Hawaii is a North Pacific Ocean island chain extending from Kauai and Niihau in the
north to the Big Island of Hawaii in the south. They lie between longitudes 154º 40'
and 160º 30' West and between latitudes 18º 55' and 22º 16' North, positioning them
about 2,360 miles from Victoria (on Vancouver's Island, Canada), 2,100 miles from San
Francisco, 3,280 miles from Acapulco, 4,665 miles from Panama, 5,240 miles from Callao,
5,916 miles from Valparaiso, 2,263 miles from Samoa, 2,390 miles from Tahiti, 2,708
miles from Fiji, 3,814 miles from Auckland, 4,424 miles from Sydney, 4,778 miles from
Manila, 4,961 miles from Hong Kong and 3,445 miles from Yokohama.
This chain is the southern tip of a much longer archipelago stretching across the
northern Pacific Ocean all the way from the Big Island to Ocean Island (Kure Atoll),
northwest of Midway at about 28º 25' N and 178º 25' W, a span of almost 2,000 miles.
The inhabited islands clustered at the south end of the archipelago are Hawaii, Maui,
Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Niihau. Kahoolawe has supported a sparse population
from time to time.
Maps of Hawaii are scattered about on various pages in this site so for ease of
reference this page is dedicated to maps. For maps of the Pacific Basin and the World,
see Map of the Pacific and also
The Indian Ocean and Cape of Good Hope Route and
other route studies under Pre-Treaty Mail in the
Foreign Mail Postal History section.
Mapping of Hawaii began with Captain Cook and continued with Captain Vancouver and other
early explorers. The United States Exploring Expedition in 1842, under the command of
Captain Wilkes (the Wilkes Expedition) produced excellent early maps. Government
Surveys conducted by the Hawaiian Kingdom in the 1880's resulted in maps with greater
detail. Examples from these sources will be found on various pages in this site.
Barnes' Hawaiian Geography, A. S. Barnes & Co., Chicago and New York, c. 1890, gives us
the maps imaged on the following pages. They are based on the Government Survey maps