New tool shows Civil Townships on Google Maps

Check out the new Civil Townships tool to see township boundaries on Google Maps, with an option to also see township name labels on the map.

Civil townships are active levels of government in about 20 states.  They are typically referred to as “towns” in New England, New York and Wisconsin, and are “charter townships” in Michigan.  There are an additional several states beyond the 20 that have “inactive” townships, meaning they have recognizable names that the locals may refer to, but that do not serve a governmental purpose.  Long story short, all of these flavors of townships are shown on the new Civil Townships map tool.

Here’s an example from McLean County, Illinois, with the “Show township labels” also enabled in the lower left corner of the map (labels may take several seconds to draw, so please be patient):

Example of Civil Townships with labels checked

A few other highlights of the Civil Townships tool:

  • The info bar at the top left shows the township name, county and state where you clicked the map.
  • The info bar at the top right shows the Census class code (explained further down on the map tool page) as well as the area of the township in square miles.
  • In the lower left, you can also choose to show city limits and county lines on the map.

Note that these other tools on the website also have an option to “Show US townships” in the lower left corner of the map:  What Township Am I In? (shows your township based on your current location), City Limits, County Lines, ZIP Codes and Historical U.S. Counties.  However, the Civil Townships map tool is the ONLY tool where township name labels can be shown on the map.*

* If you’re looking for historical county maps, you can use the interactive Historical U.S. Counties map tool or see a listing of all Historical U.S. County Maps by state by year. On the historical county map tools, there is also an option to overlay present-day civil townships, and if you turn labels on with townships visisble, then both the historical U.S. county names and the civil townships names will be shown.

Don’t need an interactive map?  You can also see static images of Civil Townships by state in the new Reference Maps section of the website.  Keep an eye out for more detailed county-level township and city limit map images in the future.

Looking for the other type of township?  Use the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool.

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