information.

The Global Positioning System (GPS)
Explains the basics of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology in plain language.

Google Earth
This amazingly powerful software is free.  You can use to display satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings by searching on addresses, place or features names, etc.

Google Maps
A free, interactive mapping service.

Helping Your Child Learn Geography (US Dept. of Education)
"From creating treasure maps to helping children find pen pals, the book still offers many simple, fun activities to teach youngsters the fundamentals of geography. We've given the book a new look. We've added a checklist from the standards called "What Does Your Fourth Grader Know?'' And, we've updated the resources, adding materials on the standards, as well as some software and Web sites."

Map Projections
Peter J. Dana, an academic geographer, provides a succinct explanation of the different types of map projections. The text is amply illustrated by examples.

Map-related Clipart
Dress up your reports and projects with map-related clipart from WorldAtlas.com. Also provides outline maps, down to the county level. (Free for most purposes, but certain restrictions may apply. Please be sure to read the information on the Web site carefully.)

Look up zip codes and see how they overlay streets. (Uses US Bureau of the Census generated Zip Code Tabulation Areas.)

Microsoft Terraserver
Zoom in on and view USGS topographic maps plus maps drawn from Microsoft’s Encarta Virtual Globe. (Choose the advanced search feature to enter a US street address.) Aerial photos also available.

Microsoft Live Earth
Similar to Google Maps, but has a cool "birdseye" view feature that nicely complements Google's "satellite" view.

The National Atlas of the United States
"The new National Atlas includes products and services designed to stimulate children and adults to visualize and understand complex relationships between environments, places, and people. It contributes to our knowledge of the environmental, resource, demographic, economic, social, political, and historical dimensions of American life."

National Geographic's Map Machine
Enter a place name in the small search box, leaving off the State. This will pull up an amazing range of online maps.

North Texas Geocaching Association
Geocaching is a worldwide outdoor activity for GPS (Global Positioning System) users, their families, and friends. "Caches" (weatherproof containers of goodies) are hidden in exciting locations around the world and their exact GPS coordinates are then posted on the Internet. Anyone with a GPS and a sense of adventure is invited to try their hands at finding them.

North Texas Orienteering Association
The North Texas Orienteering Association, founded in 1986, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and growth of orienteering in the northeastern part of the Lone Star State. It is chartered under the United States Orienteering Federation (USOF) which in turn is a member of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF).

Ordnance Survey (British Mapping Agency)
Free outline and historical maps of Britain. Screen savers, games, and a wonderful resource for understanding maps of the United Kingdom.

Outline Maps
The geography guide at About.com provides a set of blank, outline maps of the world's countries.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (University of Texas at Austin)
A superb collection of digital maps covering almost the entire world. Includes historical maps of Texas cities.

The Time of Internet
Fabrizio Pollastri of the Italian National Research Council explains, in English, everything you always wanted to know about time, including time zones and meridians, solar time, atomic time, etc. There are links from this page to national time services and to synchronization services.

Time Service Department, U.S. Naval Observatory
"The Department of the Navy serves as the country's official timekeeper, with the Master Clock facility at the Washington Naval Observatory."

What time is it, exactly? This site gives you the precise, official time, as it is generated by US Government atomic clocks. (Note: The java applet may not work if you are behind a firewall. In this case, click on the small link "disable java animation".) Don't overlook the exhibits.

Topographic Map Symbols (U.S. Geological Survey)
Click on the links at the left side of this page for explanations of the different kinds of symbols used on topographic maps.

Find the latitude and longitude of a location simply entering the street address.

Town & County Database (RootsWeb.com)
If you the name of a town but are unsure of what State or County it is located in, use this database.

TRI Facility Siting Tool (Environmental Protection Agency)
Use this lookup to find out the precise longitude and lattitude of a street address or other location, such as a building or feature, using aerial photographs.

USGS Map Store
Search for and order maps from the US Geological Survey, including the familiar 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle maps. (These are also available through private map vendors.)

Windows Live Local
A free, interactive mapping service.

Zoning Maps: City of Dallas zoning maps online.


GIS Data & Online Census Maps - Dallas Area

Free GIS Data Sources

GIS Data Clearinghouse (North Central Texas Council of Governments)
Access free, downloadable GIS data files.  Registration required.  (The Library has many books about GIS in its collections. Click on the subject term and then sort in "descending" order to see the most recently published titles.)

Census 2000 Tiger Line Data
These files form the basis of most geographically referenced data mapping. 

Free GIS Data Viewers include:

A free tutorial from Mapcruzin.com is available for the ArcExplorer viewer. For a good introduction to GIS, see The Illustrated Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping


Census 2000 Tract Outline Maps - Dallas County
Census 2000 Block Group Outline Maps - Dallas County
To navigate the Census Maps above, click on the pdf file with "000" in the filename.  This file contains an index to the more detailed maps which are consecutively numbered.  You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view these files.

Access aerial photographs and digital maps for cities and towns throughout the North Texas region.

US Census Bureau - Dallas Region
This is the local office of this Federal agency.  It sometimes sponsors free programs aimed at users of census data.

Other GIS & Census Related Sites

Social Explorer
Provides interactive access to U.S. Census data back to 1940. Select the map of the entire United States and drill down using the magnifying tool to see data displayed at the census tract level.