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Thread: Google MAPS as base map

  1. #1

    Default Google MAPS as base map

    Every time i try to do a historical map i find it hard to find a good base map to work on. Yesterday i found this web site where you can use Google maps images.
    Photoshop overlay for Google Maps

    Site is really good and useful but doesnt work for me because in order to see smaller rivers and settlements you need to zoom a lot thus making the map image very small scale and i have no time taking few images and putting them together as a puzzle.
    Does anyone know any other way to get good HD real world regional maps (specifically Drina river - Balkans) on Google maps or somewhere else?


  2. #2
    Guild Adept Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013


    When I have used google maps in the past I have had to do the gather and stitch method which is indeed very time consuming. One must be careful though as google does watermark its map images very faintly.
    Finished Maps: Skenth - Prints Available!
    Works in Progress: Arinthia - region of Skenth

    Need something commissioned? Send me a message!

  3. #3


    Do you know any other place where i can get good base maps? Basically i need map with detail rivers network to help me place settlements.

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
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    May 2009
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
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    Open Street Map
    Natural Earth (Requires some special software though)
    A National Mapping Agency (Ordnance Survey, NRCan, USGS, etc)

    Also, "small scale" is "zoomed out a lot" in cartography jargon, "large scale" is much less zoomed out.

    1/10,000,000 is a much smaller number than 1/10,000. It's those actual scale factors that cartographers are talking about when they say a scale is large or small. The area covered by a map is the "extent".

    You also need to be very aware of licenses. Natural earth, and some of the material produced by some mapping agencies (like the USGS) are public domain. Others are provided under varying licenses which may or may not be usable to you. That includes Google Maps; you can't just trace it and do whatever you want.

  5. #5


    Ok Thanks, but USGS has only maps for US territory. I need base map covering this area (red square on map):
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6


    I found good Austro-Hungarian topographic maps on this site (its over 100 years old and free to use )
    III. katonai felmeres

    But map for area i need is good but i need something a little more extended to the west than it is on this map.

    I tried to combine two maps one next to another but they are badly scanned and im not skilled enough to do that.

  7. #7
    Guild Expert Guild Supporter Lingon's Avatar
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    Dec 2012


    You might be able to use Natural Earth maps. They have vector and raster (pixel) versions, and the raster maps come at three detail levels. You'll also need a projection changer if you don't have one already, like G.Projector.

  8. #8


    Ok thanks for links Lingen, and no i dont have projection changer. And sorry for a dum question but I just didnt figure out what do i have to download from Natural Earth site to get map ???

  9. #9
    Professional Artist
    Join Date
    May 2007


    I found this map that might work as a basemap for your project:

    If that's not the exact right area, there is a clickable index map that you could use to find the right quad here:
    Western Europe AMS Index Map - Perry-Castañeda Map Collection - UT Library Online

  10. #10
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    I still think that the simplest thing to do is to take Printscreens and paste them in photoshop. Maybe it's because I like puzzles

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