Virginia Geographic Alliance Map Portal

Maps prepared as layered pdfs and developed for Civics and Government, Elementary Social Studies, World Geography, and World History

Virginia Geographic Alliance’s Placing Primary Sources Story Map Collection. 

The goal of this collection is to provide K-16 teachers with interactive and dynamic classroom materials that highlight the role that geography played in shaping key events and episodes of American History.


Library of Virginia

Alan M. Voorhees Map Gallery. Collection of 69 early  maps of Virginia, North America, and other parts of the world.

Fry-Jefferson Map Gallery. Early maps of Virginia and surrounding areas, most dating to before 1800.

Old Maps Online

The Great Britain Historical GIS team at the Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK, working with Klokan Technologies, has just launched Old Maps Online.

At the moment, the portal covers five collections, and a little over 60,000 maps:

A Vision of Britain through Time
British Library
David Rumsey Collection
Moravian Library
National Library of Scotland

The portal covers the whole world, and including the Rumsey Collection, means you will find something for everywhere.  Several additional map libraries which will definitely be added in the near future.

The home page IS the search form, always displaying a map and usually automatically centering it on wherever you are in the world (i.e., for us, on Virginia). You can then specify the area you want maps to cover, by zooming in and out, and panning around; and also the time period you want the maps to be from. As you change these settings, the system automatically updates its list of best matches, and displays them as a scrolling list of thumbnail images to the right of the main display.

Click on a thumbnail and a pop-up shows further information about the map.

Click on the thumbnail in the pop-up and a separate tab should open in your browser, showing you the page for the map at the relevant library.  Whether you can download the image depends on the library, not on Old Maps Online.

Perry-Castañeda Library, Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

Many important historical maps from every continent are in their collection. Also has some historic atlases and pre-1945 US topographic maps.

Miscellaneous free downloads from ODT (

World maps on equal-area projections (Peters or Hobo-Dyer) are especially attractive for NGOs doing international work — as they display all countries fairly (according to size) — and that usually ends up showing the result of compassionate and caring projects in a more impactful way. Doctors Without Borders uses the Peters Projection: Doctors Without Borders branded Peters Map available as a free digital download.

The Carter Center displays the 68 countries around the world in which it has worked since 1982 on the Hobo-Dyer Equal Area map projection.  Free download of map


Perry-Castañeda Library, Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

Contains vast array of maps from around the world, including those dealing with current US and global events. Also provides links to other online map sources.



See the diffusion of Walmart and Sam’s Club from 1962 through 2010. This is a good example of a spatial strategy that changed the retail economic landscape of the USA and beyond. [From Requires Adobe Flash Player.]

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