View Full Version : Using Maps

07-13-2005, 03:24 PM
Hello! I need some help! I am composing a series of non-fiction books. I need to use a few detailed city maps in the books. Does anyone know if there are maps "for the taking" that I can use for publication (general domain)? Or if I will need to purchase rights to use maps from somewhere?

Also - could you point me towards the source of maps that I might use? I am familiar with all the travel agencies and travel books, but I am looking for something like a tourist map of several downtown areas.


07-13-2005, 05:25 PM
I am not aware of any maps that can be used without permission, although I suppose it's possible there would be some old ones that could (?).

Have you been commissioned for the series or are you writing it on spec? If you've been commissioned by a publisher, then I would suggest asking your editor what their general procedure is with things like this. It might be that you need to find the map and clear permission yourself, or you might need to just brief the map (e.g. map of city X, district Y, to include street names).

If you're writing on spec, then I suggest you find the map you would like to use (or, if possible, a number of alternatives that would work) and note down the source and any copyright information. When you get an offer for publishing the book, you can let the publishers know the situation and ask them whether they require you to clear permission or whether they will do so themselves.

Hope that helps a bit.

(I don't know of specific map sources, but I imagine you could find a few with a google search. Or if you are looking for printed maps, try your local or library, or Amazon if you want to buy a copy.)

07-20-2005, 12:13 PM
Howdy, RV!

I may be an expert in using maps, but not on their copyrights, etc. However, I think contacting the various Chamber of Commerce offices of the cities, towns, and places you wish to 'map out' would probably be your best bet. And noting the sources in footnotes, indexes, or what-have-you would be much easier than say: citing Atlas here; Rand McNally there; World Map this; Local Map that!

Whatever the case: Good Luck!