The Robinson Map Library maintains a comprehensive collection of general and political maps for all parts of the world, thematic maps, historical and special interest maps, and maps of major cities.The library also has an extensive collection of highway maps for the US and travel maps from around the world. In total, the map collection consists of about 275,000 items.
Some of the most highly used maps in the collection are those that depict topography, soils, geology, and land use/land cover for all areas of the world.
Topographic map series at various scales include:
In addition to the bound volumes of detailed Wisconsin Soil Surveys published by county, the Map Library has soil maps from around the world. These include:
The Map Library has an extensive collection of geologic maps that cover the world and its regions:
Land use/land cover maps are abundant within the collection, and include multiple copies of some of the most popular Wisconsin maps such as Robert Finley's Map of the Original Vegetation Cover of Wisconsin.
The Robinson Map Library also holds Finley's original hand-painted 3.5ft x 4ft map of the Original Vegetation Cover of Wisconsin that accompanied his Ph.D. thesis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1951.
The library has an extensive collection of land use maps produced by the US Forest Service, the US Geological Survey, the US Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service), and the Bureau of Land Management.
The historic aerial photography collection at the Map Library is also an excellent resource for land use/land cover analysis.
A thematic map shows the spatial distribution of one or more specific data themes for standard geographic areas. The map may be qualitative in nature (e.g., predominant farm types) or quantitative (e.g., percentage population change).
The maps described on this page (topographic, soils, geologic, land use/land cover) are all examples of different types of thematic maps. However, the Robinson Map Library holds many other unique thematic maps including those that show population, economic characteristics, transportation, climate, food, fuel and energy, water, elevation, cartography (map projections, etc.) and cultural history.
Arthur H. Robinson