Geography: Geography Subject Guide


"Geography is the only subject that asks you to look at the world and try to make sense of it. The field never stops being exciting because that's what geography is all about - trying to make sense of the world."  - Pierce F. Lewis, Geographer 

Geographers study processes and spatial distributions of the physical environment and of human activities. The U's Department of Geography focuses on earth system science (landforms, biogeography,etc.), urban/economic systems (transportation, urban planning, etc.) and geographic information science (GIS, remote sensing, mapping, etc.). To learn more, visit the U of U Department of Geography website


Geography related subject guides

ARC GIS Online

Geospatial Data and Resources

Google Earth

Google Maps

Reconstructing the Past through Utah Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

The Historical GIS of Salt Lake City

Need more information from our GIS specialist? Contact Justin Sorenson at 801-585-7349 or

Justin Sorenson, GIS SpecialistJustin Sorenson, GIS Specialist

Google Scholar

Geography databases

 Geographical Databases 


A comprehensive resource for researchers in the Earth sciences. Provides a single point of access to 46 online journals.



Good for interdisciplinary topics


            Digital Dissertations

Full text dissertations in all fields


       Google Scholar 

Free search of  articles, tech reports, some books; often includes links to full text


       ICPSR Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research 

Social and behavioral science datasets



The GeoRef database, established by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) in 1966, provides access to the most comprehensive geoscience literature of the world. GeoRef contains millions of references to geoscience maps, serial, and non-serial literature.


For additional suggestions see databases by Subject


Quite a few databases will link to a full text version of the original article, look for “Full text” link or logo.  No link doesn’t mean we can't access the item you are looking for; check our catalog or submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request.



Useful links

Need help? Contact us

chat loading...

Head, Graduate & Undergraduate Services

Lis Pankl's picture
Lis Pankl
Pronouns: she/her
Spring 2019 Office Hours:
by appointment
J Willard Marriott Library
RM 1726H

Additional Library Resources

Oxford Reference Online

Large, searchable collection of authoritative dictionaries and subject encyclopedias from Oxford University Press, e.g.: multilingual dictionaries, Dictionary of Geography, Oxford Companion to the Earth.

Encyclopedia of Geographic Information Science

Map Collection
The library has over 200,000 map sheets. We receive virtually all topographic and geologic maps published by the US Geological Survey. We also have geologic maps from many state geological surveys and coverage, at the scale of at least 1:1,000,000, of most other countries. We try to have 1:250,000 topographic coverage of most land areas.
Maps are listed in the library's catalog. Keyword searching is generally the easiest way to find maps:
yellowstone and maps
geology and iceland and maps
Use the narrowest geographic term which best defines your area and then broaden the search as necessary. Berkeley > Alameda County>San Francisco metropolitan area. Map publishing is complicated; we may have coverage of an area as part of a much larger set. Don't hesitate to ask the map or science librarians (581-7533) for help.
Most maps can be checked out.

Government Documents

Federal publications are an excellent source of earth science and statistical information. Ask at the  Level One Information desk for help.

Call numbers of interest to geographers

 Level One, Stacks

G1000-3999 Maps and atlases
QC 800- Meteorology
QE Geology
QH Natural history. Biology

Level Two, Stacks

G 1- 1000 General geography. Geographic methods. GIS. (also Tourism. Exploration)
GA Cartography
GB Physical geography. Geomorphology. Hydrology.
GE Environmental studies
GF Human ecology
HA Statistics
HB Economics. Demography
HE Transportation. Communication.
HT Urban and regional planning


Books can only sit on one shelf, even though they often cover several topics. Documents from the U.S. federal government are arranged by agency. Some formats, like maps or microforms, need special shelving and are housed separately. Electronic resources don’t sit on any shelf at all. All this means it is prudent to use our catalog and indexes. The serendipitous finds when browsing the stacks of a large research library can be rewarding, but it is not an efficient way to do research.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library