Mapping Resources

Most mapping resource have migrated to digital or GIS (Geographic Information System)-based mapping tools. Geologists still use paper maps for collecting field data, but most geologists now transfer their data into digitized maps.

Intro to Topo maps--How to read topographic maps, including contour lines.

Reading a Cross Section--How to read a cross section. Geologists often create cross sections to see a slice through the earth. This exercise demonstrates how to read a cross section.

Interpreting a Map. The Maine Geological Survey describes how to read the key features of all common map types.

Plotting Points on a Map. Map Tools describes how you can use a GPS unit and topographic map to plot where you are on a map.

Color Landform Atlas of the United States

Geological Field Methods. Methods for mapping geologic formations.

Marion County GIS. This web GIS system for Indianapolis provides high resolution aerial photos and a huge amount of mappable data, including types of city owned trees, stormwater drains, monthly crime statistics, etc.

What is GIS? ESRI, the leading provider of GIS technology, explains what geographic information system are and how they work.

Visualizing Earth in 3D. This website provides interactive models to help understand structural geologic features such as faults and unconformities.

USGS digital elevation model (DEM) data files. For use in GIS databases.

Interactive Maps--State of Indiana. The state geological survey's list of online maps, including the state's online GIS map containing layers for many geologic or earth resource features.

Topozone--This site has an online viewer for every topographic map in the United States.

IGS Map Sales Office. The Indiana Geological Survey website has pictures of published paper geologic maps, and information on purchasing maps.