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Michigan State University

WRA 101 (Hooker): Maps & Geography

Dr. Clarence Hooker's sections

The MSU Map Library

MSU Map Library

Main Library, West Wing, Room 308

Nesting Geographies

  • In the United States, the smallest measured place is a Place or Village (Each place may also be broken further into Census-created units called Census Tracts, Block Groups and Blocks.)
  • The smallest political unit is either a City or Township
  • Every Place, Village, City, or Township is contained within a County (except St. Louis and a few others...and "counties" are called "parishes" in Louisiana)
  • Every County is located within a State.
  • "Regions" are areas that have a shared characteristic and may be written about...Like "The South" or "Northern California" or "Great Lakes" or "Great Plains" or "New England"


Map Resources

Where in the World?

About Maps

1.  See proximity to other cities


2.  See Proximity to Regions

3. See the physical environment

(Lansing, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan are mapped at the same scale.  The two communities appear very different in these topographic maps because Lansing, Ohio consists of very few buildings nestled within steep hills.  Lansing, Michigan is a large city spread over flat ground.)

4.  See Historical Information

County plat books will show the names of landowners for larger parcels (usually farms).  This map shows the farms that used to exist around the intersections of Trowbridge and Mt. Hope which are now owned by Michigan State University.

Below you see another style of land ownership map, this one from Clinton County, New York. 

Contact Me

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Kathleen Weessies
Geosciences Librarian; Social Sciences Coordinator; Head, Map Library
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive E240
Contact: Twitter Page
Subjects: Geography, Geology
Michigan State University