First time, zero rep poster here with what is probably a pretty dumb question; please humor me:
Suppose I want to illustrate a county map for a state in a piece of literature I'm creating. The easiest way to do this, it would seem, is print a state map with county lines off from a quick google image search and trace over this. Question is, is that plagiarism?
Follow up questions: how are any new state maps or graphics of state outlines made legitimately? Are there some sort of surveying national standards for the state outlines on which all state maps are based? Or are a lot of state graphic illustrations created as simply as I was first inclined to create one, by copying another outline of the state?
Sorry, I'm sure this is a stupid question but I plainly need to be told the answer. I've done enough research to give it up and just ask this in a forum of pros.
Thanks in advance to anyone kind enough to field this.