Resources in the Map Collection

General | Thematic | Topo | Geology & Soils | Water, Vegetation & Wildlife
Aerial Photos | Hydrographic & Aeronautic | Recreational | Historical | Text

Maps can be found by searching the McMaster Library Catalogue or by simply asking Map Collection staff for assistance, as not all maps in the collection have been catalogued.

Atlases can be found by searching the McMaster Library Catalogue. Their location within the Lloyd Reeds Map Collection can be found by clicking on the first letter of either the call number or geographical area on our search page or by simply asking Map Collection staff for assistance.

Sample Political Map General Maps & National Atlases

The Map Collection has physical and political/administrative maps of all countries of the world. Maps are also available at the regional and city levels. Older editions are often available for making comparisons over time.


National Atlases contain maps and text that provide insight into many aspects of a nation from its geography to its infrastructure and society.


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Sample Thematic Atlas Thematic Maps & Atlases

The Map Collection has a wide variety of maps and atlases that depict themes, often containing accompanying text, charts and tables of data.


Here are a few examples of the diverse range of topics available:


    • communication & transportation
    • energy
    • health & disease
    • crime
    • food production & consumption
    • human migration, languages & culture
    • environment & climate change
    • biodiversity
    • global media
    • world politics & conflict


...and many other socio-economic themes.


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Sample Topographic Map Topographic Maps

Canada (complete coverage):


    • 1:50,000 scale
    • 1:250,000 scale


Ontario (partial coverage):


    • 1:10,000 scale (southern)
    • 1:20,000 scale (northern)




    • 1:250,000 scale (complete coverage)
    • 1:24,000 scale (partial coverage)




    • 1:50,000 scale (complete coverage)




    • Various scales


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Sample Soil Map Geology & Soils Maps

Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) & Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) maps:


    • surficial/quaternary
    • bedrock
    • palaeozoic
    • pleistocene




    • soil landscapes of Canada
    • soil capability for agriculture




    • Aggregate Resources
    • Soil Surveys


Coverage for many other parts of the world at various scales.


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Sample Wildlife Map Water, Vegetation & Wildlife Maps



    • watersheds and drainage basins
    • major aquifers
    • wetland mapping series
    • water well records
    • conservation authority reports
    • artificial drainage systems
    • floodline mapping
    • susceptibility of groundwater to contamination




    • forest stands (forest resource inventory map series)
    • wetlands
    • agricultural land use systems
    • Canada Land Inventory: soil capability for agriculture
    • Canada Land Inventory: forestry




    • Canada Land Inventory: wildlife and waterfowl
    • Canada Land Inventory: ungulates


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Aerial Photos Aerial Photographs & Satellite Images

Aerial photograph coverage of the Hamilton area from federal, provincial and municipal sources dating 1934 to the present with some stereoscopic coverage and some 'spotty' coverage as early as 1919. Limited coverage of Northern Ontario.

Search our Collection.

Satellite images of places and physical features worldwide are available in paper, hardcopy format and may be viewed in the Map Collection.

See our list of images with accompanying descriptions.


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Sample Hydrographic Chart Hydrographic & Aeronautical Charts


    • Canada, U.S. and International hydrographic charts (various scales)
    • World aeronautical & operational navigation charts at 1:1,000,000 scale.


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Hiking Symbol Canoeing Symbol Recreational Maps
Fishing Symbol Biking Symbol

Canada, U.S. and International:


    • travel
    • parks
    • orienteering
    • canoe routes
    • backpacking/trekking
    • biking
    • lake (fishing) maps
    • rockclimbing atlases


...and more.


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Antique Map Symbol Historical Maps

McMaster University Library is fortunate to possess a rich collection of historical maps. The oldest in our collection dates back to 1486.

Here are a few examples:


    • Rare Map Collection
    • World War I trench maps and aerial photographs
    • World War II topographic maps
    • fire insurance plans
    • bird's-eye view/panorama maps of North American cities
    • early Hamilton survey and subdivision plans


...find out more about our historical maps and resources


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Sample Reference Book Geographic Information in Text Format
    • city directories (Hamilton 1853-present, Toronto 1899-1952)
    • assessment rolls (Toronto 1834-1951)
    • notebooks and diaries of early land surveyors in Upper Canada
    • gazetteers and place name guides
    • reference books (annual stats and information on all countries)
    • geographical encyclopedia
    • books on map & air photo interpretation and cartographic conventions
    • books on the history of cartography
    • bibliographies, indexes and catalogues of other map collections


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