Research Guides

ARC 203: Architectural Design III-Hometown Map: Indigenous Buildings & Urbanism

Quick Links

Ask a librarian
Gilda Santana , Architecture Librarian
Irina Ballester-Clemente, Senior Library Assistant

Digitized Map Sites
Old Maps Online:  a resouce combining over 400,000 digitized maps from collections all over the world.

Example of time-series study with Daytona Beach topo maps:
Daytona Beach 24K 1952
Daytona Beach 24K 1980
Daytona Beach 24K 1993

United States Geological Survey:
Over 100K modern and historic scanned topographic maps of the United States.
USGS Map Locator & Downloader

Yale University Beinecke Library Digital Maps: thousands of antique scanned maps.

Library of Congress:
Digital Collection with over 15,000 scanned maps.

Source for GIS data and scanned maps from a consortium of dozens of Universities & Organizations.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps:
Detailed scale maps mostly of United States towns & cities c. 1880-1930
Michigan State guide to Sanborns
Connecticut Sanborns
NYPL Sanborns & similar type atlases
Historic Sanborn overlay on modern map example

Digital File Submission Requirements
  1. Scan Resolution: 600 dpi
  2. Color mode: grayscale
  3. Format: TIFF (uncompressed)
  4. File name: ARC_F16_hometownmap_lastname_firstname
  5. Latitude & Longitude Coordinates: Geo Names
Beginning Your Research
Wondering where to begin doing research for your Hometown Map : Indigenous Buildings & Urbanism project?

* Your hometown public library-- chances are they have distinctive historic resources and digital image collections that are unique to your topic.

* UM Libraries Catalog contains links to books, maps, journals article & image databases, and a variety of digital collections.

   *Consult withTerri Robar, the UM Libraries Geography and Map Specialist. 

   *Consult with Abraham Parrish, GIS services Librarian at GIS Resources and Services at Richter Library

The image above is an interactive map that features over 250 of the hometown maps produced by architecture students for over 20 years. Click anywhere on the image to navigate "Where in the World Do Architects Come From", or visit
The images can also be viewed through the UM LIbraries Digital Collections portal in the School of Architecture Digital Collection

Suggested Subject Headings (keyword searches)

         Regionalism in architecture 

         Vernacular architecture

         Architecture domestic

         Cities and towns   

         City planning -- environmental aspects

         Architecture and climate

         Architecture -- environmental aspects

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Geonames:
Fairly comprehensive gazetteer of world place names and features excluding the USA.

United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System
Gazetteer of United States place names and features.
Columbia Gazetteer*:
World gazetteer with descriptions of places in addition to coordinates.
Columbia Gazetteer of the World


Books About Maps in the Library
Mapping Tools & Databases
ProQuest® Sanborn Maps Geo Edition
Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970 provides academic and public libraries digital access to more than 660,000 large-scale maps of more than 12,000 American towns and cities.

SimplyMap is an Internet-based mapping application that enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business, and marketing data variables.

Social Explorer
Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change. In addition to its comprehensive data resources, Social Explorer offers features and tools to meet the needs of demography experts and novices alike.

Web Resources
Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ)
The Society of Environmental Journalists is the only North-American membership association of professional journalists dedicated to more and better coverage of environment-related issues. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues.

United Nations Resources on the Environment
Dag Hammarskjold Library Research Guides

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.

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