An area of interest (AOI) is defined as an area smaller than 1/4 square mile, or 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile. For larger AOIs, airs [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (contact AIRS) for custom research.
1/2 mile = 4 city blocks = 880 yards = 4 furlongs = 40 chains
Sample AOI Maps
With all research requests, we require a map showing your AOI and the surrounding area. A shapefiles or KML file showing your AOI is preferred. A USGS 7.5' (1:24,000) topographic quadrangle or an image from Google Maps are also great ways to show us your AOI. Please be sure to provide enough context and to clearly mark your AOI to help us provide you with the best service. Below are good examples of AOI maps.
1:24,000 USGS Topo Map
All scales and most editions of USGS topographic maps are available online via Topoview (National Geologic Map Database), the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, and the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer (in partnership with Esri).
To learn how to create a map showing your AOI using Google Maps, see Google's tutorial for creating custom maps.
If your AOI is an individual parcel of land, you may wish to use a point marker and decimal degree (latitude-longitude) coordinates to ten-thousandths of a degree (4 decimals = (XX.xxxx) (YY.yyyy)).