The Evansville Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are a valuable resource for genealogists, historians, urban planners, teachers or anyone with a personal connection to an Evansville street or building. The maps show the size, shape and construction materials of dwellings, commercial buildings, factories and other structures. They indicate both the names and width of streets, and show property boundaries and how individual buildings were used. House and block numbers are identified. They also show the location of water mains, fire alarm boxes and fire hydrants. In the 19th century, these specialized maps were originally prepared for the exclusive use of fire insurance companies and underwriters. Those companies needed accurate, current and detailed information about the properties they were insuring and the maps were meticulously updated over the years through color coding as specified in the map key.