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Online Map Tips

Country/Region Maps

It is easy to locate a place or get directions using one of the major mapping sites. But to view maps showing only certain features, for example, major cities and rivers for a country, then try these sites:

Visit the Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection for an extensive collection of country/territory and regional maps. The World Factbook is a rich source of geographic information with country/territory/region maps. ArcGIS Map Viewer has many different types of maps including topographic and ocean maps.

View country/region maps like browsing a hard copy world atlas:

Create/Edit/View GPX/KML Files

Searching for Place Names

If you have trouble searching for a place that comes up with no results, then try one of these sites. GeoNames has a database of 11 million places. Other sites include the GEOnet Names Server, a database of foreign names, and the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) for U.S. places.

Finding a Bearing on a Map

OpenStreetMap Compass has a compass on a map where rotating the compass will calculate the bearing, including magnetic declination. CalTopo also has a feature to determine bearing and magnetic declination.

Finding the Elevation on a Map

CalTopo has a feature where the mouse cursor (crosshair cursor for the phone/tablet) displays the elevation. For GPS Visualizer, right-click on the map to display the elevation. The Free Map Tools Elevation Finder displays the elevation when clicking on a place on the map.

Old Maps

For a large collection of old maps, visit the David Rumsey Map Collection.