Digital Reference Centre

Atlases & Maps
Data & Statistics

Atlases & Maps

  • Atlases & Maps
  • Gazetteers
  • Guidebooks
  • The reference tools assembled here are geographical sources. Geographical sources are often used for quickly identifying locations, but can also be a useful support for research.

    Libraries of all types have basic geographical sources in their collections. You can locate these in library catalogues by searching under the following subjects: "Atlases," "Cartography," "Gazetteers," or "Maps." Sources for more complex geographical research may be found in books under such subjects as: "Geography," "Economic geography," "Historical geography," "Human geography," and "Physical geography."

    On this page you will find Web-based geographic sources listed under the headings: Atlases & Maps, Gazetteers, and Guidebooks.

    Atlases & Maps

    An Atlas Of Cyberspaces

    For a cyber-geography perspective explore maps and graphical representations of the "digital landscapes" of the Internet, Web and other Cyberspaces.

    Arctic Environmental Atlas

    An interactive Arctic map service developed by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme). Visit and for more maps, graphics, and country profiles.

    The Canadian Atlas Online

    An interactive national atlas from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


    This site permits you to access a large database of satellite photos of the earth from space.


    Developed by the Terrain Sciences Division of the Geological Survey of Canada, GeoServ provides access to key geoscience data in the form of dynamic maps and associated databases, which can be explored over the Web. This site maps archeological sites in Canada and illustrates landscape features found at various sites across the country.

    Google Earth

    This is a free downloadable tool from Google that allows you to explore the Earth, even your own street, via satellite imagery. Google incorporates directory type information and special features such as images and articles about Africa from National Geographic.

    National Atlas Of Canada Online

    The online version adds interactivity to an Atlas that has as its mandate "to provide a reliable summary of national-scale geographical information".

    National Geographic Map Machine

    The National Geographic Society's map and geographical information site contains maps, profiles, and facts about the countries of the world.

    Nunavik Atlas

    The Nunavik Atlas, created by "a multidisciplinary team of Nunavik's residents working in various northern organizations", includes maps pertaining to locations, socioeconomics, history & culture, and geophysics. Photos are also available.

    OSSHE Historical & Cultural Atlas Resource

    This collection of maps and images for Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and North America, has been developed cooperatively between the University of Oregon Department of History, UO New Media Center and Department of Geography InfoGraphics Lab. All of the atlas resources contained in the site are original materials produced for this project.

    Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection

    The site is useful for finding maps (particularly political maps) of areas around the world. It contains up-to-date maps as well as historical maps. There are also a number of maps available with specific themes as well as ones related to current events/issues. The maps on this site are a valuable tool for keeping up with rapidly changing political boundaries around the world.


    The Natural Resources Canada site gives access to topographic maps from across Canada.

    UN Atlas Of The Oceans

    This Atlas is the result of collaboration between the United Nations and scientific institutions including the National Geographic Society, the Census of Marine Life and the Food and Agriculture Organization. The Atlas features information about the oceans including maps and statistics, research, climatology, ecology, and information about uses of the oceans. It also covers issues such as food security, climate change, governance and human health. There is a section in which information is categorized by geographical area.


    • A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary of place names and functions as an authoritative source for spelling, pronunciation and location of geographical sites.

    Canadian Geographical Names

    Maintained by the Secretariat of the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC), this is an authoritative source of over 350,000 official and formerly official geographical names in Canada.

    Getty Thesaurus Of Geographic Names

    The Getty Research Institute provides access to a vocabulary of place names around the world.


    • Guidebooks are popular geographical sources used most frequently for travel information and can be a rich source of data on countries.
    • In addition to commercial publishers of this sort of information (LonelyPlanet, Fodor's, Frommer's), government agencies are also a useful source for geographical guidebooks.

    CIA World Factbook

    Use this reference tool from the Central Intelligence Agency to access political, economic, environmental, and geographic information for most territories and countries in the world.

    Country At A Glance

    This United Nations publication includes a wide range of information: flag, latitude & longitude, area, population, population density, capital city, languages, largest city, currency, UN membership date, GDP, and GDP per capita.

    Lonely Planet Online

    From the publishers of the Lonely Planet travel guides, this Web site provides access to destination profiles for almost every country in the world.

    Last Update: Wed, Jan 11th 2006 10:55:00
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