The map collection consists mainly of topographic maps and plans. In addition to this material there is a large amount of thematic mapping. This is mapping which aims to show a particular feature of the landscape or which superimposes other geographical information over the landscape.
The Library holds examples ofgeological mapping from all over the World. Howeverthe main area of speciality is the British Isles. The Library receives allpublications by the British Geological Survey and also has a large collection ofhistorical geology mappingfor Great Britain.
In addition to published land use mapping from throughout the World, the Library also holds published sheets from both the 1st and 2nd national land use surveys.
The fair copies of the land use and vegetation survey are currently being digitised and will be available to view on the Digital Mirror.
In addition the Library is home to theoriginal manuscript working drafts of the 2nd land use survey in Wales. Much of this material is unpublished and this is therefore a valuable source of information on the changing rural landscape of Wales. The base-maps are Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping which has been coloured to show land use.
The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) has recently donated the original mapping from the Habitat Survey of Wales, to the Library. Again OS base-maps have beencoloured, this time to show habitats. This information has now been digitised by the CCW, but to ensure that the original Master Maps are preserved for the future, they were passed to the Library, where they could be suitably stored and made available for future study.
The Finance Act 1909-10allowed government to tax increases in property value when it was sold. As part of the valuation process a set of maps was drawn up. These maps were based on OS maps with the information used by the valuers added inmanuscript.
The Library holds themaps for Cardiganshire and also has some sheets from other counties. For further informationabout the Finance Act visit The National ArchivesWebsite and read the research guide: Valuation Office Records: The Finance (1909-1910) Act
Goad plans are detailed plans of town centres. They were first produced for purposes of fire insurance and are still produced today in electronic format and print-on-demand. They are useful because they are very highly detailed (usually 1:1,000) and provide information on theuse of each building, and often the name of the businessusing it;this is a valuable resource for historical research.
The earliest examples we have are from the 19th century and cover the city centres ofCardiff, Swansea and Newport. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1970s to the1990s and covers not onlyevery major city and town in Britain and Ireland, but alsomany in Western Europe.
More recently the company stopped publishing printed copies and the Library ceased to receive them under legal deposit. The Library has continued to purchase print-on-demand copies of those plans covering Wales.
The Library has aimed toobtainthematic mapping for overseas countries, includinggeological, land use and soil mapping for individual countries. There are alsosome international maps(often produced under the auspicesof UNESCO or otherinternational organisations) that cover, or aim to cover the whole world.
Manynational atlases also consist mainlyof thematic mapping, such as geology,soils, climate, population etc. These can be avaluable source of informationfor thosestudying the environment, development or regional geography.