Talk:United States MapsEdit This Page

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The United States Maps page is in serious need of an overhaul. Will you help?

The page was written years ago as part of the United States Research Outline. As such, it focused on printed sources. Today most of a genealogist's needs for U.S. maps can be met by using a few free awesome Websites, such as the David Rumsey Map Collection. So we need to discover the best of these sites, explore their map collections, and inject appropriate links into this article.

How we shouldn't do it

What we don't want is an unannotated list of URLs such as appears in the Web Sites section of the current page (17 August 2008)

How we should do it

One thing that is extremely helpful about the way the original Research Outline section was written is that it organizes its map references under headings meant to solve specific genealogical problems. So instead of being just a bunch of links to broad collections which satisfy who-knows-what needs, the page is organized into sections which address:

  • Plat maps
  • City ward maps
  • Topography
  • Atlases
  • Historical Atlases
  • Locating township and county boundaries
  • Land ownership maps

...so each section addresses a specific customer problem. This is a good way to organize the information. I think what we should do with the rewrite is just add links to the best Web resources into each of the abovementioned sections, and add any new sections needed based on customer problems. What this'll entail is the writer exploring the Rumsey collection and other important collections online so he/she can link to specific maps within each section. Feel free to jump right in and start overhauling the page, or if you get stuck and want to talk through an idea, feel free to add a comment to this discussion page or e-mail me, Michael Ritchey. Either way, I'll be notified through e-mail. RitcheyMT 22:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


Although the Family History Library has some excellent historical maps, the collection is small compared to the University of Texas, Library of Virginia, Library of Congress, National Archives, and probably a hundred other repositories. It is highly misleading to place the map holdings of the Family History Library before we even describe the types of maps available. It should be at the bottom of the page as one rather insignificant map repository.

I agree, Michael, that this page needs a major re-write.

Jbparker 22:50, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


I worked the page a bit. Updated some content, added links, both internal and external, footnotes. Please feel free to add more! Familyjournals 17 Oct 2008

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