Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

20.2 Sources of Paper Maps


20.2: Sources of Paper Maps

It used to be, you got your map at your corner gas station. But different places specialize in maps of different sorts. One of the biggest places folks turn to nowadays is the Internet, but we‘ll cover that in Activity 20.5. In this activity, the focus is on traditional paper maps. Here are a few places you can point kids:

Libraries. The library can be your one-stop shop for maps of all sorts. Just ask at the front desk!

Geological Surveys. The office of your state geological survey or department of conservation will contain geological and topographic maps, as well as maps showing mines and natural resources, and more. They usually have a catalog of maps of your state and its counties and townships, and you can often purchase them online or by mail or, if you‘re lucky enough to live close to the survey office, you can often buy them right there. Our national United States Geological Survey (USGS) is another source. In fact, on the opening page of its website is a map of the U.S.; click on your state, and you‘ll be led to local resources.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists. AAPG offers geological maps including cross sections, tectonic maps, landform maps, and more.

University Geology Departments. If you have a nearby college or university with a geology department, see if they‘ll let you look through their large, oversized geological maps that are often stored in big, flat drawers.

Outdoors & Camping Supply Stores. These stores often have maps of major parks and trails, including topographic maps, hiking maps, etc.

Bookstores. Here‘s where you‘re most likely to find geographic and roadmaps, including the Thomas guide series, atlases, etc.

Gas stations & Convenience Stores. Yes, you still can get roadmaps at the corner gas station, as well as at convenience stores, drugstores, and elsewhere.

A number of publishers and organizations specialize in making maps. These include:

National Geographic.

Rand McNally.

Thomas Guides. (now owned by Rand McNally)


American Automobile Association.