Showing posts with the label what county am I in

Quick Links: County Maps of all 50 U.S. States

If you ever need a map showing the counties of just one state, complete with county name labels, you can find links to those on the aptly titled County Maps of all 50 U.S. States page.

For example, clicking the Iowa County Map link on that page will take you to the County Lines on Google Maps tool already filtered to show just Iowa counties, complete with labels.  It looks like this:

Once on the page, you can zoom in, turn on city limits and townships in the lower left corner, and so on.

Also, if you need to find the county you are currently in (based on your mobile device's location), try the What County Am I In? tool.  And companion tools What City Am I In? and What Township Am I In? -- they do what they say on the tin. ;)

Hope these quick links make it easier to get to the state county map that you need!

AD-FREE FULLSCREEN Map and Search Tools Now Available Using Any Major Credit or Debit Card

Now you can get access to ad-free fullscreen map and search tools by making a small monthly contribution using any major credit or debit card.  A PayPal account is no longer required (but you may optionally use one if you wish).

Once you click the "Contribute" button, as shown below, you'll be taken to a page hosted on PayPal to process the transaction:  

On that page, you can either login and pay via PayPal or you can click the "Pay with Debit or Credit Card", shown here: 

I hope this is a useful option for the many people who have asked me about this.

Happy mapping and searching!

Option to show businesses, attractions and other points of interest on all map tools

The map tools on start with a clean map, such as this from the What City Am I In? map tool, where city names and neighborhood names appear:

What City Am I In map tool

Now you can choose to show points of interest, businesses, attractions and more by clicking the POI button in the upper right corner of the map.  When you click the button, Google's default place listings appear, with attractions typically showing first, as shown below.

What City Am I In map tool with POIs

As you zoom in further, more points of interest, businesses and more will appear.  Current place information (such as temporary closures, etc.) appears with the label.  Click the label for more detailed information and to pop open a place listing in Google Maps.

What City Am I In POIs detail

To get back to a clean map, just click either the Map or Satellite button in the upper right corner.

The POI button is now available on all map tools.

Which U.S. states have which levels of local government...and why should I care?

This topic is more complicated than it sounds, so I'll attempt to keep it high level.

Whether you're doing present-day or historical research about a place, it's important to know which levels of local government exist in the state you are researching (e.g. counties, cities, townships).  Why should you care?

  • It may determine which place houses the records you're looking for
  • The exact location often determines which local taxes are levied and which local laws are applicable 
  • It determines who has jurisdiction for a given location (e.g. police, sheriff, etc.)
In addition to providing some definitions, I'll also point you to the Google Map tools on this website that map each level of local government.

What is Township and Range?

I'll get this one out of the way first, as it's often a source of confusion. "Township and range" is NOT a form of local government (not to be confused with "civil townships", covered later).  Instead, "township and range (and section)" is used to establish boundaries for land ownership in many states.  "Township and range" may also be called a "survey township", and is part of the Public Land Survey System (also called the Rectangular Survey System).  Use the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool to explore "township and range."  

Shaded in red below are the states that use the "township and range" system (plus Alaska):
Map of U.S. states that use Township and Range
Map of the U.S. states that use Township and Range

What are counties?

OK, after that jumble of terms, let's move on to the easiest form of local government below the state level:  counties.  According to Wikipedia, a county is "an administrative or political subdivision of a state that consists of a geographic region with specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority."  Counties exist in all 50 U.S. states (except it can't be that simple:  rather than counties, Louisiana has parishes and Alaska has boroughs).  

Use the County Lines on Google Maps tool to see present-day counties or the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool to explore historical county boundaries for any historical date.  Use the What County Am I In Right Now tool to find out what county you're standing in.  

Here is a map showing all counties in the lower 48 states:
Map of U.S. showing county lines
Map of the U.S. showing county lines

What are townships?

"Townships" (also called "civil townships") are "a widely used unit of local government in the United States that is subordinate to a county. The term town is used in New England, New York, and Wisconsin to refer to the equivalent of the civil township in these states. Specific responsibilities and the degree of autonomy vary based on each state." (Michigan uses "charter townships" instead.)  "Civil townships" are not to be confused with "township and range," explained above.  

Several tools on this website show "civil townships" by checking the "show townships" checkbox in the lower left of these map toolsCity Limits on Google Maps, County Lines on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps, and Elevation on Google Maps.  Use the What Township Am I In tool to see what township you're presently standing in.  Be sure and read about the "Class Codes" described below the city limits map tool for exceptions to what is shown when you view "townships".  

Shaded in green below are the states that have active "civil townships" (several other states, not shown here, have inactive townships, meaning they don't serve a local government purpose):
Map of U.S. showing active civil townships
Map of the U.S. showing active civil townships

What is a City and what are City Limits?

So as to not continue down a rabbit hole, this will be the last form of local government described. 

Cities typically refer to "incorporated places", which are "a type of governmental unit incorporated under state law as a city, town (except the New England states, New York, and Wisconsin), borough (except in Alaska and New York), or village, and having legally prescribed limits, powers, and functions. Requirements for incorporation vary widely among the states."

"City limits" refers to the defined boundary or border of a city.  When a city adds new land into the city limits, that is referred to as annexation.  Further quoting from Wikipedia, "property within a city limit is subject to city taxation and city regulation, and expects city services. Areas outside any city's limit are considered to be unincorporated, and in most U.S. states they are by default regulated and taxed by the county. In others, areas outside a city's limit fall within another type of local government, such as the civil township." 

The main tool to see city limits is City Limits on Google Maps, although several other tools have a checkbox in the lower left to show "city limits".  To check if you're currently standing in the city limits, use the Am I In City Limits tool.  

Shaded in blue below is a map of all "city limits" (aka "incorporated places" discussed here):
Map of U.S. showing city limits
Map of the U.S. showing city limits of incorporated places

Despite this article being over 800 words long, I've attempted to keep my promise of keeping this high level :)  But it can be a complicated topic:  For instance, as you can see from the above maps, there are many states that have both "township and range" and "civil townships", while there are other states that have neither.  

There are hundreds if not thousands of details and exceptions to the above definitions, and they vary from state to state.  At a minimum, hopefully this article helps explain which map tools to use on this website to view the various levels of local government (plus township and range).

Feel free to point out important exceptions to the above definitions in the comments section below.

Now you can get access to an AD-FREE version of AncestorSearch on Google Search too!

Back in December, I announced a way to get access to all of the map tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN.

I'm pleased to announce an AD-FREE option is now available for AncestorSearch on Google Search as well!

The functionality is identical, but with no ads:

The ad-free versions of the map and search tools are formatted to work equally well on your smartphone or tablet too!

All the details are on this page:  NEW:  Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN!

GOOD NEWS:  If you have already signed up for access to the ad-free map tools, you now automatically have access to the ad-free search tools as well!  Just look for the "Login to Ad-Free Version" link in the lower-left corner of each map and search tool.

Use your smartphone to instantly know what City, Township and County you are currently in

Have you tried the What County Am I In? tool?  Using your smartphone, it quickly lets you know what county you are currently in where you are standing or sitting right now.

And now, the What County Am I In? tool has been enhanced to also let you know what city you are in (if you are inside incorporated city limits), and what township you are in (if you are in a township).

When you go to the tool's web page (, you'll see a map like the following, and the listing of the city, township and county you are presently in:
What County Am I In?

In the above, county lines are also shown, and if you check the options in the lower left, you can also see the township boundaries and city limits on the map:
What Township Am I In

What City Am I In?

When you first use the tool, you will likely get asked for permission to use your current location, like this:

For the tool to function, you must allow permission to know your location.  (Note, your location is not stored by this website, but only used once to determine your city, township and county.)

There are a number of reasons why knowing your current county (or city or township) may be useful, including:

  • determining if you're in your county-based sales territory (or city or township)
  • recording city, township and county information when conducting field research
  • performing volunteer/emergency work
  • determining jurisdiction
  • calculating the correct sales tax
  • noting the city, township and county when doing various hobbies such as geocaching

This is evidently a pretty popular question, as Google search console shows thousands of people seeing this website listed in their search results when they search for:

  • what/which county am i in
  • what township am in in
  • what county am i in now
  • am i in the city limits
  • am i within the city limits

Details:  The location is based on your smartphone's GPS location, and will typically be more accurate when you have both cellular service and WiFi turned on.  Of course, the tool should not be used for legal or land survey purposes, but it's a quick and easy way to check jurisdictions with reasonable accuracy.

County info added to Section Township Range on Google Maps tool, plus a tip for historical county research

Sometimes it's hard to determine where you are when using Section, Township and Range Maps.  So to help provide more geographic context when searching for a land parcel, county information has now been added to the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool.

For example, let's do the following "Find parcel" at the bottom of the map:
Find Parcel on Section Township Range on Google Maps Tool

That will show the following map, now including the county name on top as well as dashed gray lines for the county boundaries, like this:

Note the county name shown in the upper right (highlighted with the red box above), and the county line is just to the left of the blue dot on the map.  So as of today, that parcel is located in Elmore County, Idaho.

But what if you're doing historical research and want to know what county that exact location was part of in December 20, 1879 when your ancestor moved there?  Here's how to find out:

Highlight the Longitude, Latitude numbers and type Ctrl+C to copy them to your clipboard (highlight just the numbers as shown below):

Now, go over to the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool.  Once it loads, simply click into the "Search places" box above the map, type Ctrl+V to paste the values from the clipboard, and choose the first item that appears:

Then simply type 12/20/1879 in the "As of date" box at the top of the map, and feel free to zoom in for a closer look:

You can see that parcel (based on that longitude, latitude pasted) was located in now-extinct Alturas County, Idaho Territory as of 20 Dec 1879.

I hope this addition of county information is useful, and now you know another way to search for places as well, this time using longitude, latitude!

For those who have read this far, if you're interested in Ad-Free, Full-Screen Map and Search Tools, you now have an option to get access to that!  Learn more about it here:  NEW: Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN!

Check this post for more background on the Public Land Survey System, aka Township Range, aka Congressional Townships.

Wishing you and your families and friends a wonderful holiday season!

Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULLSCREEN!

Over the years, I've had lots of requests for a way to subscribe to the map and search tools on rather than having advertisements displayed.

This has been a challenge, as I want to keep the tools free of charge for everyone to use, and the advertising helps offset the significant costs associated with the development and operation of the tools.

I'm excited to say that you now have an opportunity to choose what works best for you:

Free map tools supported by advertising, OR...
Ad-free fullscreen version of County Lines on Google Maps tool
Make a small monthly contribution to enjoy AD-FREE FULLSCREEN map and search tools

The above screenshots are from the County Lines on Google Maps tool, but ALL map and search tools on now have an ad-free, fullscreen version like what is shown on the right side above.*

Here's how the ad-free version works:

  1. You decide how much you want to contribute as part of an automatic monthly subscription.  ALL DOLLAR AMOUNTS give you access to ALL map and search tools; the dollar amounts shown below are suggestions based on how many tools you use.
  2. You get access to ad-free fullscreen versions of ALL map and search tools for any dollar amount you contribute
  3. NEW!  The recurring monthly contribution can be set up using ANY MAJOR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD or you can use your PayPal account.  You can cancel your contribution at any time and go back to using the free map and search tools supported by advertising. 

Contribute here: Research Hub logo
A small monthly contribution gives you access to ALL
Google Account e-mail*:
* Requires a Google Account to sign in to the Ad-Free map & search tools
Or, say thank you with a one-time contribution: 
Note, the one-time contribution does NOT provide ad-free access nor include any of the benefits shown at this link, but is much appreciated to help support the development and maintenance of the tools on this website

Upgraded functionality to the Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker Chrome extension for Contributors

NEW!  Are LOCATION ERRORS in your tree keeping you from finding records?

TREE FACT-CHECKING:  In addition to the current functionality on and search forms, being a Contributor adds Auto-Checker functionality to all of the U.S. locations in all of the facts on all Person profile pages in trees!  The screenshot below shows an example (click for a larger view):

Plus, when you link through to the maps as shown above, you'll be using the ad-free fullscreen maps!  To contribute, simply click the yellow Contribute button in the blue form above.

  • Once you contribute, you'll receive a login email right away giving you access to the ad-free fullscreen map tools; login using your Google Account email (usually a gmail address).
  • Then, click the Auto-Checker blue Chrome extension icon in the upper right of your browser and check the box at the bottom that says "I am a Research Hub Contributor".  
  • Now go to any person profile page on any family tree and you'll automatically see the enhanced Auto-Checker functionality next to each fact containing a U.S. location on the page, as shown in the screenshot above!

I hope you enjoy this option.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Happy mapping and searching!

* The ad-free version is available for ALL MAP AND SEARCH TOOLS, including:

Check out the new Custom Maps on Google Maps tool

The new Custom Maps on Google Maps makes it easy to create your own custom Google Map using any combination of ZIP Codes, counties, cities and more!

You can use this tool to quickly create:

  • sales territory maps
  • delivery area maps
  • service area maps

...all on Google Maps!

If your territory is composed of dozens of ZIP Codes, you can choose to 'merge' them to show an overall territory boundary.  Then, add your own title to the map, and even choose colors.

An example link you create looks like this:,10024,10025,10026&zipboundary=show&title=My+Service+Territory

The resulting map would look something like this:

Be sure and read the full instructions starting at "How do you create your own sales territory, delivery area, or service area map based on ZIP Codes?

Some websites that make use of this custom map functionality

New tool shows what county you are in right now

"What county am I in?"

That's one of the most common Google search terms that people use where appears in Google's search results page.

Given that's evidently a popular query, I thought I'd make it easy for people to immediately get the answer to their question.  Just go to this page:

Or even easier, you can just click this to see what county you're currently in:

You'll get a map with the answer at the top, like this:
what county am I in

TIP:  If you're traveling about and already have the map open, you can just click the "⊕ Locate" button in the upper right corner of the map to update your location on the map.

Why might this be useful?

Well, if you're currently at home or your work office, you very likely already know what county you are in.  But if you're traveling, you might want to use your mobile phone to determine what county you are currently in.  Based on user survey results from this past summer, users commonly want to know their current county for these purposes, to name a few:
  • house hunting/real estate
  • determining sales territory
  • field research
  • volunteer/emergency work
  • determining jurisdiction
  • sales tax
  • various hobbies such as geocaching
  • general interest
For this to work, you must have location services enabled on your mobile phone/browser/computer, and if asked "Allow to use your current location?", answer yes.
Hope this makes it one step easier to find out what county you are in!

Now feel free to add City Limits to your County Maps -- and actually see what's going on!

This enhancement pertains to the County Lines on Google Maps and Elevation on Google Maps tools.

As you may already know, you can choose to show US City Limits on your county lines map by checking the "Also show US city limits" checkbox in the lower left corner of the map.

If you've done that before, and happened to be looking in a busy metro area, you get a somewhat jumbled mess of red lines, making it hard to distinguish counties and cities.  Here's what it used to look like:
City Limits on County Lines on Google Maps, all red lines

Now, when you check the "Also show US city limits" checkbox, you can still see the red county outlines, AND now you get a colorful array of cities gracefully outlined in light grey:
City Limits on County Lines on Google Maps, colorized

Hopefully this way it's easier to distinguish the county lines (red) from the cities (light gray, lightly filled in with pastel colors).  But who am I kidding, it's New York, so it's still going to look kinda busy!

By the way, don't forget you can also show the names of the counties on the map by checking the "Show county labels" checkbox in the lower left corner:
City Limits on County Lines on Google Maps, colorized and labeled with county names

Head on over to the County Lines on Google Maps tool and check it out!

No more bouncing maps and evasive red dots!

Just a brief note here to let you know of a fix to an issue that has been reported by a number of users of all of the map tools (such as the County Lines on Google Maps, Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps and all the others).

The issue was related to the maps "bouncing" and the red dot (shown below) moving even though the user didn't intend for it to move.
Red dot that shows current location on all randymajors Google Maps mapping tools

In particular, if the user was panning around the map (e.g. dragging the map with their mouse) in order to see something just off the edge of the map, prior to this fix, the red dot moved and the map bounced (changed center) as you panned.  Basically, it was taking whereever you ended the drag of the mouse and making that the new map center.  Furthermore, it would take that new center point represented by the red dot's new location and then update the information pane above the map based on that new location. 

Several people found that behavior to be in the range of unexpected to annoying.  

An example may help further explain the issue:  If you searched for Phoenix, Arizona using the "Search places" box above the map, then once the map appeared with the red dot on Phoenix, you panned (or dragged) the map in order to view what is southeast of Phoenix.  In the past, the County Lines on Google Maps tool would move the red dot to where you ended the "mouse drag" and change from reporting the name as Maricopa County (where Phoenix is) to reporting it as Pinal County or Pima County, depending on how far your dragged the map.  

Also, just single-clicking the map would re-center the map where you clicked and update the information panel.

All that (bad) behavior is gone now!

So, with the new behavior, here's a run down of what does and does not move the red dot (and update the information pane above the maps).

Moves the red dot and updates the information pane:
  • Typing a new place or address into the "Search places" box above the map
  • Single-clicking the map to "explore" the place you clicked
Does NOT move the red dot nor update the information pane:
  • Panning the map by dragging it with the mouse (or using two-fingers to move the map on iOS) 
  • Zooming in or out using the "+" or "-" buttons in the upper left corner of the map (or pinch-zooming on iOS)
These last two changes enable you to explore around the edges of the map view by dragging the map around WITHOUT changing the red dot's location and information pane.  

And you can now single-click around the map to see information about where you clicked WITHOUT the map center "bouncing" around and changing unexpectedly.

Using the same example above, now if you search for Phoenix, Arizona using the "Search places" box, the red dot will appear on Phoenix and the information pane will report Maricopa County.  Now if you drag the map to the southeast to see something on the edge of the map, the red dot will stay put in Phoenix, the map won't bounce, and the information pane will still report Maricopa County.

That was a bit more wordy than I intended it to be, but bottom-line: just view the four bullets above and you should understand the new map behavior.

Or even easier:  The click and pan behavior now operates like the Google Maps you know and love.

And hopefully this new map behavior is in the range of expected to enjoyable :)

Happy mapping!

Show me ALL of the names!

You've always been able to search or click on the map and have information about the ONE spot where you clicked appear at the bottom of the map, like this:
Newberry Atlas historical U.S. county detail shown at bottom of map

"But wouldn't it be nice," many people have asked over the years, "to see ALL of the names of the counties on the map rather than just the one that I clicked?"  Or something to that effect.

Now you can.  Just go to the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool and check "Show labels..." checkbox in the lower left corner of the map, and your map will be pleasantly filled with the historical county names as of the date you typed, like this (click the image below to enlarge it):
Ability to show historical county name labels from Newberry Atlas of historical U.S. county boundaries

This new functionality to add names has been added to the following tools:  Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps, County Lines on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps and Area Codes on Google Maps.

Here's an example of the labels on the County Lines on Google Maps tool:
Ability to show labels of County Names and ZIP Codes on Google Maps with County Lines and Google Maps with ZIP Codes tools

Look out in future updates for new drawing tools as well!

Thank you for the feedback! Now, what have I done with it?

Thank you to the 182 people that provided valuable feedback via the user survey I had running over the last 30 days on the map and search tools.

This post provides a brief summary of the feedback, as well as a handful of enhancement ideas that came from the surveys.

First, what are people using the tools for?
Google Maps county lines, ZIP codes and city limits tools being used for business planning, general interest/entertainment, determining jurisdiction, real estate, education, sales planning, field/scientific research, travel/route planning, volunteer work and sales tax determination
Given the history of this website, it's no surprise that the largest proportion of users use the tool for genealogy purposes, especially the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps and AncestorSearch: Google Custom Search tools.
However, it was quite interesting to see the diversity of uses for the other tools, especially the present-day County Lines on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps, City Limits on Google Maps and Township Range on Google Maps tools.  The list runs the gamut: business planning, general interest/entertainment, determining jurisdiction, real estate, education, sales planning, field/scientific research, travel/route planning, volunteer work and sales tax determination.

Another question asked how often people use the tool:
Google Maps tools with county lines, ZIP Codes, city limits and township range are being used many times per week by most repeat users
I was surprised to see just how many people (nearly 60%) were discovering the tool for the first time!  Those that already knew of the tool(s) seem to use them quite a lot, with about 18% using the tools several times per week (with many people commenting they use the tools several times daily).  The next highest slice being users that use the tool a few times per month (14%).  Only 9% use the tools once per month or less.

Another sign of user engagement could be gleaned from the question asking how long users typically spend using the tool:
randymajors map tools have very high engagement with 35 percent using the tools for over 15 minutes per session, and 37 percent using the tools for 5 to 15 minutes per session
35% of people use the tool(s) for over 15 minutes per visit to the website, and 37% use them for 5 to 15 minutes per visit.  Only 6% of respondents typically use the tools for less than 1 minute per visit.  I was very happy to see these engagement numbers, as the average "time on site" according to many sources is 2 to 3 minutes.  Those same industry average surveys show that only 20% of websites have average visit times of over 5 minutes, and only 3-4% of sites have visit times of over 15 minutes.  So apparently, you're finding the tools to be quite useful!

The final question I asked was "Overall, how satisfied are you with the tool?"  I was very pleased and humbled to see that by far the vast majority of users gave it a 10 score of "Extremely satisfied" or close to it:
randymajors map tools user satisfaction shows users rated the tools a 10 for extremely satisfied, followed by 9 and 8
I also asked an open ended question about ideas for improvements to the tools.

One idea that came up several times was the ability to show townships and township/range/section.   As a result of that idea, I've added both townships to several tools and created a new Township Range on Google Maps tool, discussed here.

Another idea that came up several times was to make the map window larger.  Since hearing that feedback, I've enlarged the maps considerably.  First, the map tool pages on the website now occupy the full width of your screen (the higher your screen resolution, the more you'll see).  I've also increased the height of the map to go to the bottom of your screen view, which for higher resolution screens, this nearly doubled the height of the map.  Finally, I added an " expand" button in the upper right of most map tools to fully enlarge the map window to your screen width.

The final idea that was mentioned more than once was the ability to show your current location.  I've added that functionality to most of the maps as well:  just click the " Locate" button in the upper right of the map.  (I wrote about these last two enhancements here.). As a shortcut, you can also see your current county and answer "What county am I in?" here:

Well, that concludes the user survey and summary of the feedback from it.  But you can always provide feedback via the "Help improve this tool" link found at the bottom of each tool's page, or you can provide feedback directly only to me by using the "Get in touch with Randy Majors" form found on the bottom right of every page on the website.

Thank you again for the excellent feedback, and I hope to keep improving the tools and adding new ones in the future as well!

County Lines on Google Maps enhancements, Time Zones and Area Codes tools released

QUICK LINK TO THE MAP TOOL:  County Lines on Google Maps

This is just a quick note to let you know of a few enhancements to the County Lines on Google Maps tool, as well as the release of the worldwide Time Zones on Google Maps tool.

First, for the county lines tool:

1.  When searching in the US, you can now choose to also show City Limits at the same time as County Lines.  Just check this little box in the lower left corner of the map:
With "Also show US city limits" checked, you'll be able to click on a place on the map (or type a place or address in the "Search places" box above the map) and see not only the County, State, and Country, but the City too.  For example:

2.  There are a couple of enhancements related to Latitude/Longitude or GPS coordinates.  The first one (which has been present for a few months), is that the Latitude/Longitude of the place you clicked on (or typed) appears at the bottom of the map, as shown above.

The other new feature is that you can now type GPS coordinates into the "Search places" box above the map.  For example, let's say you have a GPS coordinate of 105.25° W, 40° N. The format for typing GPS coordinates into the map is Longitude first, Latitude second.  Longitudes west of the Greenwich Prime Meridian* are always a negative value, as are latitudes south of the equator.  So in this example, you would type -105.25, 40 and a drop-down menu will appear with the fully formatted coordinates for you to click on.  Like this:

Click the top choice in the drop-down menu, and you end up somewhere in Boulder, Colorado in this example:

3. Some people like to search for places by typing in an address, place, city, etc. into the "Search places" box above the map.  But some people like to just start exploring the map by clicking around, zooming, panning etc.  If you're in that latter category, you can do that don't have to type if you don't want to!

4. You can now use your current location by clicking the "⊕ Locate" button in the upper right corner of the map.  The Locate button will be more accurate on smartphones and other devices containing a GPS; desktop browsers typically show an approximate location.

5. One final enhancement, per user request:  you can click the "☐ expand" button in upper right to get a larger map window optimized for your particular screen size.  After expanding the map, click the "☐ reset" button in the upper right to return to the original map size.

As always, the County Lines on Google Maps tool includes county boundary lines, or their equivalent, for any place in the U.S., Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and Switzerland.  Be sure to read the coverage notes and usage tips below the tool.

I hope you enjoy these enhancements!  Feel free to leave comments below.

P.S.  Also, thanks to all those who have taken a few moments to provide feedback on the tools in the user surveys!  I'm receiving really good feedback, and am humbled at the number of great things people are using the tools for.  I'll aim to provide some high-level summaries of the survey results in the next couple of weeks.  If you haven't provided feedback yet, and would like to, please find the details here.  I very much appreciate it!

* By the way, speaking of the Greenwich Prime Meridian, I've also released a new tool that shows Time Zones on Google Maps.  With it, you can see the time zone boundaries, time zone name, GMT offset, and the current local time anywhere in the world!  Be sure to read the usage notes and coverage info below the tool.  Here's a sample screenshot, with city/county details shown:

And one more new tool:  Area Codes on Google Maps

How can I improve the mapping and search tools for you?

With many tools getting quite a lot of usage on the website, it's a good time for me to ask users what I can do to improve the tools.

I'd be grateful if you would take a few minutes to provide feedback on the tools you use by following the links below.  Your feedback will help ensure I focus on the things that are most important (including new tools you wish existed!).

Please click links or images below to be taken to the survey for that tool.  Your responses will remain anonymous.  (Visit the tools using the links on the right side of this page; visit the surveys using the links below.)

County Lines on Google Maps (this is the present-day county lines tool, see the historical county lines tool below)

ZIP Codes on Google Maps

Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps (this is the historical county lines tool, see the present-day county lines tool above)

Thanks so much for your time!