Questions About Maps
Here are some of the more common questions about maps I’ve received over the years.
From time to time someone writes me to ask how much a map in their possession is worth. I can’t provide an appraisal of a map’s value over the Internet—I’m not even remotely qualified to do so. And, as Chris pointed out when I posted this question generically back in 2005, “free appraisals are worth what you pay for them.” Even access to price listings costs money: OldMaps.com, for example, has a price finding tool, but it’s by subscription—from $12.95 for a single day to $99.95 a year. It isn’t cheap, but then neither are the maps in question, supposedly.
Buying and Selling Maps
I do not buy or sell maps. I frequently link to websites that buy and sell maps, and I carry ads that may buy and sell maps, and that seems to lead to some confusion. Please don’t confuse me with the websites I link to or with my advertisers. Contact them, not me, if you’re interested in their maps.
Finding a Map
I’ve received a number of requests from people who are looking for a specific map, or a map of a specific location. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you find a map. The first thing I’d do is look it up in Google, and you can do that just as well as I can.
But there are several good online collections of maps that could serve as a good starting point, particularly if you’re looking for a specific older map. Try the David Rumsey Map Collection, the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, the National Library of Scotland, or the Library of Congress.
I sometimes get basic geography questions, like the distance between two locations, the capital of a country or some point of geography trivia—something that could very easily be found out by searching the web. Really, I’m too old to be working on high school assignments again.
Obtaining a Map (I’ve Blogged About)
I’ve received several requests asking me how to obtain a high-resolution reproduction or a licensed copy of a map I’ve linked to in one of my entries. I’m almost never the originator of any map-related material on this site (there is occasionally some confusion over this), and can’t provide any assistance. Please contact the owner of the site on which the original map is hosted—I make a point of giving full credit to the creator wherever possible. I appreciate that that may not always be possible, but I’m no more able to contact them than you are.
Questions About The Map Room
Advertising space on The Map Room is not available for purchase. Suspiciously identical requests to purchase said advertising space will be ignored.
See the Reviewing Guidelines page for information about how to send me a copy of your book for review.
Reporters and producers interested in talking to me for a piece on maps should realize that I’m just an informed observer—not a professional, not an expert, not an insider. Still interested? When contacting me, be sure to tell me how quickly you need to hear back from me. As a former reporter myself, I appreciate your time constraints and will do what I can to help; if nothing else, I will try to tell you promptly that I can’t be of use or can’t help you by your deadline.
If you’re looking for an interview, please indicate the media and whether it will be live/on-air.
Although many professionals enjoy reading The Map Room, this website is aimed at a non-professional audience. The purpose of my map blogging isn’t really to report on the geospatial industry (there are others who are much better at it) or announce new projects or products. If I stumble across something amazing, I’ll blog about it, but that’s an irregular and unpredictable thing, and not something susceptible to a PR pitch, you see.
So unless your product is of sufficient interest to that non-professional audience, even to people who don’t buy your product, I won’t write about it. Bottom line, there has to be something of interest beyond your commercial self-interest. Be newsworthy; I don’t provide free advertising.