Online Mapping Resources

There are many websites containing mapping resources for the genealogist. Some are free and some require payment. Some display a simple image and others use specialist viewing applications. To use an image as an overlay in Google Earth it must be possible to download or link to the actual image file - not all sites will allow this.

Here is a list of some of the more popular sites -

Website Free Maps Buy Maps Image Files Comments
Surname Mapping Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible A site dedicated to the mapping of surname distributions using Google Earth. A number of map overlays are freely downloadable.
MOTCO Free maps are available Maps are available to purchase Image files are directly accessible Very good coverage of London, England
MAPCO Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible Very good coverage of London, England
MappaLondon Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible High quality scans of Stanford's 1862 map of London, England
Bath Spa University Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible High quality scans of Greenwood's 1827 map of London, England
UCLA Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible John Snow's 1859 map of London, England
London Ancestor Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible Various maps of London, England
Booths Poverty Maps Free maps are available Maps are available to purchase Booth poverty map of London, England
British Library Maps Free maps are available Includes indexes to Reading Room collections
British Library London Maps Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible Several unique map overlays for London
Genmaps Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible A large collection of mostly low resolution scans and photographs
Hantsmap Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible A good selection of maps covering Hampshire, England
Oxford University Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible Various maps focusing on the city of Oxford, England
Cassini Maps Maps are available to purchase Coverage of England and Wales
Old Maps Maps are available to purchase
History Streets Maps are available to purchase
Charting the Nation Free maps are available Maps of Scotland
National Library of Scotland Free maps are available Maps are available to purchase Various maps of Scotland
Indian Land Cessions Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible 1899 maps from the USA
Rand McNally Saskatchewan Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible 1924 Canadian high quality map
Hipkiss Old Maps Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible A large number of good quality scans covering many countries. Many maps of Switzerland.
Perry-Castaneda Map collection Free maps are available Image files are directly accessible A large number of scans covering many countries.


If those sites aren't enough then why not take a look at some of the lists of links available -

To use an image as an overlay in Google Earth you can either save the file to your hard disk and then just browse to the file when you select Add->Image Overlay in Google Earth or you can just paste the direct image URL into the "Link" field in the aforementioned dialog. Doing the latter will make it easier to share any KML or KMZ files you produce (since you won't need to share the actual image itself). However, if you intend sharing the files with more than 1 or 2 people you should probably find out from the site owner whether they are happy for you to hotlink to their images since people viewing your KML/KMZ files will be using their bandwidth.

As a matter of courtesy it is good practice include a link to the web page of the map source in the description of your KML/KMZ file.