The Sanborn Map Company, established in 1867, was famous for publishing highly detailed maps of the urban areas of the United States. These maps, using data collected by an army of fieldworkers and surveyors, were used by insurance underwriters to remotely assess the risk of potential clients and were bound into regularly updated volumes for each major city in the United States. However, by March 1972, Sanborn began to close shop, disposing of most of their internal archives apart from the most recently updated volumes. Recognizing the inherent value of the volumes to the field of geography, faculty from the Department of Geography at California State University, Northridge, undertook an expedition to Sanborn's San Francisco office to recover as many volumes as possible. Over the years, the recovered volumes have moved from room to room until finally finding a home in a climate-controlled office in Sierra Hall, on the CSUN campus. Our article highlights three very different endeavors using the Sanborn maps, in an effort to illustrate the value of the CSUN collection to scholarly and artistic projects: Dr. Ron Davidson's exploration of historical change in a small corner of downtown Los Angeles; Dr. Jim Craine's attempt to uncover the "real" 77 Sunset Strip, and Los Angeles-based artist Debra Scacco's Compass Rose Project, an ongoing installation using Sanborn pages as a metaphor for American history.