Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maps without copyright

For those who worry about copyright issues with the many wonderful maps available on the internet, I know of two good recourses that do not involve delving into the arcana of either the general rules on fair use of maps or a particular source's claims of rights. These are maps produced by the federal government, making good use of our tax dollars:

the National Atlas, and especially the mapmaker part, which deserves an extended discussion in itself but won't get it here; and

the Census Bureau, which has individual state maps of counties in outline, as well as a map of the whole country with counties in outline. That last comes in especially handy when your research targets thoughtfully lived next to the state line. (Thanks to Kathy Lenerz.)

Just because these are not copyrighted does not mean you can claim you made them yourself! Stay calm and cite your source.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Harold, thanks for posting this! There's another really useful US map on the census bureau site. It also includes the whole country with counties in outline, but leaves off the referene numbers that tend to clutter the look of that 2008 map.

It's at http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/general_ref/us_base/stco2003/stco2003unlock.pdf

Jim Warren