Image (c) Ian Byrne, 2000


Selected links to other map or petrol and oil related pages

Oil Company Maps | Cartographic Links | Dealers in Road Maps | Petrol and oil links | Interactive petrol maps | Energy saving motoring

In the early days of the internet, pages of links were a valuable way of finding other interesting sites, before search engines such as AltaVista and Google started crawling the majority of the web. These links on this page are some of my favourites and form just a small selection of the many map and petrol related pages that can be found on the web. They are biased towards websites that have been operational for at least 15 years. Some have much more comprehensive lists of pages worth visiting than I could ever hope to include here.

Oil Company Road Maps

The Road Map Collectors' Association (RMCA). The RMCA is the largest club for collectors of oil company and North American official issue road maps. The site provides a useful background for new collectors and links to a good number of related sites.

Pascal Pannetier's Old Road Maps. This is the only other European site that I know of with an extensive selection of European petrol maps, mainly from Esso and Shell, but with a reasonable number from other brands such as BP and Total. These pages are available in French and English.
Jon Roma's map pages. Jon has a large world-wide collection of maps, including many from Europe. Jon lives in Illinois, so has most maps from the USA, but there are plenty of others too here to look at.
Judy Aulik is also based in Illinois, but she has created a wonderfully off-beat site looking at how women have been portrayed on road maps since the 1930s on her Women on oil company roadmaps site. She also includes a page of useful tips on the preservation of maps and a suggested grading system.
North of the border, Neal Wilson has an excellent page of Ontario Road Maps.
Australian petrol maps. Robert J Stephens maintains a good page with a mix of Australian, US and other maps issued by petrol companies, together with a few related items, such as adverts.

Yale University Library has a page dedicated to the history of US oil company maps, drawing on examples in its own collection. Sadly, the images are stored on separate pages making it hard to relate them to the text and some of the image files are rather large so slow to download.
Craig Solomonson has posted a superb showcase of oil company and official state maps from Minnesota, and Harold Cramer is seeking to include an image from a map of Pennsylvania for every year since 1681! Oil company maps of Pennsylvania are well represented on his site. Across on the West Coast, Nick Nielsen's Oil Company Road Maps site focuses primarily on Road Maps issued by Oil Companies that cover the State of California and the City of Los Angeles, but some other states and companies will also be included.

Several collectors have started sites relating to one or two brands:
A comprehensive resource for US Chevron maps is on Lon Metzger's page.
The Long Oil Company) is also well covered, and Jim Williams has an excellent site with pages looking at two Canadian companies - Supertest and White Rose.
And finally, for a viewpoint of those working in the US map industry in the heyday of free maps, there is Don Shorock's Cartophile site, describing his experiences as a worker in the General Drafting Company's department fulfilling requests to the Esso Touring Service.

And, although there are no other sites dedicated to UK petrol company maps, there is a detailed description by Chris Mawson of the Shell County Guides issued between the 1930s and 1980s. This includes fascinating extracts from correspondence in the Shell archives that gives an insight into their support for the guides and road maps.

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Cartographic Links

As well as the RMCA, two other clubs for Map Collectors are worth mentioning:
The Charles Close society. The Charles Close society is a specialist society for collectors of British Ordnance survey maps, but also has some members who collect more widely, including commercial European issues.
There is also a collector's society for Michelin maps, based in France; they also maintain a Facebook page.

Amongst the many web resources devoted to more antiquarian map collecting, four deserve to be singled out:

  • The History of Cartography web site. Maintained by the map librarian of the British Library in London, this site is the most comprehensive European site on early cartography. In particular, it has a page of links to map images on the web, with a brief review of the content of each page listed. This can save a lot time following unhelpful links!
  • The David Rumsey Historical Collection which has over 25,000 maps and images online, with a focus on 17th and 18th century maps of the Americas.
  • The Collectors Weekly also maintains a list of selected map website links, and includes the ability to go directly to relevant auctions on eBay.

Among British universities, the Cambridge University Map Library has a good site; as does Oxford's Bodleian's Map room.

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Dealers in Road Maps

Although there are many dealers in old maps, most in Europe concentrate on either antiquarian maps or Ordnance Survey maps. This site used to include links to a number of dealers, including David Archer maps, Cartographics of Biddulph (Richard Dean) and, in the USA, 20th Century Maps (Noel Levy). Sadly all the owners of these businesses have now retired, although as of late 2018, David Archer still has some maps listed.

New Maps

For new maps in the UK, I recommend Stanfords, Britain's largest map store, established in 1852.

There are numerous US-based on-line map stores, but has one of the larger stocks. It also sells antique maps, suitable for framing, and has on-line address finding and driving directions for the USA.

    Michael Ritz's Landkartenindex blog is interesting (but in German) and no longer appears to includes links to the main German cartographers or comparisons of the main road maps on sale in Germany that he used to maintain on his Landkartentest site.

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Petrol and oil links

There are the fairly large number of pages on the Web created by people interested in collectibles from, and the history of, petrol and oil companies and, in particular, service stations, but mainly in the USA. Three British sites stand out: Alan Chandler's UK Petroliana site focuses on hardware, especially pumps, and has great photos. For people interested in signs and logos from petrol companies from the UK, Dan Lockton's Petrol Signs site must not be missed. And on Facebook there's a group devoted to the "Golden Days of the Great British Petrol Station."

The most comprehensive of the US sites is "Primarily Petroliana", maintained by Jim Potts, which also includes detailed links to most other noteworthy US sites, which will not be repeated here. The inspiration for Dan Lockton's UK site was where John Cirillo focuses on signs and service stations from the USA, but has some international ones too. And for a wider look at popular (or kitsch) US roadside architecture, including service stations, John Margolies is the acknowledged expert on everything that might be found beyond the signs saying GAS-FOOD-LODGING. His archive was acquired by the US Library of Congress in 2008, and it now hosts 11,707 images that can be downloaded; it can however be a little tricky to find the one you are looking for.

The largest European site dedicated to service station memorabilia is that of the Museo Fisogni (in Italy). It's well worth checking out their site as the museum has been for sale for a number of years and so may not be accessible much longer.
In France, Jacques Roy shows an impressive collection, again mainly of pumps.
Alex Wyler is a collector and trader of European "Petromobilia" (formerly called the Fifties Corner) with a well-illustrated website.

The Swedes have long had a fascination with large American autos, so it is not unsurprising to find a number of Swedish sites concentrating on service stations. Here are some that I have enjoyed:

  • There's an extensive selection of old photographs of Swedish service stations, motels and motels with filling stations at the Mack & Motell blog.
  • Joseph Zohn has a smaller number of often quirky images on his blog.
  • The KulTur page, which has an extensive archive of old service station pictures is also now on blogspot.

In neighbouring Finland, Juha Tuulaniemi's Suomigasoa is an excellent site (in Finnish) with summary histories of all the main brands that have operated there, as well as a selection of photographs of old service stations and petroliana. However the entire site is written in Macromedia's Flash and can be very slow to load on computers using dial-up modems.

In spite of there being a fairly large number of German petroliana collectors, most of the information available on the web is still aimed more at general enthusiasts for "oldtimers", as classic cars are known. One exception is the engineering company of Feuchtemeyer, which has a website showing how it is developing a small private Tankstellenmuseum (Petrol station Museum).

The late Marcello Minale is widely regarded as the leading late twentieth century designer of service stations. His company, Minale Tattersfield, continue to work in the sector and maintains an interesting website on petrol station design.
Ir Grootveld is an architect specialising in designing service stations. He maintains an interesting site showing mainly Dutch Service Stations, with a mix of his own work (largely for Fina), older service stations often now demolished, and the best contemporary designs from other architects.

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Cover from Route Nostalgie Issue 4Away from the Web, there are a number of magazines with an interest in service station history and commercial road maps. Retro Tourisme (formerly known as Route Nostalgie) is principally in French, and covers automobilia, roadside memories, petroliana and automobile art. It also keeps a special focus on road maps, from Michelin, oil companies and other commercial sources. The magazine is published six-monthly in Paris and can be contacted either via its website.

There are also two US based magazines for those interested in collecting artefacts from and the history of service stations:

Petroleum Collectibles Monthly is published monthly and run by Wayne Henderson. Check The Oil! comes out bi-monthly and has two regular features that tie in with this page: a Letter from Europe and a Road Maps Column by Dave Leach. Follow the links for a brief outline of the content of the Check The Oil! articles.

There is also a Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association that publishes a quarterly newsletter titled Garage Door News.

Down under, the Automobilia Collectors Club of Australia (ACCA) publishes a quarterly magazine which, despite its name, focuses mainly on historic service stations and associated collectibles from Australia and New Zealand. ACCA welcomes collectors from around the world including the UK.

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Interactive petrol maps on the Web

Many companies have placed interactive maps onto the Web. For many years the best example was the Catalist map showing from its database all 14,500 UK service stations and has plotted them on an interactive map produced by the AA. Since then company was sold to Experian the publicly accessible map has been discontinued, and price comparison sites are now the best way of locating service stations in any given area. I have embedded one such interactive map (from Whatgas) onto this site: it (as of 2011) provides decent coverage of the UK, Germany and Luxembourg. The leading one for the USA is probably gasbuddy.

Shell and BP both used to offer an interactive map and route finder that marked their respective stations along the way, but both appear now to have been discontinued, though both have station locator maps, in common with many other companies. In contrast , Repsol, the largest Spanish petrol company, have created an interactive version of their Guia Repsol but it is no longer available in English nor do the he maps locate Repsol, Campsa and Petronor stations which they used to do.

Away from oil companies and the ubiqitous Google and Bing maps, the best site is arguably Michelin's. It too offers a pan-European route planner, with links to tourist sites and the hotels and restaurants listed in the famous Michelin Red Guide. Initially created in 2001, this site includes the ability for users to save searches on it to allow them to construct a personalised itinerary. Although the maps are fully zoomable down to street level, they are arguably at their best when they are equivalent to the 1:200,000 series, using a digital simplification of Michelin's unique cartographic style.

My favourite interactive maps of the UK come from Streetmap as they include street level maps at 1:10,000, the complete Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 maps (enlarged to 1:25,000 for clarity on a screen) and aerial views of main cities. Top of Page

Energy saving motoring

There are surprisingly few good web pages giving hints on how to use less petrol when driving, or when to consider alternative means of transport. The UK Government used to have a rather short page as part of its section about owning a car on the Directgov web site, at a page location that kept moving around and appears to have been lost completely on the hopeless site. Sadly, this appears to be due to a reduction in interest in the environmental effects of motoring, as evidenced by the ending of funding for the Green Motoring Forum.

For a slightly more quirky checklist, try the list originally prepared by the Espoo Energy Agency in Finland. Or why not look at this site's 1959 Careful Driving tips, offered by Mobilgas in connection with its Economy Run, the 1979 Good Mileage Guide from Shell or the 1974 Exxon Tiger Tips!

Link to this site!

Links ain't what they used to be; Google's search engine includes many factors apart fropm links to determine popularity and relevance. So in January 2015 we finally moved wholly to new URL. If you have any favourites bookmarked or links to us, using pages on the domain, you'll need to update them as the old addresses no longer work.

I will always be pleased to hear of other sites you might think worthy of inclusion on this links page, as well as of any updated or broken links to the pages listed above. Please let me know with an e-mail!

Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2000-18

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.