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Topographic maps of the Americas

Topographic Maps

A topographic map provides a detailed graphic representation of the natural and man-made features found on the earth’s surface. Topographic maps use contour lines to portray the shape and elevation of the terrain on a two-dimensional surface. Standard symbols and styles are used to identify general physical and cultural information such as mountains, lakes, vegetation, roads, and railways.

A topographic map is usually published as part of a larger map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map for a defined area. Most countries of any significant size have several topographic map series, produced at different scales.

 

Canada

National Topographic System (NTS)

The most frequently used topographic maps in the collection are the Canadian National Topographic System 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 series. Current edition paper NTS maps may be available at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Please contact deena [dot] yanofsky [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Deena Yanofsky) for more information. Superseded (earlier) editions are located in storage and available for consultation by request.

Digital scanned copies of current NTS 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 map sheets are available for free public download via GeoGratis. Both series are also available as vector geospatial data.

Other print maps available are the discontinued Canadian National Topographic Series at the scales of 1:25 000, 1:125 000, and 1:126 700, 1:500 000 and 1:1 000 000. Coverage varies by series. Please consult the indexes below for specific details.


SeriesDetailsIndex
1:1 000 000 World Aeronautical Chart (WAC).
Series discontinued, replaced by International Map of the World (IMW) series.
In library.
1:500 000 Series discontinued, replaced by air charts. 1:500 000 Index (shapefile) [.zip]
1:500 000 Index (Google Earth) [.kmz]
1:250 000 Complete coverage of Canada. 1:250 000 Index (Google Earth) [.kmz]
1:125 000 Series discontinued.
1:50 000 Colour maps Complete coverage of Canada.
1:50 000 Monochromes Series discontinued.
1:50 000 Half-sheets Series discontinued.
1: 25 000 Series discontinued. 1:25 000 Index (shapefile) [.zip]
1:25 000 Index (Google Earth) [.kmz]

Historical National Topographic System

McGill Library also holds several historical topographic map series. These maps are located in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and are available for consultation by request. Please contact deena [dot] yanofsky [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Deena Yanofsky) for more information. The links below provide lists of specific maps held for each series.

SeriesLocation
1:506 880 (1 Inch : 8 Miles) Storage
1:126 720 (1 Inch : 2 Miles) Storage
1:63 360 (1 Inch : 1 Mile) Storage

Quebec

SeriesIndexLocation
1:20 000 Index Map Collection

Greenland

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
AMS C401 1944 1:500 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 7
AMS C501 1957 1:250 000 20% map icon Int. Topo. 7
  1939-76 1:250 000 80% map icon Int. Topo. 7

Mexico

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
  1957 1:500 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 1
  1981 1:250 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 1

Central America

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
AMS E503 1968 1:250 000 26% map icon Int. Topo. 1

Belize

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 649 1980 1:250 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 2
E552 1963 1:250 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 2
E755
DOS 4499
1976 1:50 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 2

Costa Rica

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E561 1970 1:200 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 2
E763 1983 1:50 000 99% map icon Int. Topo. 2

Guatemala

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E754 1988 1:50 000 97% map icon Int. Topo. 2

Panama

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
  1978 1:250 000 100% map icon Int. Topo. 2
E762 1993 1:50 000 62% map icon Int. Topo. 2

Argentina

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
  var. 1:500 000 83% map icon Int.Topo. 2
11723 1953-73 1:250 000 7% map icon Int.Topo. 2
  1948-53 1:100 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 2
  1949-56 1:25 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 2

Bolivia

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
H531 var. 1:250 000 21% map icon Int.Topo. 2
H731 var. 1:50 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 2

Brazil

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
  var. 1:1 000 000 18% map icon Int.Topo. 2

Chile

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1971-75 1:500 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 3
var. 1:250 000 94% map icon Int.Topo. 3
1:25 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Colombia

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
var. 1:100 000 17% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Guyana

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E791 var. 1:50 000 26% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Guyane (French Guiana)

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1947-51 1:100 000 65% map icon Int.Topo. 3
var. 1:50 000 29% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Peru

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
var. 1:250 000 89% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Venezuela

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1962-70 1:100 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Anguilla

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 443 1973 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
DOS 343 1961 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Antigua and Barbuda

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
Antigua E 703
DOS 406
1977 1:50 000 100% map icon G5051 E635 1977 G7
1952 1:25 000 50% map icon G5051 C222 1952 G7 East
Barbuda DOS 357 1970 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
DOS 257 1970-71 1:10 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

The Bahamas

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
Bahamas DOS 358 1962-64 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 3
DOS 158 1961 1:2 500 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 3

Barbados

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
OSD 2961 1989 1:50 000 100% map icon G5141 E635 1989 G7
E703
DOS 418
1958-1993 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
OSD 218/1 1986 1:10 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
DCS 18 1955-56 1:10 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

British Virgin Islands

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
British Virgin Islands E633
DOS 546
1963 1:100 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
E837
DOS 346
1959-77 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
Beef Island 1952 1:5 000 100% map icon G5022.B4 C222 1952 G7

Cayman Islands

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 328 1965-66 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Dominica

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E703
DOS 451
1963 1:50 000 100% G5101.C224 1963 G7
DOS 351 1991 1:50 000 100% G5101 E635 1991 G7
E803 1978 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Dominican Republic

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E733 1962-68 1:50 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Grenada

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 995 1980 1:150 000 100% G5131 C1 1980 G7
E703
DOS 442
1966 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
E703
DOS 442
1979 1:50 000 100% G5131 C222 1979 G7
E803
DOS 342
1979 1:25 000 100% G5131 C222 S25 G7

Guadeloupe

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1954-69 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1969 1:20 000 94% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Jamaica

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
Kingston E922 1972 1:10 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
Jamaica DOS 602
Series 521
1966 1:250 000 100% map icon G4961 C1 1966 G7
E721 1958-73 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
DOS 301/1 1971 1:25 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 4
DOS 201/1 1958 1:12 500 9% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1970 1:12 500 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 4

La Martinique

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1958 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1955 1:20 000 96% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Montserrat

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 359 1967 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Puerto Rico

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1940-53 1:30 000 97% map icon Int.Topo. 4
var. 1:20 000 81% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Saint Kitts and Nevis

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E703
DOS 443
1979 1:50 000 100% G5041 C224 1978 G7
DOS 343 1975 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Saint Lucia

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
E743 1964 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1991 1:50 000 100% G5111 E635 1991 G7
DOS 345 1981 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 1991 1:50 000 100% G5121 E635 1991 G7
Grenadines E803 1968-69 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
E802 1967-69 1:10 000 94% map icon Int.Topo. 4
Saint Vincent E703 1968 1:50 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
E803 1973 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Trinidad and Tobago

RegionSeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
Trindad and Tobago 1926-27 1:50 000 67% map icon Int.Topo. 4
Trinidad 1944 1:62 500 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1970-77 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1962-63 1:10 000 15% map icon Int.Topo. 4
Tobago 1969 1:47 500 100% G5161.E635 1969 T7
1961-63 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4
1964-66 1:10 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

Turks and Caicos Islands

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
DOS 609 1971 1:200 000 100% map icon G4985 1971 G7
1968-69 1:25 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 3
1971-73 1:10 000 8% map icon Int.Topo. 3

United States Virgin Islands

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1982 1:24 000 100% map icon Int.Topo. 4

West Indies

SeriesDatesScaleCoverageILocation
1955 1:250 000 <5% map icon Int.Topo. 3

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