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Helpful Links and Resources for Cartography

cartography guidesCartography Highlights

View a brief timeline that highlights the key points of cartography progress and development since ancient times.

Map History

Access a large online bank of cartography resources focused on old and out of print maps, along with articles on map collecting and much more.

History of Cartography

Learn about how maps and the science of cartography have changed from Babylonian times through the medieval era and all the way to the present day.

Cartographic Terms

Look up specific words and phrases used in cartographic and map-making discussions in a simple online glossary.

The Art of Cartography

In this interactive guide, users can discover how cartography techniques and concepts developed. This site also includes a look at famous cartographers and images of antique maps.

A Primer on Cartography Rules

Browse through a series of introductory rules for beginner map-makers, including explanations of different types of symbols, annotations, legends, and scale.

Elements of a Map (PDF)

A helpful reference guide outlines the main elements that are essential to any map, such as orientation and a source box.

The History of Cartography

Access free online versions of both volumes of The History of Cartography, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Cartography Art and Science

Explore the differences in cartography as a form of useful art and even as a practical science.

Using Maps (PDF)

This article discusses how maps can be used to reveal historic facts and clues. Readers will also learn how to analyze and interpret maps effectively.

Mapmaking in Older Times

Today's cartographers have the advantages of advanced knowledge and technology such as computers and satellites. See how cartographers created maps in earlier times by analyzing celestial bodies and using manual tools and measuring techniques.

Map Composition

Follow a step-by-step guide that details how to tackle a cartographic project, including planning and design.

Modern Map Making

Follow an example of how maps are made today, using a variety of advanced techniques and technology to provide an accurate pictorial representation of an area.

A History of Mapmaking

Learn how the map ideals have changed over time, from very basic and crude depictions to far more accurate modern versions.

Digital Map Maker

Use an online tool to create customized digital maps to depict different types of information from agricultural to biological, environmental, governmental, and much more.

A Definition of Cartography

Read an in-depth explanation of cartography to learn how it extends from simple mapmaking to an entire academic discipline.

Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were primarily responsible for a good deal of cartographic advances when they set out to explore and map out the northwestern area of the Americas.

View an online presentation on different types of maps and learn about the cartographer's dilemma.

The Parts of a Map (PDF)

Watch a slideshow that explores each of the different elements that go into a map.

Digital Map Designs

See how digital maps layouts and designs are created by using geographic information systems.

The Three Types of Maps

Maps are typically categorized in three ways: reference maps, thematic maps, and special purpose maps. Read all about each of these different versions and their specific uses.

Cartography Careers

People interested in cartography and map making can turn their passion into a lifelong career by delving into fields such as remote sensing analysts, surveyors, and computer mappers.

Flattening the Globe

Creating a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional landscape is much trickier than it seems. Find out how cartographers create maps that are accurate and representative.

Map Scale

The scale of a map is an important aspect that helps us to shrink large distances while still displaying them proportionately within the image.

Cartography Basics (PDF)

This introductory chapter on cartography introduces some of the basic principles of creating maps and determining their functions.

Cartography Overview (PPT)

Look through an insightful overview of cartography, including map classification, history, and geodesy.

Map Making Checklist

Use a mapmaking checklist to focus on all the main points of creating a useful map.

Map Projections

See how cartographers overcome common problems such as creating flat models of three-dimensional projections.

An Introduction to Cartography

An in-depth explanation of cartography and how information is communicated with maps.

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