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Historical US Coastal Survey Charts

Posted by on April 23, 2012

NOAA’s US Coast Survey Historical Maps

The coastline of the US is important to both shipping and defense. Because of this, the government commissioned charts made of the US coasts. These have now fallen into the hands of the NOAA and they have been scanned.

These charts show nautical items, but also will show where cities, towns, and villages are on the coast line. In some cases, they even draw the location of buildings on the beach areas.

You can find this wonderful deep web resource at


These charts typically cover from 1800 – to current times. There is no guarantee that your local area may be covered, but if you are on the east coast you will have older maps available.

The NOAA archives contain not just the US Coast Survey but other nautical charts as well, like charts around China, Puerto Rico, and the Northwest. Some in the 1700’s. These charts are much larger scale and do not have the refinement of small features like buildings.

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