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Digital Maps: Cite

How to Cite Maps

To cite a map or aerial photograph, use the same basic style guidelines as you use to cite your books and articles (for example: MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style). However, maps/aerial photographs have some unusual elements, such as scale, that should be included.

Note: You will likely need to modify the form of these examples to conform to a particular style.

A single sheet map:

Map Author. Map title. Edition. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date.


U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Madagascar. 1:3,465,000. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1973.

A map in a book:

Map Author. Map title. Scale. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. In: Book Author. Book title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date, page.


Fig. 5: Major Seaports and Transportation Axes in Southern and South Central Africa (1978). 1.6 cm. = 500 km. In: Wiese, Bernd. Seaports and Port Cities of Southern Africa. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH., 1981, p. 23.

Map in a journal article:

Map author. Map title. Scale. In: Article author. "Article title," Journal title, Volume (Date): page.


U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. Yellowstone National Park; From Surveys Made Under the Direction of F. V. Hayden, U.S. Geologist and Other Authorities, 1871. Scale not given. In: Walsh, Jim. "Exploration and Mapping of Yellowstone National Park," Meridian, 3 (1990): 14.

Adapted from this excellent Dartmouth College Library guide on citing cartographic resources.

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