Last Updated on 11/17/2002
By Sharon McAllister

How to Find Locations in Oklahoma

Scroll down if you want a full description of the maps and other resources that are available, or use one of the Quick Links below to jump to the section most likely to meet your needs.


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Just starting your search for locations in Oklahoma? You'll find a variety of resources here:

Do you know the County?   If so, the County Quick Links or County Checkout gateways will be the easiest way to get to all resources provided for that county.  

Are you interested in a wider area for a specific time period?  If so, the gateways to the 1915 Maps, 1972 Maps or DoT Maps will lead you to the corresponding set of maps for all counties.

Still trying to figure out which modern-day county a place was in?  If you know the name of a Town, Township, or Post Office, use the search engine. 

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If you have only the Township Number the search engine will find it in most cases, or you can use Township Maps to find the county, the part of the county, and the specific map for a known Township and Range even if you don't know which county it's in.  

First visit to this site?  It has several sets of maps, plus links to Oklahoma maps posted elsewhere, and a number of cross-reference lists to help you determine which county maps to look at. 

1895 Maps.  For some time, the 1895 Atlas and Gazetteer was the only on-line source of information about many communities that existed briefly during territorial days and it is still one of the best. It even provides Territorial names & boundaries, which poses a bit of a problem if you don't know your way around the Twin Territories.   If you do know the present-day county, though, our Links to 1895 Maps will take you straight to the right map. 

1915 Maps. A detailed state map, which shows many communities that disappeared decades ago, was copied from a 1915 Transportation Atlas.  Cropped to fit one county per page and enlarged to improve readability, these are presented with clickable links that allow you to jump directly from any map in the set to any other. Three sections (Western, Central, and Eastern Oklahoma) provide an overview, but the print is very fine. The individual county maps not only load faster but are much easier to read.  In addition to "Cities, Towns & Villages", this set shows railroads and their stations, trolley lines, and natural features like rivers, creeks and mountains. Go to 1915 County Maps to select a specific county.  

1972 Maps. One page per county, taken from a US Geological Survey Map. Shows "Population Centers", including many communities too small to have Post Offices, state roads, railroads and airports. Township and Range Grids are also shown, so these are helpful in locating a specific township for counties not yet included in the Township Grids described above.  Go to 1972 County Maps to select a specific county.  

Present-day Maps. Quite detailed recent maps from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.  These are the same maps downloadable from OKGenWeb, but processed for convenient online access.  Presented as individual numbered Townships, each typically covering 36 sections so that each square mile is represented by about one square inch [varies with screen size]. In addition to still-populated places, these show cemeteries, named roads, rivers & creeks -- even which Section Lines are open & which are closed.  There are two ways to access these.  County Sets gives you access to the entire set for any county, while Township Maps leads you to a specific map for a known Township and Range even if you don't know which county it's in.  

OKGenWeb provides an extensive set of reference material including detailed county maps and the Department of Transportation's list of populated places in Oklahoma.  These are downloadable files in TIFF and ZIP format.  These are far more convenient than spending long hours online if you plan to research the state extensively.  [Warning:  this is a one-way trip.]
List of Post Offices.    In territorial times and during the early years that followed Statehood, Post Offices were ephemeral. When one was discontinued, its name would often be used for another office elsewhere in the state. This list helps you identify the duplicates, not just the ones that survived until today, and learn something of where each was located and when it was active. Index to Post Offices
List Railroads and Railroad Stations.  Transcribed from the 1915 map with stations listed for each railway line, including many sites of historical Post Offices and some that were apparently never large enough to have a Post Office.  If the place you seek isn't on the lists of  Towns and Post Offices, you may find it listed here as a railway stop.  You can also search this list to find out which lines served a certain city.  Still under construction, but most of the western half of the state has been done. Index to Railroads and Railroad Stations

List of Towns.  Every populated place I could pinpoint from any source, starting with the downloadable DoT list.  Includes cities, towns, and a number of unincorporated communities.  You'll find not just the County, but also the Township and Range numbers and often the exact Section where a place was (or still is) located.  In the case of duplicate names,  consult the list of Post Offices for their timetable.  Index to Towns

List of Townships.  If you know only the name of the Township, not its number nor the County it's in, this will help you identify all of the Counties with Townships by that name. If the name is unique, your search will be ended. Township Names are often used more than once, but at least this will help you narrow your search to only a few of the 77 counties. Index to Townships 

County Pages.  Developed to cross-check maps & reference lists, each county page not only lists the populated places in that county but also provides links to the specific maps that show each one of them.  Not all counties are posted and some of the ones that are up are incomplete, but if the place you are looking for is one that has been indexed this is the easiest way to find all of the maps that include it.  Go to County Links
Need help deciding which resources to use first?
Do you know the location but want to know more about the place?
Do you know which county it's in but want a more precise location? 
  • The Index to Towns gives the Township & Range numbers, often the exact Section for small places.
  • County Links provides one-stop convenience for those counties that are online, with links to all maps & cross-reference lists.  
  • Or go to the set of maps listed above that is closest in time to the period you're interested in (1895, 1915, 1972, Current).
Still trying to find the right county? 
  • If you have the name of a specific place, like a Post Office, Railroad Station, Town, or Township, you can use the index lists described above to identify the candidates and then explore the different sets of maps.  
  • If you have only a land description (Section-Township-Range) you can use Township Maps to access a detailed map as well as to find out which part of which county the parcel is in.
Want something still more detailed?  I have found that the maps & photographs provided on these sites to be quite helpful.
Topozone Detailed topographical maps, which can be viewed at several different scales.  These provide contour lines and vegetation if you want to know more about the lay of the land.
Terraserver Aerial and satellite photos, including extensive coverage for Oklahoma.  If you haven't visited this site lately, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the small-sized topographical map they now include to show the area where each photo is centered.
GNIS If the place still exists, the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a good tool for the beginner who doesn't even know what part of the state a place is/was in -- much less which county.  It has an easy-to-use, menu-driven system, with extensive coverage of present-day locations and information about many historical sites.  If a place is in the GNIS database, its interactive mapping system zooms in and out to show the surrounding area in varying levels of detail.  Some people find all they want to know about a place there, while others use GNIS location to find more detailed information from other sources.  


  • Enter the name without specifying the type of feature, if you suspect the town you seek no longer exists.  This way you'll get any feature bearing that name and some may provide the clues you are looking for.
  • Save the Latitude and Longitude provided by GNIS to use with other systems that use geodesic references, like topographical maps.   
  • Remember that GNIS shows only approximate locations with respect to Section, Township, and Range.  Use it to find the right area, but rely on topographic maps or land maps for the accurate details.

Go to GNIS now.  [Warning:  this is a one-way trip.]

If you are seeking detailed information (such as the exact roads leading to an obscure cemetery), you'll probably want to use the links after you've explored the GNIS data.  They will also help you find places for which GNIS doesn't provide precise locations.  We've made it as comprehensive as possible, to help you distinguish historical places from modern ones that bear the same names but are actually in different locations.

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