This site is a rich resource for students, faculty, and librarians looking for maps on the Internet. Developed and maintained by the documents department in the Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) at University of Texas, Austin, the site is unique among map sites in that it provides over 2,100 public-domain maps which can be freely downloaded and printed (users are asked to credit the PCL Map Collection). Easy to use, with excellent content, the site provides a valuable service in making available electronic maps from many different federal agencies, including the CIA, National Park Service, State Department, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Defense Mapping Agency and U.S. Geological Survey.
Impressive for its international coverage, the site opens with links to electronic maps of countries currently in the news, which at this writing included Albania and Zaire. The rest of the world's countries are listed by region. Most of the country maps are from the CIA, with some from other sources such as the Department of State. The political maps show cities, major roads and railroads and political boundaries. For many countries additional maps are included, such as shaded relief maps and thematic maps showing population densities, economic activities and land use. Over 120 world city maps are included, most of them from the U.S. Department of State. These are basic maps, not detailed enough for your next walking tour of Paris, but good for general information. There is also a very useful, extensive list of links to other city map sites on the web.
Over 300 maps are included in the U.S. category, which has a large contingent of Texas maps. Many historical maps are included, such as U.S. city maps from the 1917 and 1920 editions of the Automobile Blue Book. Maps of exploration and maps of national parks are also included. Of interest are the many maps which have been scanned from the National Atlas of the United States (U.S.G.S.), a classic atlas not available in all libraries.
The site maintains extensive lists of links to other map sites on the web, including commercial, educational and government sites. These links are especially useful because they are browsable by city or country. There are also links to online reference sources such as gazetteers, distance calculators, illustrated descriptions of eighteen different map projections, bibliographies, glossaries and more. PCL documents department staff are scanning in about 20 to 30 maps every week from their collection of over 200,000 printed maps, in addition to updating and adding links continually. Anyone with an interest in maps will want to keep a bookmark for this first-rate site.
Reference Librarian/Bibliographic Instruction Coordinator University of the Pacific
Date: May 28, 1997