County info added to Section Township Range on Google Maps tool, plus a tip for historical county research

Sometimes it’s hard to determine where you are when using Section, Township and Range Maps.  So to help provide more geographic context when searching for a land parcel, county information has now been added to the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool. For example, let’s do the following “Find parcel” at the bottom of the map: That will show the following map, now including the county name on top as well as dashed gray lines for the county boundaries, like this: Note the county name shown in the upper right (highlighted with the red box above), and the county line … Read more

randymajors.org Web Server Status Update

The randymajors.org website had a few intermittent web server issues today where the website could not be accessed. Fortunately, if you happened to have bookmarked the Ad-Free, Full-Screen Map tools, those versions of the tools WERE NOT affected. UPDATE:  The entire randymajors.org website should be fully functioning again now.  If you visit the website and the page is not appearing, you can try to press Ctrl+F5 on your keyboard to force a browser refresh. Thank you for your patience while this was resolved!

Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULLSCREEN!

Over the years, I’ve had lots of requests for a way to subscribe to the map and search tools on randymajors.org rather than having advertisements displayed. This has been a challenge, as I want to keep the tools free of charge for everyone to use, and the advertising helps offset the significant costs associated with the development and operation of the tools. I’m excited to say that you now have an opportunity to choose what works best for you:      Free map tools supported by advertising (left/top), AD-FREE FULLSCREEN map and search tools (right/bottom) The above screenshots are from … Read more

Have you tried AncestorSearch on Google Search for searching for ancestors (or living people) lately?

QUICK LINK TO THE TOOL:  AncestorSearch on Google Search For a change, this post focuses on Google Search rather than the Google Maps tools on this website. If you’ve tried searching for a mention of your ancestors (or living people) using Google Search, you’ve no doubt run into this little issue from time to time: 175 MILLION results?  OK, this might take a while… Enter AncestorSearch on Google Search, a free search tool that uses Google search enhancements so that you are much more likely to find mentions of the ancestors (or living people) you’re looking for that are otherwise … Read more

Check out the new Custom Maps on Google Maps tool

The new Custom Maps on Google Maps makes it easy to create your own custom Google Map using any combination of ZIP Codes, counties, cities and more! You can use this tool to quickly create: sales territory maps delivery area maps service area maps …all on Google Maps! If your territory is composed of dozens of ZIP Codes, you can choose to ‘merge’ them to show an overall territory boundary.  Then, add your own title to the map, and even choose colors. An example link you create looks like this: https://www.randymajors.org/customgmap?zips=10023,10024,10025,10026&zipboundary=show&title=My+Service+Territory The resulting map would look something like this: Be … Read more

New tool shows what county you are in right now

“What county am I in?” That’s one of the most common Google search terms that people use where randymajors.org appears in Google’s search results page. Given that’s evidently a popular query, I thought I’d make it easy for people to immediately get the answer to their question.  Just go to this page: www.randymajors.org/what-county-am-i-in Or even easier, you can just click this to see what county you’re currently in: what-county-am-i-in.com You’ll get a map with the answer at the top, like this: TIP:  If you’re traveling about and already have the map open, you can just click the “⊕ Locate” button in … Read more

Big upgrade to the Section Township and Range tool: more detail, more flexibility, new labels

After the infrastructure upgrade I mentioned in the last post, the increased speed of the maps enabled me to add much more detail to the very very large map layers (over 12 Gigabytes!) that comprise the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), also known as Section, Township and Range. When you open the tool, you will now be presented with a Google Map overlaid with township and range lines, including labels, such as this: Note the Township and Range labels above.  For example, the box where the red dot is has a label “14N 67W” which is shorthand for “Township 14 … Read more

A quick update on the increased speed of the mapping tools

After some infrastructure upgrades, all of the randymajors.org mapping tools are now operating faster!  In my time tests, I was seeing drawing speeds that were 2.5x to 3x faster than before the upgrade. The very largest of map layers, such as Section Township Range on Google Maps, seem to see the biggest improvement (drawing in 5-6 seconds now vs 25-30 seconds before the upgrade), although other layers such as Historical Counties, County Lines and ZIP Codes also drew about 2x faster that before. So you should on average see the information panel above the maps update a bit faster and … Read more

Off topic: Catch my wife Laura on JEOPARDY! tonight

Tune in to JEOPARDY! tonight to catch my wife Laura displaying her trivia prowess ? (I’m so lucky to have such an adorable smart wife ? ) Also, be sure and check out her wonderful collection of childrens’ stories on Happy Cloud Stories!

Overlay present-day county lines on the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool

Based on an idea from a current user (thanks Steve!), there’s now an option to overlay present-day county lines on top of historical county lines. This gives you the ability to see at a glance if you’re researching in an area and timeframe where the county lines have shifted between the historical date you’re viewing and the present-day.  To use this feature, just check the “Also show present-day county lines” checkbox in the lower left of the map on the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool.  When you check that box, you’ll see thin red lines (present-day county lines) … Read more