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Online Maps - Modern, Digital, GIS, Route Finders

(See also sections on Producers of Current Maps, Information Sheets 1D to 1F)

AfricaMap. 50+ mappable layers for African data.

agcensus. An EDINA product which provides grid square agricultural census data for England, Scotland and Wales. Map and download data is derived from Agricultural and Horticultural Censuses of Great Britain. Provides realistic estimates of what is produced, how much is produced and where it was produced.

Alexandria Digital Library (ADL). A distributed digital library with collections of georeferenced materials.

Ancient World Mapping Centre. Plenty of free maps of the ancient world in various formats. Includes some outline maps.

ANIDA - Atlas Nacional Interactivo de ArgentinaMaps and geo-referenced content relating to environmental, social, demographic, political and economic data. Published by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (Argentina).

Arctic maritime jurisdiction map. From the International Boundaries Research Unit.

British Geological Survey. This 'top level' page is useful for maps. Or see Make-a-Map for a very generalised view of the geology, etc. of Great Britain. More detailed maps(1:625,000 and 1:50,000 scales) can be found via the Geology of Britain Viewer (a lightweight viewer containing only the bedrock and superficial themes).  GeoIndex is the most comprehensive viewer containing all geological themes.  For geological map data go to DigMapGB.  See the BGS Maps Portal for free online viewing of over 6000 BGS maps and sections from 1832 (including maps of Ireland published before 1905). Why not try the Interactive Geology map of Anglesey. See also User guide for the BGS Geology : 50k dataset (V8)

Cambodia : Atlas of Cambodia. 'Created to provide civil society, government institutions, development partners and the public at large with information on the state of the environment and natural resources in Cambodia and related social and economic issues. Data is based on data collected during the programme period from a number of the Danida funded projects during 2001-2006'.

CasWeb. Web interface to statistics and related information from the United Kingdom Census of Population. Available to any member of a UK Higher or Further Academic Institution. Registration required.

Census Support. From the UK Data Service Census Support team, this site replaces the old ESRC Census Portal and provides access to a range of census-related resources.

CIA - World Factbook. Country level information and some maps.

Collins Bartholomew. Find out about their map data products (available to purchase) and also look at the Internet Mapping section where you can view small scale maps of the whole World.

Digimap. Online service run by EDINA that delivers Ordnance Survey Map Data to UK Tertiary Education. The data is available either for download to use with appropriate application software such as GIS or CAD, or as maps generated by Digimap online. You need to be a registered user to progress beyond the general information pages. Since May 2005 Digimap has included historic as well as current Ordnance Survey map data, and now also aerial photography. Click here for more information on how to access Digimap at Cambridge University. Digimap OpenStream is a web service delivering OS OpenData to the UK academic sector using open standard WMS technology (access is not restricted to Digimap users, although a one-off online registration is required)

Digital Chart of the World. A comprehensive 1:1,000,000 scale vector basemap of the world.

Digital Map Library. Maintained by the Library of the Earth Sciences Department of Cambridge University.

EDINA. Geographic data - mostly British map and statistical data - is available from EDINA. 

Election Maps. Maps of electoral boundaries of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Environment Agency Maps - Including Flood Map. Find out if your house is in an area liable to flood!

EuroGlobalMap. A seamless digital topographic dataset for Europe at the scale 1:1 Million. You may licence "European" coverage or individual countries.

Exploring Abroad. Simple maps of continents and some countries plus information on currency, language, flags, etc.

France - Code Officiel Géographique. Small scale maps and statistics for French administrative areas.

France - Geoportal. Online mapping facility including modern and historic mapping.

GeoGratis. Portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data for Canada at no cost via your Web browser. Online reference maps and Landsat images, e.g. of U.S. states and countries of the world.

GeospatialArt. By Nikolas R. Schiller an experimental cartographer living in Washington, DC.

Gigateway. Was decommissioned in 2011 and replaced with a new revised service under the UK Location Programme.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools and Map Making Software - Open Source and others:

Arc GIS Online. GIS Lite! Create a free account. Upload your own data or access a collection of basemaps, demographic maps, image services, and data from the authoritative content from commercial data providers and the GIS user communities around the world.

Arc GIS Explorer Desktop. GIS Lite! Free easy to use GIS program from ESRI. You can choose a basemap and add local data such as KMLs, shapefiles, geodatabases, rasters, or locations from a spreadsheet. Users can also access mapping services such as ArcIMS or WMS

Cartogrammar. Browse cartograms and download from a Cartogram Gallery, create and customise new cartograms, download cartogram API documentation, download HTML required to embed cartogram production into your own website.

Free Mapping Tools (previously known as '') Digital mapping data translators for GIS and other mapping utilities.

Geospatial Analysis: a comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software tools. Website, book, ebook.

GMapCreator. A freeware application designed to make thematic mapping using Google Maps simpler. From the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis is a (CASA), University College London.

GMT. "Open source collection of ~60 tools for manipulating geographic and Cartesian data sets (including filtering, trend fitting, gridding, projecting, etc.) and producing Encapsulated PostScript File (EPS) illustrations."

GRASS. Desktop GIS tool. Free, open source and available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

Grime. GIS related news and downloads.

gvSIG. Open source GIS software.

Inkscape. Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format, i.e. it will help you to make maps!

MapBox Studio. Create tools for anyone to design and publish custom maps.

MapServer. Open Source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications to the web. GIS Lite! Users can customized maps by adding points, labels, lines, images, then share their product with others via URLs or widgets.

MapWindow. "A free, extensible, geographic information system (GIS) that can be used: as an alternative desktop GIS, to distribute data to others, to develop and distribute custom spatial data analyses."

OpenLayers. "Makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page".

Planiglobe. Maps at 1:1,000,000. Add places, etc.

Public Profiler. A range of spatial information tools for profiling the public, the public sector and commerce.

Quantum GIS Project (QGIS). Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS).

Quick Task Sheets. From Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Geospatial Technology Program. Provide quick, easy instruction on performing specific tasks in ArcGIS. New sheets added regularly.

Scribble Maps. GIS Lite! Free! Enable users to create customized maps online.

Sketchmap (previously known as 'Find Free'). Create and customize your own maps. UK only. Includes geology layers and information from organisations such as RSPB and Natural England.

Social Source Commons GIS Toolbox. User maintained directory of GIS tools, websites and services.

uDig. "User-friendly desktop Internet GIS".


Global Map Data Archive  Based on the now discontinued Global Map system these archives contain an incomplete coverage of the earths surface.

Google Earth. "Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others". [Sorry: it is not possible to download the required software onto the PC in the Map Room]. 

Google Maps UK. Search by place name, street, post code for online maps in GB and all other parts of the world. Use the 'My Maps' facility to make your own maps. Map Adventures with Google is an article by Kimberly Powell which may help to get you started making your own maps.

Go Trekkers. Downloadable international maps. There is a charge!

Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps. Boundaries from any historical year, overlaid on Google Maps. Quickly search using any present-day address or place. You can click any county on the map to see the specific history of the boundary changes, and navigate through different years to see the boundary changes over time.

Historical World Boundary Maps. Political Boundaries from from 2000 BC through 2008 AD, overlaid on Google Maps. Quickly search using any present-day city or place. You can click any country on the map to see effective date of the then-current boundaries, and navigate through different years to see the boundary changes over time.

Index Maps for AMS / U.S. Army Map Service and GSGS / Great Britain. War Office. General Staff. Geographical Section Map Series.

Inuit trails - Pan Inuit Trails. Atlas provides a synoptic view (although certainly incomplete) of Inuit mobility and occupancy of Arctic waters, coasts and lands, including its icescapes, as documented in written historical records (maps of trails and place names).

Landmap. Web-based access to spatial data and learning materials for UK Higher Education and Further Education. Landmap's optical, thermal, radar, elevation and feature collections give a combination of remotely sensed imagery and spatial data information unique in UK academia. Free-of-charge to the UK academic community.

Land Registry. "The world's largest property database". Property information for England and Wales. This is a charged service and no maps can be seen online.

Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (eLALME). A revised version of the printed atlas first published in 1986 (Atlas.5.98.151-154 ).

Magic. Multi-Agency Geographic Information for the Countryside of Great Britain. Definitive rural designation boundaries and information about rural land-based schemes. Small scale maps for many parts of the world.

MapQuest. General country maps as well as maps of cities and towns for all parts of the world though they vary considerably in the amount of detail shown.

Maps of India. A range of thematic mapping - mostly small scale - for viewing online and purchasing.

mapvu data. Digital maps of Great Britain for purchase from Lovell Johns, providers of cartographic and GIS services as well as map and data products.

Mapping Medieval Townscapes: a digital atlas of the new towns of Edward I. The atlas uses mapping as a medium to explore how urban landscapes were shaped in the middle ages in England and Wales. Delivered by the ADS using innovative Web GIS technologies 'this project represents a significant new resource for all scholars and students of the medieval period, as well as those concerned with interpreting and managing historic built environments'.

National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI). Maps of Great Britain showing the distribution of various pollutants in 2006 (published in 2008). Point source data can be downloaded.

National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD). Preserves and provides online access to archived digital datasets and documents from UK central government departments. Not all map data but may be of interest.

National Geographic. Has various mapping resources and mapping tools

National Statistics. Government site providing statistical data which can be represented in cartographic form.

North Sea Geographical Information System. Created by the Oil and Gas Directorate of the Department of Trade and Industry to provide a geophysical and licensing analysis of the United Kingdom's oil and gas exploration. Available from the National Archives, the dataset is open to the public without restriction.

Noise Mapping of England. Noise maps produced by Defra. Open data regarding the strategic noise mapping can be found on the website

OpenCycleMap. Cycling specific project based on the OpenStreetMap database. Includes shaded contour maps.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). A non-profit, international, voluntary consensus standards organization that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services.

OpenStreetMap. "A project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them". A collaborative, open source project to develop free geographic data like street maps using both manually entered data and automatic data collection and collation from portable GPS devices. Also see OpenStreetMap Out of Copyright Maps.

Ordnance Survey: The Getamap service was replaced in July 2015 by OS Maps (registration required ; plan routes and get informaion on elevations along the route ; additional facilities, such as 1:25k and 1:50k scale maps, are available to subscribers only). New in 2010, OS OpenData provides access to a selection of the most detailed mapping datasets available for Great Britain. (Digimap OpenStream is a web service delivering OS OpenData to the UK academic sector using open standard WMS technology; access is not restricted to Digimap users, although a one-off online registration is required). The Innovate with OS OpenSpace pages provide access to a suite of free services and tools to make exploitation of OS free data easier. The Ordnance Survey's web page on the history of the Ordnance Survey includes pdfs of two books:  A History of Ordnance Survey edited by W.A. Seymour and Ordnance Survey : Map Makers to Britian since 1791 by Tim Owen and Elaine Pilbeam.

Outline Maps:

Ancient World Mapping Centre. Plenty of free maps of the ancient world in various formats. Includes some outline maps.

Digital Vector Maps. Free outline maps of US states in editable PDF format. Other maps are available to purchase. All are royalty-free.

Digital Chart of the World. A comprehensive 1:1,000,000 scale vector basemap of the worldPlease note that it is not possible to print from or download data onto the Map Department PC. Several thousand outline maps of countries and regions, in various versions (blank, with rivers, with towns, with administrative units etc) , each one in 6 graphic formats, vector and raster (GIF, PDF, CDR, SVG, AI, WMF).

National Geographic Black Line Maps.

Ordnance Survey. Free downloadable GB maps.

Orr & Associates. Free versions of the Digital Chart of the World and a World Map with country outlines at 1:250k can be downloaded from their website.

University of Alabama - Contemporary Maps. Outline maps for printing.

World Atlas. Includes outline maps and map tests.

Paleomap Project. Illustrates the plate tectonic development of the ocean basins and continents, as well as the changing distribution of land and sea during the past 1100 million years.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. Large collection of online maps including CIA maps.

Planiglobe. Make your own digital vector map.

Planning Portal. The UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource where it is possible to create a site location plan.

Planning - J. R. James Archive. Collection of historic images and maps from the Department of Town and Regional Planning University of Sheffield and mostly from the collection of the late Professor J. R. James. Many from Sheffield but also includes images from other countries.

Quick Maps. Small GIF maps of countries of the world.

Railway Maps of European Countries.

Scottish Noise Mapping. Scottish Government maps produced in response to the European Parliament Environmental Noise Directive (END).

Skeleton Map. A collaboration between the Museum of London and The Times this electronic map allows users to pinpoints the location of many of the 37,000 skeletons the museum found in the capital.

Soil Maps:

Soil maps - digital and paper - of England and Wales. See the LandIS, the 'Land Information System' a substantial environmental information system operated by Cranfield University, UK, designed to contain soil and soil-related information for England and Wales including spatial mapping of soils at a variety of scales. SoilScapes Viewer, is a free online interactive simplified soil map for England and Wales. The Soils Site Reporter is an online soil reporting tool for which there may be a charge (some reports are available free to authorised undergraduates). 

Macaulay Institute. Publishers of soil, land use and land capability maps, digital and paper, of Scotland. For map sales click here.

Harmonized World Soil Database. A 30 arc-second raster database with over 15000 different soil mapping units that combines existing regional and national updates of soil information worldwide (SOTER, ESD, Soil Map of China, WISE) with the information contained within the 1:5 000 000 scale FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World (FAO, 19711981).

Stand Alone Mapping for Your PC, etc:

Anquet. "Easy to use route planning tools with digital maps for PCs, Pocket PCs and Smartphones". UK specific.

Mapyx. The "essential digital mapping software for outdoor pursuits" from Mapyx. Mapping from Ordnance Surveys of Ireland, Northern Ireland and GB.

MemoryMap. Topographic and other maps for UK and other parts of the world.

Street Maps, Road Maps and Route Finding:

AA. Route planning in Great Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Bing Maps. Maps (including Ordnance Survey maps), aerial photographs, directions, latitude and longitude, etc.

CycleStreets. UK wide cycle journey planner and cycling related images.

Google Maps UK. Search by place name, street, post code for online maps in GB and all other parts of the world.

Green Flag. Includes a European route planner.

Live Search Maps. Road maps and aerial photographs for GB and many parts of the world. Bird's Eye View aerial photographs for many areas including GB.

MilerMeter. "Web app designed to let you track the precise distance of your workouts, and track and log your activity".

MapQuest. Search by address, postcode and latitute and longitude. Route finding for USA plus online map store.

Multimap. Maps and route finding for Great Britain and many parts of the World.

OpenCycleMap. Cycling specific project based on the OpenStreetMap database. Includes shaded contour maps.

OpenStreetMap. "A project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them". A collaborative, open source project to develop free geographic data like street maps using both manually entered data and automatic data collection and collation from portable GPS devices. Includes Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps at OpenStreetMap Out of Copyright Maps.

Searoutefinder. Measures port-to-port distances all over the world. To see the route details, choose the desired port of load- and discharge, and input other vessel specific data.

Streetmap. Street maps and some aerial photographs of Great Britain. Search by name, post code, telephone code, etc.

UK Grid Reference Finder. Search by location, post code, grid reference or latitude and longitude. Hover over pins on map, or right click on map, to find location, post code, grid reference or latitude and longitude of locations. See location as a map, aerial view of bird's eye view.

Where's the path. Compare OS maps with Google Earth images on a split screen. Plot a route and measure distances.


Subway Maps. Subway / Metro maps from around the world. Similar information also avaiable at

ThoughtCo. Fun information about maps, geography and more.

TopoView. Archive of USGS topographic maps and aerial photographs available for free download.

TopoZone. Scanned USGS maps providing an interactive topo map of the entire United States.

Tranquillity Maps of England. Commissioned by CPRE. Highly detailed national tranquillity map based on a new measurement approach (October 2006).

UKBorders. Provides digitised boundary datasets of the UK, available in many Geographic Information System (GIS) formats (MapInfo MIF/MID, ArcView Shape, Arc/Info Export and several others), for teachers and researchers in the UK Higher and Further Education community to download and use in their work. The service is provided by EDINA.

UK Location. Is a UK pan-government initiative to improve the sharing and re-use of public sector location information.

UK Post Code Finder. Royal Mail provides this online tool to find the postcode for any UK address; or an address from a post code.

United Nations Cartographic Section. Country maps and some thematic maps.

USA. US Geological Survey (USGS) produces topographic maps of the USA. See The National Map for access to high-quality, geospatial data and information from the USGS as well as Federal, State, and local partners. There is also useful information at DDS. Try the National Geological Map database to search for USGS geological maps and related data. TopoView is an archive of USGS topographic maps and aerial photographs available for free download. TopoZone provides scanned USGS maps providing an interactive topo map of the entire United States. USGS EarthExplorer. Provides access to millions of land-related products, mainly of USA. USGS Global Visualization Viewer. Online search and order tool for selected satellite and aerial data.

UpMyStreet. Guide to areas in Britain including maps, statistics, property prices, schools, crime rates.

University of California - Berkeley.  Indexes to AMS and GSGS map series and also to other map series.

What's in Your Back Yard? Use interactive maps to find out more about the environment where you live in England - flood risk, landfill sites, pollution hazards, etc.

World Atlas. Small scale maps of countries and continents. Includes outline maps and map tests.

Worldmapper. A collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. See also the Social and Spatial Inequalities (SASI) website.

World Ocean Database and World Ocean Atlas Series.

World Political and Physical Maps and Satellite Images from

World Wind. Provides geospatial visualization technology via extensible and modular components that can be incorporated into any application. (Not downlaodable on the Map Room PC) 

Current Services

Note that the Map Room is still closed to in-person visits though pre-booked items can be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room 

Email us at for assistance and if you need to consult our card catalogue or look at Ordnance Survey data.

Note that there are very reduced catering facilities in the Library.

Contact us

Map Department 
Cambridge University Library 
West Road 
CB3 9DR 


+44 (0) 1223 333041
+44 (0) 1223 333042