Saturday, February 27, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #8

On to Week 8's Challenge...Discover online map collections. This could be a challenge for an entire month! The amount of online map collections available just keeps getting bigger, making genealogists so very happy! I love maps, as I think most people do. Maps remind us of places we have been, places we are going or places we can only dream of going. For genealogists maps help us to visualize our ancestors. We can document a migration trail and "see" the cities, towns, rivers and mountains that they saw along the way. I started this challenge with my library system's online resource databases to see what map collections they have available.

First stop is the Digital Sanborn Maps which were created as fire insurance maps beginning in 1867. While the entire collection is phenomenal, what i like best is the ability to click on a town or city map year by year. This gives you the ability to see how your ancestors town grew and changed over the years.

Next stop is with the Historic Map Works database. If you have access to this collection through your library you will not be sorry you took the time to review. Historic Map Works has a full-color digital collection with over 100,000 land ownership maps for the United States including suburban and rural areas. Currently being added to their collection are nearly 100,000 antiquarian maps...these are the maps that make you say "wow"! This site offers so much including search features, you will not want to miss what the collection has to offer!

The final database I will touch on is also available through my library system and is called Global Road Warrior The Ultimate Guide to the World. This collection is wonderful on so many levels. The best benefit may be for those lucky enough to be able to make a genealogical research trip to another state or country. Global Road Warrior provides access to maps, transportation options, points of interest and photo gallery's.

Hours, even entire days can be spent on just these three collections. The wealth of information we can gain in our research, from maps, is invaluable. There are so many options available to us right from our home, be sure to take advantage of them.