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Maps and Atlases in the Cal Poly Library

Find maps, atlases, globes and online maps with this guide

Contents of the Cal Poly Pomona Map Collection (6th Floor)

            World Map Group 1:250 000 (oversize)
            Maps of Countries Group
            Historical Maps
            Maps from the National Geographic magazine 1950 – current 
            Oceans – Small Scale Maps
            Special collection of maps in Spanish – Mexico and Central America

            Earthquake Faults
            Ethnic Groups
            Geologic, Tectonic, Basement Rock maps
            Physiographic Features
            National Parks, Monuments, etc.
            Economic/Socio/Political Information
            Topographic, USGS,  1:250 000 Group
            Topographic Maps of Western States, USGS, 1:24 000
            Arizona – Mexico Border Air Photo Series, 1:25 000
            USGA/DMA  1:50 000 – 15 Min Maps

            Census Tracts - 1970, 1980, 1990     
            California Topographic, USGS, Metric 1:100 000
            California Topographic, USGS, Metric 1:25 000
            Topographic Maps, USGS, 1:24 000
            California Rivers
            Surface Management & Minerals Management, by quadrangle
            Pacific Coast Ecological Inventory
            7.5 Minute series – Orthophotoquad maps of California

            Street, Aero photo maps, points of interest, boundaries, and recreation
            Economic/Business information
            Socio/Political Information
            Ethnic Groups 
            SAN DIEGO AREA 
            California  1:250 000
            Grand Canyon  1:250 000
            Hawaiian Islands  1:250 000

 – American Revolution, 1775-1783; Declassified D-Day battle map; Fault activity map of California and adjacent areas

Folded road maps for Southern California, the U.S. states, and selected world cities and regions of interest to travelers: [In boxes numbers 1 – 17]

USGS Geologic Investigations Series:   [In boxes numbers A-1 and A-2]
California Division of Mines and Geology:  [In boxes numbered B through H]

Definition of Terms Used to Describe Maps and Atlases


A map designed for navigation.  Aeronautical charts are used for air navigation, while nautical charts are used on navigable waters.


Lines on a map joining points having equal elevation or depth.


The distance north or south from the equator along parallel lines encircling the earth.  Latitude is expressed in degrees, and perhaps also minutes and seconds.  For example, the latitude of Pomona is 34  04’ N.


A list or table printed in the margin of a map explaining the symbols and print styles used on the face of the map.


An imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the north and south poles at right angles to the equator.  Longitude is expressed in degrees, and perhaps also in minutes and second.  For example, the longitude of Pomona is 117  45’ W.


A great circle on the Earth’s surface passing through both poles at any given place.


One that depicts four-sided areas bounded on the east and west by meridians of longitude, and on the north and south by parallels of latitude.  Each ‘square’ is a quadrangle.


One showing variations in height or depth on the Earth’s surface--such as mountains, valleys, water courses, roads or buildings--by graphic methods including contours, hill shading, and altitude tints.


The ratio between distances on a map and the same distances on the ground.  It may be given as a numerical ratio or by bars marked in feet, miles or kilometers.  Here are some standard scales:

    7.5 minutes               1:24,000         1 inch  =   2000 feet
    15 minutes                1:62,500         1 inch  =   about one mile
    1 x 2 degree              1:250,000      1 inch  =   about 4 miles
    12 x 18 degree          1:2,500,000   1 inch  =   about 40 miles


These are maps showing the elevation of the land, as portrayed by contours, and related information such as flora, waterways, roads, and buildings.  Most topographic maps cover one or more quadrangles.


The United States Geological Survey, maker and publisher of fine maps including the USGS topographic map series.