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Cartographic research online

 Gazetteers / Place Names / Boundaries

Columbia Gazetteer of the World online (in-library use only)
Including both modern and historical place names, this site gives locations for places throughout the world. A description of the place and its history is also often included.

GEOnet Names Server (GNS)
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names' (US BGN) database of foreign geographic feature names, reflecting approved place-name decisions. Approximately 20,000 of the database's features are updated monthly.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN)
Though designed specifically for research in art history and architecture, this structured vocabulary includes all continents and nations of the modern political world, as well as historical places. Placenames compiled from a variety of sources.

Gazetteer of British Place Names
From the Association of British Counties, this listing "contains over 50,000 entries including commonly accepted alternative spellings and Welsh and Gaelic versions". It provides the grid reference and county names, as well as maps and information about historic county boundaries.

The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use
While not a gazetteer, this organization's website provides information on the principles and policies guiding the use of foreign geographical names by the British government. It offers spellings of country names reflecting current British usage, and maintains links to online gazetteers throughout the world.

 General Reference

The Statesmans Yearbook online (in-library use only)
Reliable, detailed information on every country of the world in an easy-to-use format.

The World Factbook
The US Central Intelligence Agency publishes this reference, updated bi-weekly, that provides basic factual information on the geography, people, government, economy, communication, etc. of nations throughout the world. General reference maps are provides and it is in the public domain (may be used freely by anyone at anytime without seeking permission).

Distance calculator
There are many out there, but this is one to find the distance between two cities or locations on the earth calculated in kilometres, miles and nautical miles, mapping the route indicated. For placenames not included here, try the larger database at (which also provides distance between countries). If you wish to calculate the distance between lat-long points, try this one.

World Time Zone Map
This is a simple black-and-white world map of time zones. For current time around the world and additional information, see The World Clock

UK Post Code Finder
Royal Mail provides this online tool to find the postcode for any UK address.

 Other Map Collections in the British Isles

For a comprehensive listing of UK map collections with full contact information, see the listing in A Directory of UK Map Collections (British Cartographic Society).

Bodleian Library, Oxford University
Copyright library. Important antiquarian and modern collections. Ordnance Survey. Special collections.

Cambridge University Library
Copyright library. Important antiquarian and modern collections. Ordnance Survey. Special collections.

National Library of Scotland
Copyright library. Important antiquarian and modern collections. Ordnance Survey. Scottish collections. Special collections.

National Library of Wales
Copyright library. Important antiquarian and modern collections. Ordnance Survey. Welsh collections. Special collections.

National Maritime Museum
Important antiquarian, chart and globe collections.

The National Archives (Public Record Office)
Important collection of maps linked to official records, especially colonial and wartime.

Royal Geographical Society
Important modern collections. Special collections.

Trinity College, Dublin
UK copyright library. Important antiquarian and modern collections. Ordnance Survey. Irish collections. Special collections.

 Cartographic Institutions

National mapping agencies - British Isles
For an international listing of national mapping agencies, see UNESCO's list compiled from R.B. Parry and C.R. Perkins, World Mapping Today, 2nd edition.

Ordnance Survey, Great Britain
Britain's national mapping agency. The website includes online topographic mapping at 1:50,000. This service is very useful for finding a grid reference if you have a place name.

Ordnance Survey, Ireland
Ireland's national mapping organisation.

Ordnance Survey, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland's official mapping organisation.

Scholarly and Professional Organisations - British Isles
For international map societies, see Map Societies Around the World.

British Cartographic Society
Including directories of freelance cartographers and of map libraries in the UK.

Royal Geographical Society
Information on events, research, publications and collections of RGS-IBG, including its large map collection.

 Map Dealers

Please see the directories at Odden's Bookmarks (an extensive listing worldwide), Antique Map Price Record site and the collection of directories at Map History/ History of Cartography.

If you are interested in identifying who can perform map conservation / restoration or receiving guidance in this area, consult the Conservation Register, prepared by the Institute of Conservation, where all recognised conservators are listed for the UK and Ireland.

 Gateway Sites

Oddens' bookmarks
Contains over 11 000 links to sites relating to all aspects of cartography; map collections, dealers in modern and antiquarian mapping, and sources of online mapping. If you are not sure what you are looking for, this is the best place to start.

Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject
This directory site is comprehensive enough to be as a gateway to cartography generally.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet - England
A directory of mailing lists for topics to do with English history and genealogy. Most lists are geographically based (eg county of Middlesex), but others are topical (eg Freedmen in England).

GEN UKI: UK and Ireland Genealogy
This has some good tips on how to begin genealogical research, as well as information about specific county/ national research, and associated organizations and events.