Western Libraries

Maps and Atlases

image of an example of a topographic map

The Map and Data Centre currently holds over 222,000 paper maps including topographic, thematic, geology and soil maps as well as hydrographic charts. Maps in the collection are issued by Canadian and foreign governments, organizations and publishers.

We also have a large collection of over 2065 world, regional, national, provincial/state and thematic atlases. The atlas collection covers a wide range of subjects including geology, hydrography, socio-economic factors, culture, health, historical events, transportation, recreation, etc. To find a particular map or atlas, try searching the shared library catalogue.

Topographic Maps

Topographic maps describe prominent physical and cultural features in a place or region. More specifically, topographic maps typically include elevation and shape of the land described by contours, and include symbols for roads, railways, political boundaries, water features, etc. Each set held at the Map and Data Centre has an index to indicate availability.

Canada Topographic Maps

The most used Canadian topographic maps in the collection are the National Topographic System (NTS), 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale sets. The Map and Data Centre was a full depository for these sets, meaning all current edition paper NTS maps at these scales are available. The Map and Data Centre also holds many previous 1:50,000 editions (primarily Ontario) in the historical "Time Series" room.

As of April 2007, digital scanned copies of current 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 NTS sheets are available for free public download (known as the CanMatrix product) via Geogratis. Both sets are also available as vector geospatial (Geographic Information Systems) data layers through the National Topographic Data Base (NTDB) via Geogratis.

Other print maps available are the discontinued Canadian Topographic Series Maps at the scales of 1:25,000, 1:125,000, and 1:126,700, 1:500,000 and 1:1,000,000 (International Map of the World). Coverage varies by set. Please consult the paper indexes filed with each at the Map and Data Centre for specific details.

The Map and Data Centre also holds historical "Time Series" archival Canadian topographic maps for specialized research purposes. The following links provide lists of specific maps held for each historical set.

Ontario Topographic Maps

The Ontario Base Map (OBM) series provides general topographic coverage of Ontario at 1:10,000 (Southern Ontario) and 1:20,000 (Northern Ontario). The Map and Data Centre holds paper copies or microfiche for most of Southern Ontario. Please view the digital index below for coverage details.

City of London Topographic Maps

The Map and Data Centre holds multiple topographic sets for the City of London at a variety of scales. Included in the collection are the 1:2500 (2001), 1:2000 (multiple revisions between 1961 and 1994) and 1:1000 Geodetic (1926 and 1957 revision) sets.

United States Topographic Maps

The Map and Data Centre has an extensive collection of United States topographic maps. This includes full coverage at the scale of 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 which can be viewed digitally at the USGS or in print by request. We also have full coverage in print at 1:250,000 and 1:1,000,000 (International Map of the World). Access to Delorme's Topo USA v6.0, a DVD of seamless topographic coverage of the entire country is also available.

World Topographic Maps

The Map and Data Centre has a large collection of international topographic maps at a variety of scales. All sets are indexed and filed with each respective country or region. Please search the shared library catalogue for specific coverage.

Thematic Maps

These index maps from Geology Ontario represent their entire inventory. Any words that are highlighted in green or yellow are what we hold at the Map and Data Centre.

Please note: Index to Maps courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. © Queen's Printer for Ontario. Reproduced with permission.

Historic Canadian Original Maps

The Map and Data Centre has digitized a selection of historic Canadian original maps found in our collection. These maps date from the early 18th to 20th centuries and cover Eastern Canada, the Great Lakes region, and parts of the Eastern seaboard.

Hydrographic Charts

Hydrographic or "Nautical" charts are representations of maritime and coastal regions. Nautical charts portray water depth, hazards, aids to navigation, features along the shoreline and the seafloor, as well as man-made and natural features of the area. These maps are produced at a variety of scales. Please note that all nautical charts at the Map and Data Centre are for reference use only and therefore do not circulate.

The Map and Data Centre was a full depository for all Nautical charts produced by the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS). This means that the Map and Data Centre received all newly produced CHS paper maps. To explore all features shown on Canadian Nautical charts, please see the Canadian Hydrographic Service website. Canadian Nautical charts can be found in cabinets 38 and 39 in the Map and Data Centre. The library also holds an archival series of the Great Lakes area. An online index is available to browse.

The Map and Data Centre also holds many United States Nautical Charts produced by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Please note that these charts are not current and should not be used for navigational purposes. The library also holds an archival series of the Great Lakes area. An online index is available to browse.

Atlas Collection

The Map and Data Centre has a large collection of over 2065 world, regional, national, provincial/state and thematic atlases. The atlas collection covers a wide range of subjects including geology, hydrography, socio-economic factors, culture, health, historical events, transportation, recreation, etc.

Please note that all atlases at the Map and Data Centre are for reference use only and therefore do not circulate. To find a specific atlas try searching the shared library catalogue.

Electronic Maps and Atlases

The Map and Data Centre has a large collection of over 2065 world, regional, national, provincial/state and thematic atlases. The atlas collection covers a wide range of subjects including geology, hydrography, socio-economic factors, culture, health, historical events, transportation, recreation, etc.

Please note that all atlases at the Map and Data Centre are for reference use only and therefore do not circulate. To find a specific atlas try searching the shared library catalogue.

The Map and Data Centre has a number of digital atlases and maps on CD/DVD-ROMs available for use within the library. Patrons may request the use of these electronic resources at the reference desk and may use an available workstation to browse the software. For Geospatial (Geographic Information Systems) data available at the Map and Data Centre, please see the Geospatial Data page.

Online Resources

The Map and Data Centre staff have deemed the following cartographic, and other links as particularly useful or interesting. Any comments or suggestions should be sent to wlmadlib@uwo.ca.

Maps

Citation

Atlases


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