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Maps and Datasets

Copyright and Fair Use for Students: Copyright is Important!

You must consider the copyright of the image you are planning to use. 

Maps in the Library:

In the library collections ALL images are cleared for copyright use for educational purposes. This means that as a student at the institution providing you with access that you may use the images from the library in your student projects.  You may NOT use them for any other purpose.

Maps on the Internet:

For most student users, the maps you find online are free to use.  However you may not use them for any other purpose eg. re-purposed in an item that is for sale.  Check the usage restrictions on any map or image that you use.


The principles of use are the same for all types of intellectual property, including visual media.  Someone created the content and they have control over how it is used, and by whom.

U.S. Government Copyright

Copyright and Other Rights Pertaining to U.S. Government Works

"What is a U.S. Government Work?

A United States government work is prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties.

U.S. Government Works are NOT subject to copyright in the United States and there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work.

Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws:

  • reproduce the work in print or digital form;

  • create derivative works;

  • perform the work publicly;

  • display the work;

  • "distribute copies or digitally transfer the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending."

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