Telling a Story Through
Highway and Planning Maps
Introduction to History through Maps
The goal of this section of California Highways is to use actual
and planning maps from various years to tell the highway history of
various regions of the state. Choose one of the areas below to start your
The following are some additional maps of interest that aren't covered by
the pages above:
Actual Maps: California
Actual Maps: Regional (as
Other Useful Map
- Los Angeles Public
Library Map Collection. The map collection is over one
hundred years old, contains more than 225,000 physical items and
represents a wide scope, including local, national and international
cartography. Selections in this online collection focus on maps
depicting Los Angeles and the West. Look for more maps to be digitized
and added soon.
Club of Southern California collection, 1892-1963 at USC.
The Automobile Club of Southern California Collection provides
documentation on the region's transportation history, especially Los
Angeles from 1892 to 1963, from the Auto Club's Corporate Archives. The
Collection includes: a selection of 98 historic strip maps, illustrating
the development of major Southern California routes; 498 photographs
from the general photograph collection, depicting buildings, businesses,
streets, and points of interest; and 650 photographs from engineering
notebooks along with searchable transcriptions of the engineers' notes
documenting the conditions of streets, highways, bridges, railroads,
- Old Maps Online.
Easy to use gateway to historical maps.
- David Rumsey Map
Collection. This site is more than just California
State Highway maps. But he does have an
extensive collection of California maps.
Historical Highway Maps. A large collection, from the
Nevada Department of Transportation, with historical state highway maps
of Nevada and much more. This is relevant for California both for the
continuation of routes into the state.
- Maps of the Past.
Maps of the Past is the source for historical maps. We have
painstakingly restored 6,000 antique maps already and others are
available on request. If you are looking for historical maps of any area
in the United States, call us first! Our library and archives include
antique map reproductions by the finest mapmakers in history: William
Rand McNally, Thomas Jefferys, Mathias Seutter, The Visscher Family,
Henry Popple, William Faden, Herman Moll, H. F. Walling, Simon Martinet,
Fielding Lucas, William Blaeu, S. Augustus Mitchell, Jeremiah Greenleaf,
David Burr, Joseph H. Colton, George Cram, Anthony Finley, Henry Tanner,
Mathew Carey, Frederick W. Beers, Steven Long, and Robert Knox Sneden.
We're proud to be the exclusive holder of rights to a series of maps
from Robert Knox Sneden's detailed personal history of the Civil War.
- Historic Map Works.
Based in Portland Maine, Historic Map Works, LLC is an Internet company
formed to create a historic digital map database of North America and
the world. Drawing on the largest physical collection of American
property atlases of its type, it is our aim to be the single best online
destination for map enthusiasts and researchers alike.
University Map Collection. The maps in this collection
pertain to the University campus, to other lands owned by Jane and
Leland Stanford or the University, and to adjacent communities. Here's an
Jose Library Digital Map Collection.
Maps of the Bay Area (Berkeley Library).
Vintage Maps: Old California Maps. Although the maps
are for sale, they are also viewable: when you click into a map page and
use the zoom button... you can see all kinds of details down to specific
street names, property owner names, business names, etc.
Historical Images of San Francisco. All sorts of mapped
images of San Francisco Streets.
Highway Motor Vehicle Use Map. For routes in or
traversing National Forests, this shows the forest route numbers, and
often, it clearly shows county, state, federal, and local mountainways.
Guides American Roads: City Maps. Features old city
maps from various sources such as Official Automobile Blue Books and ALA
Green Guides. This includes a number of maps for California cities.
Caltrans GIS Resources and Tools:
Map Posting and Usage
- Current commercially available maps will not be posted in their
entirety, although small portions may be used for discussion and
teaching purposes. These portions will not be full size.
- State highway maps will not be posted in their entirety,
although portions may be used for discussion and teaching purposes.
- Copyright will be respected as much as possible, although
excerpts from copyrighted material may be used for discussion and
- The source for a map will always be indicated, if known, with
the exception being maps derived from Google Maps and the Caltrans
Postmile Tool, which uses Google Maps.
- This site has no control over maps posted on sites not part of
the California Highways web structure.
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Development - 1940s
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Maintained by: Daniel P.