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Digital mapping

Electronic map data. The Map Library maintains a collection of geospatial data, cartographic applications, digital aerial photography and scanned-in historic map materials. 

Visualisation of geospatial data

The British Library receives digital mapping data from a variety of sources, and access and management varies according to the data format, location and licensing arrangements.


The Maps Reading Room is the best place to view digital map resources, as many materials require use of specialised software or are limited in their network access. Some map data are only stored, or accessible, on the standalone PC in Maps. All CDs with a "Maps e-media..." shelfmark are stored in the Maps Reading Room, to be loaded and used on the dedicated standalone located next to the Enquiry Desk. The Integrated Catalog can be searched for these titles, or the Maps listing of electronic resources perused. Subscription web resources and locally-networked resources are frequently limited to the Maps Reading Room due to licensing restrictions. 

There are, however, some subscription web resources with cartographic content that are available from all the St. Pancras reading rooms. This is true of online research indices and journals, as well as databases including scanned maps; please refer to the listing of Maps electronic resources for an indication of format and access.  


Due to varying copyright and licensing arrangements, printing is allowed for some, but not all, electronic resources, and is generally limited to non-commercial purposes. Consult staff at the Enquiry Desk for details.