Topographic maps represent the Earth’s features accurately and to scale on a two dimensional surface. Some common layers typically include contours, hydrography, vegetation, transportation, cultural features (ie. buildings, towers, urban development, pipelines, etc) and boundaries.
The Carleton University Library has a wide range of topographic map series for various countries. These maps are uncatalogued, but can be found by navigating the map cabinets and following the classification numbers as seen below.
Below are some online resources to help find topographic maps.
- Ottawa Historical Topographic Maps (pdf, tif, dwg)
- Canadian Topographic Maps
- Index to National Topographic Series - this index will help you identify the map number for your area of interest.
- CanMatrix: 1:1,000,000; 1:500,000; 1:250,000; 1:125,000; 1:50,000; 1:25,000 - Geogratis
- CanTopo: 1:250,000; 1:50,000 - Geogratis
- United States Topographic Maps
- United Kingdom
- World Topographic Maps
- Foreign Topographic Maps
Thematic maps show the spatial distribution of one or more specific data themes for a selected geographic area. The Carleton University Library has large amount of maps with a wide range of themes that can be found using our catalogue.
Searching for Paper Maps
Step 1: Connect to Carleton University Library Catalogue - Advanced Keyword Search
Step 2: Under "Material Type" - select "Maps/Atlases" drop-down options to limit the search results to the paper map inventory.
Step 3: Type keywords in the search box e.g. Ottawa land use
The following are the classification numbers assigned to each geographic area for Atlases and Maps. This should better help users navigate the map cabinets at the library.
Searching for Online Maps
The following is a selection of online resources to access our most popular thematic maps.
- Atlas of Canada Archives (1906 – 2009)
- Library of Congress Map Collection
- Perry-Castaneda Library Thematic Maps
- Ontario Geological Maps - OGSEarth
- Canadian Geology Maps - GeoScan
- In Advanced Search, select appropriate Series (GSC A-Series maps or GSC Canadian Geoscience Map)
- United States Geology Maps – The National Geological Map Database
- Canadian Soil Survey Reports
- United States Soil Surveys
- United Kingdom Soil Observatory
- Soils Map Resources
Hydrographic (Nautical Charts) and Bathymetric Chart
Fire Insurance Plans
Print (Available at Carleton University Library)
- Library and Archives Canada (1888 – 1915)
- Click on “Show Search Form” and enter the Canadian City
- Bibliothèques et Archives Nationales du Quebec (1870 – 1970’s)
- Fire Insurance Maps – Sanborn Maps