Article: New Mapping of Western North America: Reboot in the Works

<< previous   issue toc   next >>

New Mapping of Western North America: Reboot in the Works

By Ken Rockwell

WAML’s Executive Board recently decided to attempt a revival of the Information Bulletin’s feature listing newly published maps from our principal region.  When I went part-time in 2019 and relinquished serving as the feature’s editor, it was hoped that someone else would pick up the responsibility, but that did not work out.  But when, during the 2022 meeting, the Board put out a call for a new volunteer, Mike Smith at the University of California-San Diego, stepped up.  I contacted Mike and volunteered to advise him as needed.  I emphasized that he does not have to follow my usual procedures for compiling the list, which attempted to be exhaustive but could also be exhausting!

Reviewing the past history of the “New Mapping” feature [which you can read about in the IB, v. 49, no. 1 (July-Oct. 2017)], I noted that in its early versions, WAML members from different states would report on new resources from their states or regions as they found them.  That system was never universal, however, and by the late 1990s, only a few people actively sent such reports to the feature editor.  (A shout-out here to Linda Newman of Reno for keeping on top of Nevada’s state geologic map output!)  It would be nice if we can revive this practice and help Mike out in noting new products, whether printed maps, electronic versions available online, or interactive geospatial resources.  For my part, I will keep track of Utah, and I challenge others to monitor their own states. 

An important source for new mapping is the state and provincial geological survey or equivalent department.  I regularly checked for new publications at these agencies’ websites, and I list their current links below to facilitate potential state volunteers’ participation in the “New Mapping” endeavor.  It will also allow readers of the IB to catch up on recent publications that missed getting recorded in the “New Mapping” feature.

Commercial outdoor recreation maps are another major category of new maps. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a relatively new map publisher of which I became aware since the end of my editorship in 2019:  Outdoor Trails Maps, based in Centennial, Colorado.  Founded in 2017 with the goal of “creating user-friendly maps and navigation products designed to meet the needs of hikers and backpackers,” the company offers a 16-sheet set focused on Colorado’s highest mountains—the “Colorado 14ers Map Series”—and 39 separate maps in its series covering official Wilderness Areas.  Check out their offerings at their website:

* * * * *

Websites for State geologic mapping agencies and their publications lists

(Addresses are current as of October 2022, but they have been known to change over time as websites are revised.  Note that many of these agencies offer FREE downloads of their maps, as well as sales of physical copies.  They may also have listings of publications from other agencies, especially the U.S. Geological Survey. –KR)

Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (Fairbanks, AK)
New reports:

Alberta Geological Survey (Edmonton)

  • Website:
  • New items may appear in the “Interactive Apps and Maps” section, but also see “What’s new.”

Arizona Geological Survey (Tucson)

British Columbia Geological Survey Branch (Victoria, BC)

California Geological Survey (Sacramento)

  • Website:
  • The “Publications” page has a “Publications announcements” section where newly published maps will be noted in blog-style, newest announcements at the top.

Colorado Geological Survey (Denver)


Idaho Geological Survey (Moscow)

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (Butte)

USGS-published maps are also listed here.

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (Reno)

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (Socorro)

Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (Portland)

  • Website:
  • On their “Publications Center page, there is a running list of most recent products on the right.  Or check individual series, particularly “Geologic Map Series” and “Open-file Reports.”  There are listed with newest products at the top.

Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (Austin)

  • Website:
  • See the publications “store” and search the STATEMAPS section, where most new map products are listed.  Use the “Sort by” pull-down menu, selecting “Reference: Highest first.”

Utah Geological Survey (Salt Lake City)

Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources (Olympia)

Wyoming State Geological Survey (Laramie)

(Again, note that addresses and access points are subject to change by the responsible agency.)

Author: Ken Rockwell
Metadata Cataloger
(Semi-retired & Former Editor of the New Mapping of Western North America)
University of Utah, Marriott Library

Bio: a librarian at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library.  He oversees its public map collection in addition to his main responsibility of metadata work on the Marriott’s Digital Library.