PC Globe Freeware 3-D Globes,
Google Earth - NASA World Wind
Quickfound.net's YouTube channel features documentary, educational & training
films which have been improved with both audio and video noise reduction.
Interactive US MapsUS Geological Survey (USGS):
National Map Viewer
National Geologic Map Database
Printable Maps of CanadaThe NRC Atlas of Canada has free downloadable Reference Maps and Map Archives (1906-1995).
Natural Resources Canada:
Toporama free online topo maps
Canadian Geo Name Server
Geography Network Canada
Maps of the United KingdomUK Ordnance Survey: Get-a-Map
Maps of Australia & New ZealandAustralia Highway Map
Geoscience Australia Maps
New Zealand Topo - Topomap.nz
World WMS Web Map ServersNASA Worldview - GLOBE Visualization System
OpenLayers free dynamic map embeds
Maps of India
Ukrainian Map Server
Maps of Mexico - Peter Loud's Maps
World City Street Maps & Driving DirectionsVia Michelin - MapQuest
Australia: Street Directory
NASA's Visible Earth is "a consistently updated, central point of access to the superset of NASA's Earth science-related images, animations, and data visualizations. These images are considered to be public domain and, as such, are freely available to the interested public-at-large, the media, scientists, and educators for re-use and/or re-publication." The results include images from the Terra & Aqua earth observation satellites, and more, at last count totaling 32,120 images, over 45 gigabytes in volume.
Other Interactive World MapsZoom Earth is an experimental, but functional, browser app that displays satellite/aerial images.
TerraFly provides animated "flying" over USGS aerial photos.
Non-Interactive Printable MapsUnited Nations Dept. of Cartography provides maps of many (not all) nations in .pdf format, over 100 maps in all. Select the map you need below; it will load in a new window.
USGS Printable Maps of the US can be downloaded free in .pdf or .gif formats.
The CIA World Factbook provides 15 good maps of the world and world regions, in both .pdf and .html format. All are public domain.
The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the U. of Texas, Austin, has over 2400 Public Domain Maps including political, physical, topographical, economic, relief, and historical maps (all public domain), and the number is still growing.
Weller Cartographic (MapMatrix) offers good, free .pdf maps of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Tokyo, Beijing, Rio De Janeiro, US states, much of Canada, and other locations. They request a donation if you can afford it.
The NOAA Historical Map & Chart Project is a searchable directory of free, public domain, downloadable historic maps and oceanic charts. The downloads are typically 6 to 8 MB in size.
This Dynamic Planet, from the USGS, is a 3.3 MB 9-page .pdf which include a large color world map of volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters, and plate tectonics, and explanatory text.
The US Library of Congress American Memory Map Collections: 1500-2004 include countless classic maps of the US and places around the world, many of which can be downloaded in very high resolutions. The collections are browsable by geographic locations, subjects, creators or titles.
The National Archives of Japan Digital Archive has historical maps of Japanese provinces.
The David Rumsey Map Collection has over 11,000 maps that are viewable online, primarily rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, plus some of the World, Europe, Asia & Africa.
Geographic Information ServicesWikipedia: Geographic Info Services - NCSU Libraries GIS Info
See also: Reference Search & Links - News Search - News Archives Search
Photo Search Engines - Government & Military Search - Science Search
MrSID = Multi-resolution Seamless Image DB|
DOQ = Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles
DOQQ = Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quad.|
MDOQ = Mosaicked DOQ
GeoTIFF =Geo Tagged-Image File Format|
NAIP = National Agriculture Imagery Prog.
Berkeley geography acronyms | geography glossary
Sources of free US aerial photos (orthophoto imagery)
"A conventional perspective aerial photograph contains image distortions caused by the tilting of the camera and terrain relief (topography). It does not have a uniform scale. You cannot measure distances on an aerial photograph like you can on a map. An aerial photo is not a map. The effects of tilt and relief are removed from the aerial photograph by a mathematical process called rectification. An orthophoto is a uniform-scale image. Since an orthophoto has a uniform scale, it is possible to measure directly on it like other maps. An orthophoto may serve as a base map onto which other map information may be overlain." --USGS|
US National Map gives access to high resolution orthoimagery, mostly with .03 meter resolution.
State-by-state sources of free US aerial photos (adapted from World Wind Central)
Alabama Air Photo Archive statewide low-res B&W photos from 1942-1970
GeoStor - On-Line Mapping NW Arkansas Orthophotography, Color 2004, GeoTIFF or MrSID, Pulaski County Orthophotography, 2004, GeoTIFF
Napa County GIS free reg required, 04/2002 1-foot, color orthophotos, MrSid
Sonoma County free reg req, April & May 2000 1 & 2-foot res, BW, MrSID for entire county
City of Fort Collins 1999 & 2002, 1/2 foot, color, MrSID
UConn MAGIC provides access to Connecticut aerial imagery including online photo-maps from 1934, 1990, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
Delaware Geological Survey Digital Datasets
Delaware Geologic Information Resource (DGIR) - DGIR Map Viewer
State of Delaware 1997 DOQs, 5-meter, JPEG (with ArcView World File)
Land Boundary Information System includes aerial imagery from many years
Manatee County GIS 2003 1-foot color, MrSID
Lake County 1941, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 ftp://
Honolulu and some Oahu coastline MrSID, JPEG
Idaho Geospatial Data 1-2 meter, natural color, MrSID, NAIP, online map viewer
Illinois Geospatial Data Clearinghouse has online photo-maps
Indiana Spatial Data Portal (ISDP) - Indiana Spatial Data - aerial photo viewer
Iowa Geographic Map Server 2004 color, 2-meter, NAIP
Kansas Data Access & Support Center
Sedgwick County, Kansas GIS 1997 BW GeoTIFF, 2000/2003 MrSID, color
Maine GIS Data Catalog
Office of Geographic Information (MassGIS) - Map Viewer - nautical charts
Aerial Photography of Minnesota
MARIS - Mississippi Automated Resource Information System - imagery
Missouri Spatial Data Information Service (MSDIS)
Montana State Library NR Info System
Nebraska FSA Digital Imagery 1993 through 2012 1 & 2-meter
New Jersey Graphic Information Network
RGIS New Mexico Resource Geographic Information System
Raleigh & Wake County map viewer
ND GIS Downloads
statewide 2015 NAIP, color, MrSID
Corvallis 1999, 2004, 2010, 2012 GeoTIFF, color
Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access
URI Environmental Data Center - MrSID, summer 2003, 1-meter, color
South Dakota Geological Survey Program
Texas General Land Office GIS Texas Photo-Map Viewer
Utah Automated Geo Ref Ctr 2003 2-meter color MrSID, 2004 1-meter color MrSID, 2006, 2009, 2012
Washington State GIS Data
statewide West Virginia State GIS Tech Ctr, Spring 2003, 2-foot, color, MrSID
Free Geographic Information Service Software - GIS Freeware
mapper, good with biodiversity data
Forestry GIS (fGIS)
GIS viewer-query tool & shapefile editor
Terrain Visualization & Flyby Animation
display & merge digital elevation models, satellite pics, scans, GIS data...
manage & map your GPS info
NOAA-EPA mapping app for Mac & Windows
Integrated Data Viewer|
Java-based geoscience data viewer
contour surface plotter, 3-D viewer
multi-format viewer, pan-zoom large files
chart viewer for Electronic Navigational Charts in S-57 formats
freeware image viewer & processor
Directory of Geoscience Organizations of the World lists 460 organizations in 169 countries, plus 15 int'l orgs. From the Geological Survey of Japan.
TIME Magazine, May 23, 1949, p. 63:|
THE PRESS: Geography for Everyman
When Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor took over the National Geographic in 1899, he likes to recall, the circulation was so small (900) that "I could carry the entire issue on my back." Today, says Grosvenor, who share his magazine's passionate addiction to detail, "A single issue would form a pile more than eight miles high, or 79 piles each as tall as the Washington Monument." In its familiar yellow-bordered, arorn-decorated wrapper, this month's issue reached 2,150,000 living rooms, libraries, throne rooms and dentist's offices from Maine to Monaco.
This week, in recognition of his responsibility for this fine growth, and in tribute to his 50 years of service, the National Geographic Society will present President and Editor Grosvenor with a special medal at a jubilee celebration in Washington's Constitution Hall.
What Bell Wrought. At 73, Editor Grosvenor is a frail-looking, energetic man with a neat white mustache, a Phi Beta Kappa key and the manner of a Boston Brahmin. Grosvenor was born (with a twin brother now dead) in Constantinople, where his father was a professor at Robert College. Fittingly enough, from his nursery window the future geographer could see two continents.
Soon after graduating from Amherst College, Gilbert fell in love with Elsie May Bell, daughter of Telephone Inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who was president of the National Geographic Society. When Bell offered Grosvenor a job on the Geographic, he took it (just to be near "Ellie," whom he soon married) and has been there ever since.
The turn-of-the-century Geographic was a stodgy scientific journal, written with old-fashioned protentousness, and floundering in debt. Grosvenor stuck to the pattern for six years. One day in 1905, a packet of photographs from Tibet landed on his desk. Grosvenor was fascinated by the rugged Tibetan scenery and the Dalai Lama's palace. On an impulse, he spread the pictures across eleven pages. The issue created a sensation: almost by accident, Grosvenor had discovered how to make geography popular.
What the Lama Brought. In subsequent issues, Editor Grosvenor has stretched his romantic, unscientific definition of geography to cover everything under (and above) the sun. To the Geographic, geography means kites and cats, ostriches and insanity, the Bagdad market and the Berlin airlift, eruptions of volcanoes, bathyspheres and the stratosphere, fishing, fine arts and the sex life of savages. Peripatetic, insatiably curious Gilbert Grosvenor has written 300 articles and taken 200 of the photographs. He was the first U.S. editor to use natural color photographs (a 24-page spread on China and Korea in 1910).
He has built the National Geographic Society to a reserve fund of $10 million, mostly from the Geographic's tax-free earnings (it is classed as an educational institution). Besides the magazine, the society also publishes books, bulletins and maps, maintains a 20,000-volume library...
...Most articles and "legends" (captions) are written by the studious, well-paid editorial staff of 149. Grosvenor sets the tone, which is frequently florid, sometimes quaint, always polite. Says Grosvenor: "We prefer to print only what is of a kindly nature..."