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Maps & Geospatial: Sanborn Maps

Initially created to estimate fire insurance risks, the company's maps are frequently used for historical research, and for preservation and restoration efforts.

The Sanborn Map Company

Allegheny PA Map Title

Founded in 1867 by D. A. Sanborn, the Sanborn Map Company first gained recognition for creating richly detailed fire insurance maps - maps that are so full of valuable information that they are still widely used today.

Rich with valuable and detailed information, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - originally created as a product to help insurance companies assess the potential risks involved in underwriting policies - have developed into a tool with myriad uses for multiple industries.

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps typically include the following information:

  • Building addresses
  • Building height
  • Building footprints
  • Street names
  • Number of stories per building
  • Building construction materials
  • Building use
  • Right of way

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Typography

Typography is one of the extra-cartographic features of interest in Sanborn maps collections. Some examples: