The goal of this research hub is to make research easier by providing effortless access to publicly available data through familiar, straightforward tools.
They’re the world’s most popular mapping app and search engine, and so very familiar to nearly everyone.
Why not use Google Maps itself rather than the map tools on this website? There are many research topics not covered by Google Maps that lots of people would like to see included. This website aims to fill many of those gaps, such as these topics that are most commonly requested:
- County Lines and What County Am I In?
- City Limits and What City Am I In?
- Civil Townships and What Township Am I In?
- ZIP Codes and What ZIP Code Am I In?
- Section Township Range and What Section Township Range Am I In?
- Elevation and What Is My Elevation?
- Time Zones and What Time Zone Am I In?
- Area Codes and What Is My Area Code?
- Climate Info and Location Explorer
And for the historical researcher or genealogist:
- AncestorSearch and PeopleSearch
- Historical U.S. Counties
- Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker (Google Chrome extension)
- Section Township Range
If the data used by the tools on this website are publicly available elsewhere, why use the tools on this website? In a word, simplicity. It shouldn’t be so cumbersome to see the map you want and the answers you’re looking for. The tools on this website are built so you can get the answers you’re looking for with as few clicks and steps as possible. In most cases, literally one or two clicks.
No downloads, no installation, no importing/exporting required. Just go to the tool you want to use based on your topic of interest (e.g. county lines, city limits, ZIP Codes), and either type a place you’re interested in or zoom on the map, and you have your answer.
Also, be sure and check out the Reference Maps section in the menu for convenient map images by state and county for many of the above topics.
What about the rest of the world? While many of the tools are U.S.-specific, there are a number of tools with broader coverage: The ability to Draw and measure on the map, Elevation, Time Zones, AncestorSearch and PeopleSearch have worldwide coverage; County Lines covers eight countries; and Area Codes covers several. This website will expand global coverage as demand warrants and data availability allows.
Additionally, try out mapBuilder found just below most map tools to build a custom map that you can share a link to! For example, Draw and measure on the map lets you create points, lines and shapes and save your drawings and your map to your account, the Color-code modules let you create county or ZIP Code maps from live-linked spreadsheets, and the Create custom area from a list of ZIP Codes module creates ZIP Code based sales/service territories and delivery areas. Also, the Add custom points to the map module enables you to live-link to a Google Sheet containing points, or import points from Google Earth or Google My Maps.
If you have ideas, questions or comments, feel free to get in touch using the Help | Contact link at the bottom of every page.
Happy mapping and searching!
P.S. Find out more about how you can get access to AD-FREE FULLSCREEN map and search tools!
BIO: Randy Majors studied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at CU Boulder in the early 1990s, and interned at the US Geological Survey. (Think of GIS as the computerized maps that went on to form the foundation of Google Maps and other digital maps). After graduating, he led the development of GIS/geospatial products at both small businesses and a division of a Fortune 500 company. A self-proclaimed map geek, Randy operated a “map stand” while in elementary school (in lieu of a lemonade stand) while also volunteering at the Chamber of Commerce. Randy launched the randymajors.org website in 2006 to share his love of mapping and technology with the world.
* This website has no affiliation with Google LLC. Google Maps™ mapping service, Google™ search, Google Earth Engine™ analytics platform and Google Custom Search™ service are trademarks of Google LLC.