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Content Last Verified: 17 Aug 2014


USGS – A major tool for all California researchers is the mapping capabilities of the US Geological Survey http://www.usgs.gov/ website. You can create individualized topographical maps, political maps and more. GNIS the Geographic Names Information System is available to search for elusive places, the National Map and National Atlas provide a variety of mapping opportunities and the website links to many other historical map collections. This is an ever changing website, be sure to visit and explore on a regular basis

Sanborn Maps – Fire Insurance Maps Information on Digital Collection available from some public and university libraries.

BLM Survey Plats
California Association of Counties Maps and Demographics
California State Land Commission Records Requests
CSU Chico Meriam Library Historic California Topo Maps
EPA California Tribal Lands Map
Library of Congress American Memory Collections
Roots Web 1914 US Atlas
UC Berkeley Historic California Topo Maps
University of Virginia Library Census Statistic maps
US GenNet 1895 US Atlas
USGS Geographic Names
USGS - National Atlas Indian reservations and federal lands
USGS National Map
Cartography Associates David Rumsey Map Collection - California
University of Texas Libraries Perry Casteneda Collection - California

Maps to look for in County Record Offices

Base Maps (Planning Department) – these maps, usually dating 1960+, indicate basic boundaries for zoning purposes. Contains date of map, zoning boundaries and designations.

Land Use Maps (Planning Department) [date of adoption, index to land use (color-coded), boundaries of land use areas (residential, non-residential, commercial, industrial, public), open space designations (agricultural, agricultural resource), and transportation] information

Map Books (Recorders Office) – recorded and official maps of county property, including subdivisions, tracts, surveys, blocks, lots, and parcels. [map number, name of survey, date of filing,geographic features, names of street, block and lot numbers, name of person requesting recording, affidavit of auditor that no liens are held on property, approval of map by board of supervisors, title of map, and name of surveyor]

Plat Books (Assessors Office) – compiled from reports and field notes [date of map, block and lot numbers, township and range numbers, name of city/town, name of owner, amount of holding, subdivision and street names, property boundaries, footage, and estimated value of land]

Parcel maps (Assessors Office) – maps of land parcels within county [date of map, parcel book number, block and parcel numbers, tax area code, property boundaries, and street names]

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