Print Map Resources
The University of Idaho Library has many types of maps and atlases. Most maps can be found by using the library's catalog. An advanced search will allow you to limit your results to maps.
Not all maps at the UI Library have been cataloged, however; use the paper index located in the map room to find additional items. If you have a specific geographic area in mind (Europe, Costa Rica, or Idaho for example), the paper index can point you to the drawers where those maps are located. The index can also help you find maps on specific topics (such as natural resources, transportation routes, or demographics). Just ask a reference librarian if you have questions about using the index.
Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys and show both natural and man-made features. Contour lines are used to depict elevation while the legend and margins contain other useful information. These maps are often used by hikers to plan routes as they offer information about the terrain of an area.
Topographic Maps in Print
In December 2009, the United States Geological Service announced it would no longer produce print topographic maps. The University of Idaho Library will continue to provide access to all topographic maps currently in its possession.
Topographic Maps Online
You can download Topo Maps free of charge by visiting The National Map website. The USGS is currently scanning all editions and scales of topo maps produced since the topo mapping program began in 1884. The total number of maps to be scanned is estimated at 200,000 although the exact number is not known at this time.
The University of Idaho Library has a very large collection of historical aerial photographs. These are photos taken by government agencies (Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, Soil Conservation Service, etc.), with 90% being of Idaho. These photographs are located in the Library Map Room on the first floor, and many digitized air photos are also available through Digital Initiatives. For more information on our Historical Aerial Photograph Collection, please click here.