Looking for a map? This guide helps you find maps in Hale Library, online maps, and tools you can use to create your own maps.


Welcome to the K-State Libraries' guide to maps.  This guide is designed to help you find maps owned by K-State Libraries, maps available online, and resources you can use to create your own maps.  If this guide does not have the information you are looking for please contact

Map Resources

Step 1: Find the Quadrangle for the Map

To find a geologic map for the location you are interested in, first you will need to know the name of the quadrangle in which it is located. Follow these steps to learn the name of the quadrangle.

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click the "maps, imagery, and publications" button at the upper left of the page.
  3. Click the "USGS store" link in the right-hand column.
  4. Click the "Map locator and downloader" link in the left-hand column.
  5. Using the search box, enter the name of your location or feature (e.g., devil's tower).
  6. You will see a map showing the quadrangle with your location or feature. It also shows surrounding quadrangles. Write down the name of your quadrangle. 

Step 2: Check K-State Libraries' Holdings

Go to K-State Libraries' homepage: and search to see if we have any recent maps for your quadrangle using Search It. NOTE: our online system does not list all of the maps we own.

  1. Click the Search It Advanced link at the bottom of the search box in the center of the page.
  2. Perform a keyword search for the name of the quadrangle and the scale desired: ex."1:24,000". If it is more than one word, place the name inside quotation marks, e.g., "devil's tower" For example, to search for maps of devil's tower, you would enter the following in the search box: "devil's tower" "1:24,000".
  3. On the left you can Refine My Results.  Under Resource Type, check the box to include Maps.  You may need to click the 'More options' dropdown to see all of the Resource Types.
  4. Examine the results and look for a result with a location of "Maps--Hale 3rd floor (Map Cases)" and a location that does not specify a map case number
  5. If you find such a map, write down the call number.

Step 3: Browse the Index Books for Geologic Maps published prior to 1978

If you do not find a map in step 2 above, do not despair! We may very well have an older map (prior to 1978) not listed. To see if we do, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the east end of the 3rd floor of Hale Library (turn right after exiting the elevators). Here you will find topographic map cases as well as a row of filing cabinets that contain our geologic maps.
  2. Find the books on top of the row of filing cabinets. Pull one of the four brown books with the title "Guide to U.S. Government Maps: Geologic and Hydrologic" on their spine. 
  3. Flip to the area index near the back of the book. Look for the section for the state containing your quadrangle. Then within that state, look for the name of the quadrangle.
  4. If the quadrangle is listed, you will see a code and a number, e.g., "MF-24".
  5. Write down this code. NOTE: we do not have all of the maps listed in these books, but we have many of them.

Step 4: Find and Check Out your map

Once you have the code for a geologic map, e.g. "MF-24," you are ready to see if we have it. Follow these steps to find out:
  1. Find the file cabinets that have your letter code. 
  2. The file cabinets contain folders with letters and numbers. Find the folder with your number.
  3. Pull the folder out and examine the map located in the folder to verify that it is what you need. If it is, take the folder and the map to the Library Help counter on the 2nd floor of Hale. You can borrow it using your K-State ID. 

Library of Congress American Memory Map Collections

The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection.  Can search by keyword or browse by geographic location, subject, creator, and title indexes/indices.

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

With over 35,000 maps and images available online, the collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also represented.

Perry-Castañeda Historical Map Collection

From the University of Texas at Austin, the collection features historical maps by region with an emphasis on maps of Texas.  Includes links to historical atlases as well as other online map sites.

American Geographical Society Library's Digital Map Collection

Currently contains over 1,000 maps, ranging from early maps of Asia to historical maps of Wisconsin and Milwaukee, and other American cities, states, and national parks. The digital collection is under continuing development.

Maps are a great way to visualize data, tell a story, or give additional information about your area of study.  This page contains tools to help you create maps for any project you design.  

Register for a free ArcGIS Online personal account and you can create, store, and manage maps, apps, and data that you can then share with others.  If you are a student or staff member of K-State, you can Request an ArcGIS Online Account for Organizations 

Provides the framework to add a number of unique features and content to a Google Maps interface. 

Store, share, query, and visualize data tables. Google Fusion Tables allow you to write queries to manage tables and data rows, and query the table for all rows that match spatial or data conditions. The results of queries can be a .CSV or used in the Google Maps API or Google Chart Tools

An open access repository of data and maps for the world, GeoCommons includes a large number of features that allow you to easily access, visualize and analyze your data.  You can also animate your data through time and space, and share your visualizations on social media. 

This resource turns your spreadsheet into a map.

The Science of Science (Sci2) Tool is a modular toolset specifically designed for the study of science. It supports the temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analysis and visualization of scholarly datasets at the individual, local, and global levels.

An experiment by IBM Research and the IBM Cognos software group.  View others' visualizations, upload your own data, and create your own visualizations.​ 

Tableau Public is a free tool that "brings data to life" (according to their website). View others' visualizations or create your own.  Tutorial included.

Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment is designed to enable visualization of any available data.  WEAVE has a wide array of options for working with different data types.

Includes a free JavaScript library for making dynamic, interactive web-based maps. Polymaps can provide a speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and with a variety of visual presentations for tiled vector data.

Contains more than 18,000 maps, hundreds of profile reports, 40 billion data elements, 335,000 variables, and 220 years of data. Interactive mapping and reporting tools let you explore a vast array of demographic data quickly and easily.

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